Analytics has long been a part of best practices in business. Henry Ford used analytics to measure the time of each step in his newly established assembly line.
But the powerful combination of big data analytics and marketing is a facet of business that is still evolving and only now becoming mainstream. Analytics can be a powerful tool that shows what works and what doesn’t, reveals new opportunities, and creates unprecedented business value that will reward you handsomely.
Below are 9 tips for adding analytics to your marketing: tips 1– 5 focus on getting the data you need, and tips 6-9 reveal what to do with that data.
1. Know Your Flow
Be sure you know your data flow. This will help ensure you get the quality and quantity data you need to maximize your analytics. Where did the data come from? How was it captured? Who is responsible for capture and maintenance? Knowing your flow can ensure you get the data quantity and quality you need.
2. Access All Silos
Highly-effective analytics and marketing often depend on being able to access all departments and data silos. Most often this involves connecting with sales and finance. For example, can you access all the financial information you need? How many products were sold, at what price, etc.?
3. Connect With IT
You will likely need to connect with IT. The data team and data you want needs to be clearly defined. You also need to assess your current situation: what data is captured, what is the process of data capture, cleansing and filtering, what is the percentage of errors, invalid records, etc.? An outside agency can help you in this arena.
4. Fill the Data Gaps
No company collects 100% of the data it needs. As you do data review and discovery, you might discover you’re only collecting 20% or even 10% of actual sales or registrations, or responses. You need to assess the gaps and know how to fill them. Again, sometimes the best solution is to hire an outside agency that can help you close these gaps.
5. Clean Up Your Data
Perhaps you’re collecting lots of data but it’s of low quality and thus not valuable. Perhaps you have a pattern of missing fields or invalid records. Make sure that systems for filtering and cleansing are in place. Once you ensure you have the data that is clean and reliable, you’re ready to concentrate on analysis.
You’re making sure you’re acquiring all the data you can, and ensuring the data is clean and complete. The next step is to discover and take action.
6. Strategic Exercise
Review the data, do data discovery. Think of analytics as a strategic exercise. Approach it as an exploration: what do I want to discover about my customers? Who are they? Are there any similarities or differences between them? what is the end goal and how results of analytics contribute to this goal?
7. Who’s the Customer
It’s important to precisely define your customer. In B2B for example your customers can be accounts as well as the people who work at them. B2C companies are also affected. Netflix analyzes its customers both as families, as well as the unique individuals within those families. Customers can include not only end customers, but also dealers, distributors, and more.
8. Create Customer Clusters
Through this process, a clearer picture of your customers emerges. You can start to cluster different customer types into specific segments for targeted marketing. Your analytics will thus reveal for each segment, for example, which products, messages, and offers will be most effective if the goal is to improve marketing communication with targeted approach.
9. The Circle of Analytics
Once you’re done, it’s time to start the process anew. Once you’ve got analytics set up in a dashboard, it’s increasingly easy to monitor changes and find opportunities. The model learns over time, so you get more insights into increasingly profitable decisions. And by always embracing the circle of marketing analytics, you’ll always be ahead of the market
Conclusion: ensure that you have a continuous flow of complete, clean data. And then be sure to take the most important step: review the data deeply, to discover new insights into your customers, business and market. Then leverage those insights into smarter, more profitable decisions and actions.