Most marketers are aware their profession is changing quickly – in a manner that’s both dramatic and unprecedented.
In brief, marketing is becoming more complex and sophisticated. Whereas previously it was a communications discipline and more of an art, it’s increasingly becoming a science. While this poses challenges, it also offers many opportunities and benefits.
In particular, marketing analytics is ushering in an era of unprecedented customer intelligence. According to the the Digital Marketing Insights Report 2014 from Teradata and Celebrus Technologies, 51% of companies will invest in an in-house analytics team within two years.
The reasons for investing in analytics are varied, including almost three quarters (71%) anticipating better customer targeting, 58% eyeing improved conversion, and 51% betting on improved marketing personalization. Bottom line: analytics will make marketing more effective.
Benefits of Analytics
Marketing analytics has many benefits. For example, it allows ever greater and more precise segmentation of customers. This enables marketers to focus their resources on customer segments that are most promising. It also allows marketers to spend their budgets and efforts more effectively, and increasingly micro target to maximize marketing ROI.
We have seen many valuable discoveries like this here at Black Ink and our parent company, Winsper. One client – a large energy company – had no tracking codes. It was in effect basing its marketing analysis on guesswork, and unable to accurately measure its return on marketing. By implementing marketing analytics, the company was able to see which marketing efforts were profitable – and which were not – and boost its ROI.
Know the Truth
Analytics also allows you better than ever before to know the truth. Businesses often believe they understand their customers. But they’re often surprised to discover who their best customers really are.
One of our clients was surprised to discover that commercial customers – although not a large percent of their base – contributed highly to their profit.
Another client uncovered a profound customer loyalty to a particular model. Tapping into this loyalty, the company launched a highly successful cross-selling and up-selling effort.
So how can your company use marketing analytics to gain valuable new insights into your customers? Here are eight essentials:
1. Learn From the Leaders
To boost your marketing analytics simply look at the industry leaders: tech companies and manufacturers. Tech companies tend to be successful in analytics because they have all the data capturing in place. Manufacturers also tend to be very numbers driven, and ergo have a great base to work with. Become data driven.
2. Systems and Processes
To have an effective analytics program, you need to have an effective system and processes in place. Generally this means ensuring you have all the marketing and sales data you need. You need to tie in with your ERP and CRM systems and ensure you have all the relevant data.
3. Define Your Objective
A highly effective marketing analytics program begins with clearly knowing your objective. Your company’s primary objective might be to increase revenue, boost customer retention, or open new markets. Each of these goals differs, and requires a different focus in the analytics process.
4. Define Your Key Metrics
Once you define your goal, you need to define your most important metrics. These metrics could include revenue growth, retention rate, market opportunity, market share, price-performance, and more. Your analytics must focus on the metrics that will enable you to achieve your objective.
5. Data Collection
Next determine who is collecting your data. Is it an internal or external team? If the team is internal, ensure they have the technology and resources they need. In any event, ensure that data collection is done properly.
6. Organize Your Data
Either you’re collecting the data you need or you aren’t. If you are, ensure your information organized and clean. If not, data collection is where you need to start.
7. Do Your Analysis
You have the technology and resources, and you have all the data you need. Now you’re at the point where you can start doing analytics. So roll up your shirtsleeves, and look at the numbers. Remember to focus on your objectives and key metrics.
8. Take Action!
Analytics reveals where you have been, but it’s more important to know where you want to go. The real value in analytics is from the action that you take based on new insights.
Conclusion – the better you know your customer, the more successful you will be. Marketing analytics offers an unprecedented opportunity to know your customer. Make the investment in the technology and processes, and you will be rewarded handsomely.