Analytics is the present and future of marketing. Smart marketing decisions are data-driven, which is why leading universities like Southeastern Oklahoma State University have developed specialized Master of Business (MBA) with a Concentration in Data Analytics online programs. Data analytics and consumer expectations have raised the bar in most markets to a level that is impossible to understand without expertise in this discipline. Also increasing is data volume, variety and velocity in the field, so well-trained marketing analytics professionals are in high demand because they are essential to the future of the industry.
What Exactly Is Marketing Analytics?
According to email marketing company Mailchimp, marketing analytics is "a math-based discipline that seeks to find patterns in your marketing data to increase actionable knowledge that you can use in your marketing strategy to improve your marketing performance. Analytics employs statistics, predictive modeling, and machine learning to reveal insights and answer questions."
The power of information is in its aggregation and interpretation, which forms the framework of marketing analytics. Analysis of data offers two main benefits:
- To learn how well marketing campaigns and activities are performing
- To determine what gets better marketing results across channels
This is crucial because humans generate quite a bit of data – all the time. For the 2020 year, each person generated an estimated 1.7 MB of data every second. Brands amass data through consumer interactions via satellite television, cable, smartphones, laptops, gaming consoles and every channel accessible through these devices. They track information and activity through consumer activities, including online purchases, clicked links, downloaded applications, social media, notification set-ups and geolocations on smartphones and more.
What Can Analytics Accomplish?
Data offers marketers the opportunity to acquire detailed insights and develop descriptive and predictive models to target and engage their consumers more effectively. It enables them to answer marketing questions more precisely so they can develop more strategic campaigns.
In fact, analytics can help answer most questions in marketing, including:
- Who is buying our products and why?
- Are we offering the right products to our consumers?
- How do we help consumers find our products more efficiently?
- How are our marketing initiatives performing?
- How well are our competitors performing?
- What is the best media allocation mix for our marketing investments?
Specific Applications for Marketing Analytics
Business professionals can use marketing analytics for a number of disciplines:
Personalization of online shopping: Online retailers like Amazon, Wayfair and Best Buy continually gather information about user preferences and shopping behaviors. Intelligent, machine-learning algorithms use this data to predict customers' current and future needs, ultimately encouraging more purchasing and order volumes from the customer. It also enables increasingly effective promotions through email and social media, with personalized landing pages.
Gathering product intel: Analytics enables organizations to better synthesize data sets, including focus groups, polls, surveys and studies of online behavior and buying patterns. The information discovered through these processes helps organizations to align products, features and price points with consumer demand and present precisely what consumers want.
Lead scoring and segmentation: Analytics allows marketing and sales to collaborate by scoring leads during a consumer's purchasing journey. Scoring leads may be direct selling through sales or email, or "nurturing" the prospect further down the sales funnel until the consumer is ready to make a purchase. Advanced analytics enable marketers to make accurate customer lifetime value (CLV) predictions early in the process so that resources are allocated to the best leads.
Improving the customer journey: Analytics enables marketers to "map" the customer journey. This is how they develop a comprehensive understanding of how prospects first discover products and services, learn to engage and proceed through other touchpoints to become more frequent purchasers. The data output through this process enables marketers to make smarter investments in improving the customer experience at each step. Results can include more opportunities for cross-selling and compelling happy customers to share product reviews on social media.
These are just a few of the many applications of marketing analytics already in use. A higher education degree that specializes in this field can equip you to enter into the business field with a keen understanding of digital and marketing strategies.
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