A Forrester study found that 44% of B2C marketers are using big data and analytics to improve responsiveness to 36% and actively using analytics and data mining to gain greater insights to plan more relationship-driven strategies. “It’s aesthetically pleasing!” is being replaced with “This ad banner/campaign post/social media post works because square posts have a higher engagement rate, and this color combination seems to be working better than our last 3 templates. A lively portrait image is getting more likes, shares, and comments than our graphic post.” This sort of change in tone and modus operandi in marketing is hard to miss. Sample run with prospective customers is making way for actual buying behavior metrics that predict if the product will be a good fit for a particular segment or not. For marketing professionals, it means more opportunities for growth, highly-targeted campaigns, eliminating pain points, etc. – all with the ability look at data, analyze it and interpret it to find insights that can help make a watertight marketing strategy.
- Efficient Use of Marketing Spends – According to a survey by McKinsey and Company, 15-20% of a company’s marketing spend can be freed up with an integrated analytics approach. Advanced analytical approaches such as marketing mix modeling can determine spend effectiveness per channel. As an approach, it can also statistically link marketing investments to drivers of sales including external factors like promotional and competitor tasks, seasonality to uncover changes in target audience and segments. It can also effectively highlight the differences between online, offline, and social media interactions. Statistical modeling, regression techniques, and algorithms can help accurately determine the online touchpoint that led to conversion instead of the traditional last/first click methods. McKinsey estimated reinvesting as much as $200 billion worldwide to other areas by optimizing marketing spends with analytics.
- Measuring Marketing ROI Confidently –Marketing has always been an expense center for the company but now with analytics, companies can predict what the ROI of all marketing activities is. Even if yours is not a data-driven company like Google or Amazon, with better predictive and optimizing abilities, more ROI can be generated in the marketing space. Personalizing customer experience has been a top priority for all marketing teams across companies offering services or products. Using analytics to do that is a sure shot way of bringing down the cost of acquisition while maintaining a relationship with them with consistent engagement across channels. Customer Value Analytics (CVA) based on Big Data Analytics is providing omnichannel customer experiences across channels.
- Understanding Customer Behavior – Targeting the right customer and reaching them at the right time with the right message is key to making good marketing decisions. Analytics has enabled marketers to analyze customer behavior and buying patterns, predict their purchases, personalize their experience, better understand their future needs, optimize pricing for higher sales, etc. Big data analytics is enabling businesses to provide consistent customer experience across all channels instead of focusing on the top few.
- Enhancing Customer Experience – Personalized targeting through analysis is helping marketers cut acquisition costs while still maintaining a relationship with the customer. Research shows that personalization can deliver five to eight times the ROI on marketing spend and lift sales 10 percent or more. With the effective use of analytics, marketers can plan highly-targeted campaigns making offers more personalized. What seems like a natural progression to customers is actually analytics in the background. The biggest example is how e-commerce websites show customers related products and make suggestions based on customer personas that they build based on their interests and history.
- Reinventing Content Marketing – 58 percent of survey respondents (Spencer Stuart survey of 171 US-based marketing executives) revealed it is in those areas of digital marketing — search engine optimization (SEO) and marketing, email marketing and mobile — where big data is having the largest impact on their marketing programs today. Analytics is helping content marketers create content according to their target audience’s interests, socioeconomic profiles, and other factors. Analyzing content primarily helps bring more traffic to a website which can turn it into a lead generation engine and subsequent higher conversions. Brand awareness and recall is another significant area where content marketers are leveraging analytics.
But all of this means nothing if marketers lack the right talent or training to leverage big data and analytics to their advantage. As more and more organizations use analytics for marketing, marketers need to upskill to learn business analytics to turn their careers around. They must know how to plan for short-term and long-term growth, anchor analytics to strategy, make better decisions by forecasting instead of backcasting, and bring analytical insights to the table with senior leaders. Read Great Lakes alumnus Manaspreet Kaur’s story to find out how she transitioned to Marketing Research, Gartner by learning and applying business analytics.