Will your Analytics initiative deliver the marketing impact you expect

We live in a hyper-personalized world. Interactions are continuous. Engagement in non-stop. Information is abundant. Businesses must take ever-faster decisions. With new technologies challenging the dynamics of the market place, your marketing department is under the scanner. Marketing without analytics is now a recipe for disaster. But will your marketing analytics keep pace with the flood of the new technologies and ad opportunities? If you suspect no, then read on.

In “A Study in Scarlet”, Sherlock Holmes says, “I never guess. It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.” Relating such sleuthing to today’s challenging marketing minefield might seem strange but it’s apt. How can you market if you don’t measure? Is your marketing team running with data or weighed down by it?

You are tracking data but are you tracking your marketing analytics?

Why do we need analytics? For perspective really. It’s pretty much like going to the doctor if your arm is broken. You know your arm is broken. The doctor knows your arm is broken. And yet he asks you to get the X-Ray. Does this mean that the doctor doesn’t know his job or does this mean that despite being the expert he still needs the data to make sure that the job is done right the first time?

From website hits to Facebook likes, to the impact of ad campaigns to the customer journey and a 360-degree view of the customer, for marketing analytics to be useful the relevant data must be tracked. Analytics employed for a specific timeframe loses its relevance once the timeframe is over. But if you collect and analyze the multiple views generated over longer time periods, you gain wider insights into trends and influencing factors.

Data Analyzing analytics also gives you insights into your own status-quo. This helps in setting realistic expectations and goals going forward. Leveraging marketing analytics helps you understand the effectiveness of your marketing goals. It helps you understand how all your marketing initiatives stack up, how these tie into the business goals. This will determine the true ROI of all marketing activities.

But how can you make sure that your analytics initiatives will deliver an impact?

Data, data everywhere. Which is right for me?

What must you track? Do you want to understand customer sentiment? Do you want to know if your last campaign triumphed or was trampled? Is your question, will the new marketing initiative deliver success? Your data should be relevant to the question you ask. So, for getting a 360-degree view of the customer or to understand customer sentiment you need data, both historical and present-day data, to get the answers.

It’s quality over quantity.

With the abundance of data at our disposal, it becomes imperative to access high-quality data and derive a complete view of the customer journey. While we do need huge volumes of data, poor unstructured data will give you poor insights. You need to remember that your marketing analytics will only be as good as the data you feed it. And while the quest to harvest more data will go on, you need to ensure that you are collecting data from the most relevant touchpoints across the multitude of customer interactions.

Is your dashboard a kitchen-sink

You might be running multiple campaigns. There might be different marketing initiatives on the table. And if you keep dumping all the analytics onto one dashboard how can you not get confused and distracted?

We often take this kitchen-sink approach when it comes to measuring our marketing efforts. As the focus on real-time analytics increases, marketers need access to highly-customizable and real-time reports based on the marketing metrics that matter. We know that tracking the right metrics is the key to success. So, but instead of using an omnibus dashboard, use dashboards that are based on specific use-cases. Remember to keep it simple as too many metrics and dimensions will end up complicating your analysis -analysis paralysis as some say.

Can you visualize the analytics data?

How easily do you visualize? Answer this question to determine how well you are putting your data to use.

Your data is as valuable as the insights it generates. And data visualization is a crucial step in this process to help you find hidden patterns and trends. Given the push towards being data-driven, data must be democratized to be usable. The marketing department is no different. But most marketers are not data scientists. It’s your analytics platform that has to do the heavylifting for them.The right solution will give your marketers the freedom to choose the visualizations that build the right data narrative and communicate the compelling story they seek.

Is your analytics tool only analyzing?

Bad news, if you’re stuck in the age of descriptive analytics today, your marketing initiatives might not deliver a huge impact. We have now irrevocably moved from descriptive to prescriptive analytics. Your analytics platform shouldn’t just be reporting how your campaign performed. The real value is in being able to predict and prescribe the right customer segments, the kind of personalizations you should offer etc. Analytics should help you determine your next course of action -not just tell you how you fared in the past.

Marketing analytics helps you discover that marketing sweet spot where you should invest and how you should prioritize. It helps you see how your strategies across channels and mediums play off each other.The aim, as always, is to ensure that the efforts and resources you invest in your marketing initiatives drive impact.

The task for you is to treat the data right.You must make the right technology investments in marketing analytics. Marketing today is about more than creating sales opportunities. It is about enhancing the entire customer experience. And without analytics, you’ll never be able to achieve that.