How do you connect marketing efforts with business results?
Marketing is often credited for business outcomes it didn’t directly contribute to and at times is overlooked for results produced from indirect marketing efforts. The concern is that judgments around marketing are usually based on conjecture, opinion, and not facts. Or data.
This approach makes determining if marketing is positively impacting the bottom line, very subjective, and difficult to do. Without factual proof of marketing’s performance, this function is often viewed as "nice to have" and not "need to have".
The majority of marketing managers have relied on their intuition to make decisions for far too long. It is time to debunk the myth of the golden gut and make important calls based on data. Especially with the C-suite demanding greater accountability. They want answers to questions like -
What is the ROI number on Marketing?
How can we optimize Marketing Spend?
Marketing teams need to arrive at these answers and give clarity on how well they are doing their jobs. Providing numbers to back their claims is intimidating for the many marketing professionals who rely on instincts, and not metrics, to do their work.
The only way out is by putting analytics to work on the right data to measure the right metrics. Marketing managers need to deploy analytical tools to facilitate the calculation and monitoring of key marketing metrics, provide meaningful insights on the team’s contribution and guide them in their future efforts using data and proven results.
Marketing Analytics is the process of identifying key indicators of marketing performance in line with business objectives, tracking those metrics over time, and using the results to improve performance. For instance, data gathered through marketing campaigns can help analyze the contribution of marketing efforts to traffic and conversions.
Data insights help discern patterns around consumer behavior, regional and creative preferences which are then used as inputs to decide the direction of future marketing efforts.
In the current marketing landscape, accurate analytics is key. The physical marketplace has upped its game and the virtual market is a global one. With numerous products and service offerings waiting to grab prospective buyers’ attention, marketing teams must rely on analytics to create targeted ads and campaigns.
Objectives and Key Results of Marketing Analytics
Marketing Analytics goes above and beyond the effective and efficient management of marketing campaign workflows. This approach leverages analytics at strategic points in the marketing campaign value chain for teams to extract more value from each campaign. Accurate and timely insights produced by advanced analytical techniques offer valuable support to organizations for streamlined decision-making.
This process begins from the planning stage, moves on to budgeting, and then ends with a final evaluation of the campaign’s success. This optimized approach helps businesses effectively allocate marketing budgets and reduce customer acquisition costs.
The adoption of Marketing Analytics helps teams and organizations achieve the following objectives and key results -
Customer Awareness and Engagement
Marketing Analytics helps drive customer awareness and engagement. Research shows that organizations demonstrating higher levels of analytical maturity have seen a marked advantage in their customer relationships with stronger engagement. This is because analytics can tell a lot about consumers and analytically mature organizations have their finger on the pulse of consumer preferences and trends. They use more data sources to find out -
Messaging that resonates with diverse segments
Products they are buying
Products researched by them in the past
Ads that are leading to conversions and which are being ignored
Using data from crucial sources namely, customers, vendors, regulators, competitors, and gleaning over a variety of data types such as mobile, social, and public data helps companies increase awareness around customer needs and engage them accordingly to gain a competitive edge over less analytically mature firms. It provides insights related to market intelligence that can prove critical in bagging new customers. For instance:
How do your marketing efforts compare to that of your competitors?
Is your competition benefiting from opportunities that you have missed?
Which media are driving the most sales?
What messages are resonating with your target audience?
Customer Cost Acquisition (CAC) is the true barometer for the efficacy of your customer acquisition strategy. Spiraling Customer Acquisition Costs are indicative of the challenges faced by businesses to prospect and acquire customers. Marketing Analytics provides deep customer insights from data to direct customer acquisition strategies and optimize marketing spend.
However, the basis for analysis is quality data related to your target audience available online and offline. This is very critical to understand their needs and wants and plays a huge role in customizing brand messaging and product positioning.
To gauge prospect responsiveness and influence your target audience, you must observe their behavior online and offline. Data avenues used for analysis include the following categories -
prospect’s purchase history
product usage patterns
social media engagement
specific product search on social media platforms
search data available on e-commerce platforms, product review, and pricing comparison sites
keywords entered in search engines
Quality data sourced and analyzed from these channels among others, help identify the strongest signals of intent and best sources for new customer acquisition.
Customer acquisition often tends to grab all the focus and resources, and in wanting to add new customers, organizations don’t pay as much attention to their existing customer base. This is a significant error in judgment because current customers make for a loyal community. Also, it is a well-known fact that acquiring new customers costs a lot more than retaining existing customers. Businesses are more likely to sell to an existing customer than to a new one.
Marketing a new product to your core customer base costs less than marketing to a new customer who’s never purchased from you before. Thus investing time in a retention strategy guided by data-driven insights can not only help retain existing customers but also turn them into brand loyalists and engaged communities.
a. Measure Existing Relationships:
Marketing analytics help measure existing relationships and provide insights that -
uncover purchasing patterns,
predict customer behavior,
indicate which marketing partners are contributing to your business
b. Measure Customer Experience (CX):
Analytics is also used to measure the customer experience by seeking customer-related data:
Is there positive feedback from existing customers?
Are they making referrals?
Are they renewing their plan?
Are they consuming the brand’s website content?
Are they following the brand’s social media pages?
These inputs provide insights into the overall customer experience and help improve customer satisfaction.
c. Track Customer Journey:
Marketing analytics help track the customer journey to discover aspects of the buying experience that require customer support and could use improvements. If you know which marketing efforts have the most impact, you will know which retention methods are working best.
Considered to be the ultimate metric, ROI accountability is a given for most functions within an organization. Marketing has not always resorted to this metric as a measure of its performance. While some marketers embrace ROI calculation and reporting to validate their work, others believe that influencing marketing decisions based on ROI could lead marketing’s true mission astray.
Marketing Return On Investment (ROI) is the process of measuring the impact of marketing initiatives on revenue earned and profits made by the business. Calculating marketing ROI enables organizations to measure the extent to which marketing efforts on the whole or based on individual campaigns, contribute to revenue growth. It is used to justify marketing spend for past and ongoing initiatives and budget allocation for upcoming campaigns and projects.
The use of Marketing Analytics to calculate marketing return on investment can objectively guide business decisions and optimize marketing costs and efforts using data.
Phrazor, an advanced analytics BI tool, uses Machine Learning, and Natural Language Generation capabilities to reduce your marketing analytics efforts and gives you precise results in a language you will understand. Lack of technical or data skills will not affect your team’s ability to access actionable marketing insights and recommendations when using Phrazor’s automated Marketing Analytics reports.
If you are interested in exploring a customized solution relevant to your firm
Srishti Mittal leads Solutions at vPhrase and partners with top executives to deploy analytics that solve complex business problems and help gain competitive advantage with data-driven decisions. She closely tracks innovations at the intersection of advanced analytics, artificial intelligence, machine learning, design thinking, and behavioral decision making. Over the last 14 years, Srishti has worked extensively with CXOs of Fortune 100 companies (Emerging Markets). Through her writing, she wants to help business and technology leaders harness the power of analytics to derive value from data.