What gets measured gets done
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In the last blogs, we mostly focused on few universal aspects of business reporting. We discussed data visualisation and storytelling impact on perception and effectiveness of business reports. This time, in order to reach more concrete insights, we will concentrate more on marketing analytics.
We all want techniques and tools we are using in marketing analytics to provide actionable insights. Such available tools as web pivot tables, charts, dashboards etc can benefit business a lot when accurately used. Among commonly used techniques, there are prediction models, decision-making tools, and, apparently, metrics as one of the most valuable instruments. Metrics are business-oriented key performance indicators (KPI), which enable us to monitor business and to evaluate an effect of actions such as a correlation between marketing spending and results.
For starters, we are going to review challenges every data-driven marketing expert is facing on a regular basis. In other words, what forces influence marketing decisions nowadays? In what environment should tools and techniques operate?
Just to name a few:
– Evolution of the consumer-marketer relationship.
Attacks of insignificant content are not working anymore. Customers will much more often turn away from everything they feel as marketing. In return, they expect a harmonious and personalized experience. It is more about building enduring communication if not about building a durable relationship. Users will proceed to give their information to brands, but along with rising expectation of a reasonable value trade. As a result, customer expectations will only continue to develop, pushing marketers to put the customer experience as the highest place of their priority.
– Massive and often unstructured marketing and sales data.
With all new opportunities to collect more data about customers, we get into trouble with the amount and quality of this new data. Therefore, managing market data to get valuable insights becomes one of the crucial skill for a marketer.
– Search-engine algorithms are frequently changing.
These changes along with mass adoption of ad blocking technology will profoundly affect marketing channels choices and budgets distribution. Thus, “don’t put all your eggs in one SEO-basket”.
– Smartphone adoption will be increasing constantly.
From mobile phones and tablets to laptops and desktops, today’s customers are using an ever-increasing number of devices to reach the Web, search for learning, go for shopping, and more. Do you take it into consideration while preparing your marketing campaigns?
These are only a few challenges marketers are facing. Not to mention working in the situation of reduced resources and high level of global competition. Besides, it seems like one difficulty is eternal. Can you guess which one? It is calculating ROI of marketing activities. There is a famous saying attributed to John Wanamaker illustrating how tough it is to qualify the effect of advertising: “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half”. Comparing to the times of Mr Wanamaker situation in latter days is even worse due to the variety of channels, diversity of customer segments, availability of new tools and technologies. And at the same time, current CEOs can not afford such axioms anymore. Actually, executives demand not only descriptive analysis to see the effectiveness of marketing activities post factum but also predictive analytics to make better decisions on allocation of limited resources. To be competitive business needs both diagnostic and predictive information.
Thus, important metrics give CEOs the information they need to pinpoint a real-time state the company. Online pivot tables and dashboards can accumulate KPI and other relevant metrics on a single display for more profound investigation. In widely used Analysis Services, a KPI is a collection of computations, which are linked to a measure group of a cube. And for example, Flexmonster Pivot Table Component can automatically recognize and display all KPIs if OLAP cube includes this information. Main definitions of standard KPI terms in Analysis Services such as Goal, Value, Status, Trend that can be easily shown by our Component.
Such challenges as understanding customer need across several segments, targeting information for the global audience, getting a handle on channels, and complications with data must not prevent any marketer from focusing on revenue impact from marketing. Therefore, getting used to different analytical tools and techniques should become an area for everyday development.