A report from the Harvard Business Review, sponsored by Google, hit my inbox the other day and quantifiably confirms that marketers who use data to inform and influence campaigns see the biggest payoff. A quote from the article that I really like is "the biggest challenge that companies face isn’t talent. It’s the ability to move from data to action." Getting buy-in from the top is key.
The types of Analytics the report considers, include:
1. Digital analytics, including customer journey analysis
2. Marketing analytics, including demand forecasting, attribution models, budget optimization
3. Customer analytics, including lifetime value, propensity to buy and segmentation
4. Sales analytics
5. Consumer surveys & research analytics
It's all well and good to measure and report after the fact, but we believe (and this paper proves) that using data prior to campaign execution promises an undeniable ROI. We are huge proponents of Google Analytics and have used it to unlock information about the customer journey, channel attribution, customer/audience data, and so much more.
What is key to measurement with any Analytics is knowing what counts as a true, valuable conversion. Once this is set up in a tool like Google Analytics, it's remarkably straightforward to trace the path (even down to the search query) that led to the purchase, sign up or lead, both on and off the website.
How can companies deepen customer relationships in the age of commoditization?
The report also said that "many companies are not gaining competitive advantage from analytics because they are still focused on product-centric strategies." Netflix is highlighted as being successful in turning the product-centric model on its head. Instead of casting a wide net like traditional cable companies, it has used viewer data to create series like House of Cards that fulfill the desires of their "best" customers, cementing the company's quality reputation.
Customer relationships are really important in healthcare (obviously), so HCA Healthcare's digital marketing team has used analytics to measure the impact of online marketing on new patient growth. Also, they use tools to analyze social chatter about their properties, leading to improvement in many areas from parking to patient accomodations. Measuring all of this has also empowered the digital marketing team to create replicable best practices in managing patient acquisition and satisfaction.
What to do with all this data?
The report has lots of great graphs and anecodotes about how companies are dealing with data, but we will end with a good point from the article: "Instead of building data science capabilities, companies often bring on increasing numbers of analytics specialists" This results in what Peter Fader from Wharton (University of Pennsylvania) calls a “data firehose”. Companies are beginning to understand this, moving data analytics specialists onto the BUs and teams that need specific data to drive marketing objectives and report success or pivot strategies. We are on board with this!
Our mantra has always been "measure what you need", so let us help you get on the right track. Get in touch.
See the whole report here.