A recent industry study valued analytics as a service market at US$4.23 billion in 2015, growing to US$23 billion in 2020. And with good reason.
Data and analytics help drive higher profitability, better cross-selling, superior customer experiences, and improved marketing ROI. What’s not to love?
Well for starters, this rush to adopt and invest in analytics-tracking hardware and software tends to ignore how the information in the systems is going to be used. The assumption that the sole act of tracking data makes your organization data-driven is inherently flawed and potentially destined for organizational disillusionment and program failure.
Data-driven marketing is so much more than the implementation of analytics-tracking software. It’s about changing organizational behavior and training marketing departments to become more data-driven and quantitatively aware. It’s about blending the talents of data analysts with quantitative and qualitative researchers, marketing strategists and campaign managers. And most importantly, it’s about digging into the WHY behind the data analytics you’re gathering and then reacting appropriately to the findings as an organization.
Data-driven marketing is a two-headed beast that only works when you fuse the high-value customer behaviour analytics with quantitative research into why the customers are behaving the way they are (think online surveys). It’s a three-step process, simplified below:
- Your analytics tell you what is (or isn’t) happening when researchers aren’t watching (customer behaviour)
- Surveys give you an explanation of why it’s happening through customer insight. Remember that correlation does not equal causation. Only this step can explain causation.
- Turn the data insights gathered through steps 1 & 2 into actionable shifts in marketing strategies and objectives.
Following the basic process? You’re on the right track. The reality is that today, an enormous gap still remains between the raw data collection and the rest of the process in many organizations.
So ask yourself: is your marketing organization shifting toward stronger quantitative practices? And if so, are you doing it the right way?