A practice that involves studying and managing metrics data to identify opportunities for improvement and determine the Return of Investment (ROI) of marketing efforts, marketing analytics gathers and consolidates data from across all marketing channels to turn them into a common marketing view and help marketers evaluate the success of their marketing initiatives. Trends that drive these analytics are always changing and the same will happen in 2018. Here are 3 trends driving marketing analytics in 2018!
For most marketers, measuring marketing effectiveness has always been a challenge. According to a 2011 report by Unica (report) —an IBM subsidiary, the biggest bottleneck faced by more than 50% of the marketers within their organization is measurement, analysis and learning.
However, when most marketers hear the word ‘analytics’, they are quick to relate it with metrics typically associated with a web analytics tool such as Google Analytics. These metrics include unique visitors, bounce rate, traffic etc.
While these metrics provide you with much needed insight and data into your website’s technical performance, your marketing team should really be focusing on obtaining richer data that helps them understand their marketing campaigns in a way not possible with wen analytics. Enter marketing analytics.
Analytics, Metrics, and Marketing
Marketing analytics comprises of technologies and processes that allow marketers to assess the success of their marketing initiatives, and allow marketers to measure performance.
Some of the things metrics measured by marketing analytics include marketing attribution, ROI and overall marketing effectiveness. With marketing analytics, you can determine how your marketing initiatives are doing. By providing them with a common marketing view, marketing analytics allows marketers to extract analytical results that are required to drive their marketing efforts forward.
With marketing analytics, marketing teams can show business owners and top-level executives exactly how their marketing efforts are helping drive revenue. In short, marketers can measure their success and provide stakeholders with the proof by using marketing analytics and staying on top of trends. And, this takes us to main topic at hand—the top trends driving marketing analytics in 2018. Following are 3 of them.
The Use of Many New Data Sources by Marketing Analysts
The first marketing analytics to trend to watch out for in 2018 is the use of many new data sources by marketing analysts. Traditionally, marketing analytics that rely on big data warehouses or centrally-managed data servers have powered the business decisions in many organizations. But, this trend is starting to change and today companies are asking analysts to use the data stored in ‘mini’ data warehouses in addition to the data in big data warehouses or centrally-managed data servers to perform marketing analytics. Some of the new data sources from where data analysts are asking being to pull data include:
- Email service provider
- Google Analytics
- Major platforms such as AdWords, Twitter and Facebook
- SEO platform
- Chat applications
- Salesforce / other CRM
By consolidating the data from the above sources, marketing analysts will be able to get deeper insights into the marketing and sales activities of the business, which in turn will help optimize pricing, drive customer interest and ensure an improved customer experience.
The Use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Analytics
The speed with which data is entering organizations today has made it difficult—if not impossible, for analysts to process the data coming into an organization. To help businesses overcome this problem, some companies are offering a service that offer a combination of marketing analytics and artificial intelligence (AI).
To help analysts identify patterns in customer data, extract recommendations for optimizing performance, and allow others to access complicated analytics using simple language, these services utilize machine learning and other artificial intelligence (AI) techniques. An example of this is a service that takes in company data and in turn, provides the business with ‘high-impact use cases’.
The above service allows businesses to upload supplier activities, financial performance, and customer interactions into the system and the output is information pertaining to supply chain management, revenue forecasting and cross-sell and upsell opportunities. Similarly, there is another service that proves marketing intelligence powered by AI. This service allows marketers to consolidate the data across systems and access powerful analytics using simple language. Additionally, this service offers voice-activated marketing analytics and is integrated with Amazon’s Alexa.
Storytelling in Analytics
Unlike previous years, marketing analysts will be expected to do a lot more in 2018 than just crunch data and produce reports. Traditionally, analysts have relied on tools such as Excel, business analysis and SQL but now they have new data sources and AI tools to subscribe to. In 2018, analysts are expected to do to the following in addition to crunching data and producing reports:
- Extract data from non-traditional sources
- Create attractive charts and graphs
- Use data visualization tools to polish the data
- Use programming languages such as Python to clean data
- Convert data into easily understandable stories which non-analysts can use to understand the emerging opportunities and trends
Creating a dashboard and sending weekly reports will no longer suffice. Just like other marketers, analysts will have to turn their focus to customers in 2018—this is necessary to extract meaning from all the available data and improve the performance of the business.
Web analytics are no longer sufficient for businesses to measure and understand the performance of their marketing efforts. They need to invest time and money into marketing analytics as well. By consolidating the data across all marketing channels, marketing analytics provide analysts with a common marketing view which they can use to measure the performance of their marketing initiatives and if required make changes for improvement. I m a strong believer in marketing for our company and frankly I love it; knowing where our marketing/advertising dollars are spent and making sure they are spent wisely is the job of any business leader.
by Bobby J Davidson
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