How Analytics Help Marketers

The sheer scale of operations has made analytics an integral part of marketing campaigns. However, many marketers have not yet realized this fact, probably a legacy of the old pre-Internet days when the Unique Selling Proposition (USP) of the marketer was the ability to create a catchy tagline or clever promos, and rely on gut instinct rather than numbers to reach out to the right audience.

The changed business environment has elevated the role of marketers as more of strategic business advisers rather than mere creative copywriters. Analytics is the game changer that allows marketers to make the transformation.

However, marketers would also do well to keep in mind the following concepts when applying analytics:

1.    Analytics does not replace creativity. Rather it helps in identifying an audience and determining what such audience would prefer most.

2.    Automated solutions make analytics available real time. Even the data that feeds such analytics is scoured automatically. However, the reliability of such analytics depends on the marketing taking the pains to identify the right sources of data. There is no automated short-cut for the same.  Also, identifying the right data sources, judged by the returns provided from each source, is a continuous task in today’s fast changing world where relevance and information sources keep on shifting.

3.    Analytics has many faces and goes far beyond the most common expression of metrics. For instance, analytics find use in optimization techniques that decrease drop-out rates and increase conversions. Analytics also play a key role in segmentation of prospects, which again increases marketing efficiency.

4.    Analytics help in placing a monetary value to marketing initiatives, but going overboard with analytics may be counterproductive. For instance, analytics deliver avenues to reach out to a much larger audience pool in a much cost effective manner compared to resource intensive tradeshows and conferences. However, abandoning trade shows and conferences altogether drastically reduces visibility and creates a crisis of confidence even for prospects engaged over online mediums. The best use of analytics is to ascertain the value and returns of each marketing activity and the nature of audience provided by such activity. The decision on the activity or the balance between activities is best left to the marketer’s judgment.

What’s your biggest challenge with measuring success? How can you apply analytics to help your business?