28 May 2017
How important are data analytics to your online business?
We all navigate a sea of data every day, at any time, at any place. We also generate more data ourselves and varied information than ever. Why? Because we use the internet more and more and believe it or not… more!
In fact, around 49.6% of the entire worldwide population currently utilises the internet. Specifically, in Australia/ Oceania that number is even larger, at 68.1%.
These days, data comes in from everywhere: PCs, laptops, mobiles, social networks, search engines … literally anywhere, YOU NAME IT. It’s the very real and very scary Big Brother of this generation. Honestly, if George Orwell were alive today, he would’ve turned and run for the hills. Fortunately for him, he isn’t. Unfortunately for us, we are. And not only do we have to ‘deal with it’, we have to learn to navigate it, utilise it and use it to our own advantage. Which, truthfully is not all that hard if you know how to use it effectively.
In the current digital marketplace, competition is tough and businesses are continuously looking to reel in more customers on top of larger revenue. It’s for this reason that measuring marketing strategies and their effectiveness has become a fairly sizeable challenge. The rise of data analytics and fast data means analysts can more readily understand the client experience and adapt the appropriate selling strategy, accordingly. The evolution of omnichannel analytics (data from disparate channels) means online merchants can unify information from multiple sources and platforms and view a more holistic understanding of retail performance.
And, because of the demand for fast insights, data analytics plays a hugely vitol role.
Ever heard of the phrase, cognitive computing?
If you haven’t, don’t worry, I’m about to explain… Cognitive computing (CC) describes the technology platforms which are based on the principle of artificial intelligence and signal processing. Analytics is a super important component of digital intelligence and cognitive computing. By using statistics and predictive modeling techniques, it is able to find meaningful, recurring patterns in pre recorded data.
A variety of industries use data analytics to make relevant forecasts for their business: from financial services, healthcare and even insurance. Most of these industries have also developed their own personalized analytics platform to garner the greatest results.
What about for marketers?
When we focus on marketing and ecommerce, we tend to use the more specific term, ‘marketing analytics’. Marketing analytics measures business metrics (e.g : leads, traffic, leads, sales, and so on). This sort of less general data analytics, provides data from websites. However, it also reels in important data from various sources like emails and social media.
Call it ‘magic’ if you will, but this data is actually just a result of a bunch of powerful ‘geek’ experts coming together to create an unstoppable algorithm that is continually changing and evolving.
“Big Data is the biggest game-changing opportunity for marketing and sales since the Internet went mainstream almost 20 years ago”, said Forbes in 2013.
And they were right. 2017 has revealed itself to be a huge year for cognitive computing. Why? Because we are closely observing the rise of artificial intelligence and machine learning networks.
What is ‘big data’?
Some people believe ‘big data’ to be a fairly contemporary concept that only showed its face after the rise of technological and computerised processes.
Want to know something?
That’s just not the case. Before the term, ‘big data’ was popularized, companies already used large (a synonym of ‘big’) data, albeit fairly basically and manually, to find out more about their clientele and customer traits. This allowed for businesses to make forecasts and anticipate future trends.
However, the new benefits (and not the only benefits) that the modern ‘big data’ analytics brings to businesses has been speed and efficiency. Only just a few short years ago, businesses would have to laboriously gather all the information, and then run to data analytics and process that said compiled research and information. Today, these same businesses can identify predictions in less than a millisecond. This cuts decision-making down to just minutes.
Allowing businesses and organisations to work more speedily suddenly creates a vastly more competitive and dynamic marketplace. Today, data analytics allow businesses to trace the path of a user on the Internet down to the very last detail (or ‘last click’) by providing very precise information. This, of course, is all the more advantageous for digital marketers.
But then what are the major benefits of using data analytics in marketing?
According to Thomas H.Davenport, ex professor at Harvard Business School, marketing analytics enables marketers to make decisions on different scales:
Firstly, marketers can develop data analytics-based products and services for their clients. With People-Centric Data on the Customer Lifecycle, organisations can track how an individual prospect interacts with the business over time. How did they find your website ? How long did they spend on a certain page? What did they search for on your website? What does this information say about their interests?
That is only a small fraction of the questions analytics can answer. For example, Facebook’s ability to track users allows them to provide very specific customization targeting to business advertisers. This means services such as audiences with similar interests known as, ‘lookalike audiences’, people who have interaction with your biggest competitors, or people who meet a certain demographic target.
Secondly, marketers can make marketing decisions at different scale. For example, if they notice that users are not staying on pages of the site and that they leave the site, they can wonder on how to retain customers and what they can do to prevent that from happening.
With marketing analytics, marketers can measure the effectiveness of their marketing campaigns to improve the customer experience and grow their conversion rate by offering appropriately targeted content. It also allows digital marketers and businesses alike to identify issues in order to make adjustments to strategies and tactics. In turn, this creates larger ROI and greater overall business performance.
One of the biggest advantages of analytics is that the outputs are relevant and easy to understand. The data comes from interaction between the platforms and the users. That’s not too hard to get your head around, right? However, there are limits to using big data in digital marketing.
Here are some of the limits to be aware of:
The first point is not really a limit but rather a risk related to the use of big data in marketing. With strategic data analytics, strategic decisions have led to dramatic errors that have made headlines.
What’s the reason?
Some marketers tend to think that analytical marketing can make all the important decisions for them.
That’s definitely not true, and not how marketers should view it. Analytical marketing should not lead to automated decision-making, it should simply act as a guide in the decision-making process.
The second risk that follows the one just mentioned concerns the different sources of data, and where different information is sourced from. For example, it is extremely important not to limit research to just one data source. Relying on a single source is not only risky, it will not always be entirely accurate. Compiling more platforms will offer bigger insights and further accuracy.
For this reason, it is important to seek information from multiple platforms.
Finally, a problem with managing the platform is often a large one. A larger one than organisations and marketers anticipate. Errors can be caused by wrong implementation practises, for example an incorrect tracking code implementation or poor servers (In the case of Google Analytics, an out of order server for example). Making sure that everything is installed and tracking correctly is crucial. As time-consuming as this task can be, it is not one to be undervalued, and should certainly not be shoved off to someone who is inexperienced.
Marketing analytics has seen a strong development these last years, with the evolution of big data and artificial intelligence. Today, it is possible to track every detail of your web visitors and the way they interact with your website. They allow you to adapt your strategy to make it as profitable as possible, while investing in the most effective marketing efforts.
In recent times we have already seen a large number of companies taken down because they have not been able to successfully migrate into successful omnichannel companies. It is the retailers who have the ability to utilise data from all areas of their business to drive performance who will effectively separate themselves from the laggards and become the real retail winners. If you would like your business to be its most successful, put your trust in a certified digital marketing professional. Offloading to the experts means you are able to rely on someone who will confidently and effectively manage your website analytics to its fullest potential to help you to further understand not only who your customer is, but what your customer wants/needs. With over 15 years of ecommerce experience, acidgreen knows how to create successful marketing strategies to generate the highest conversion rates and provide the best ROI to our customers. Because we want your success, our agency uses data analytics to provide you key information that are crucial for your business and its development. You can trust our digital marketing experts who know how to correctly implement the correct parameters to effectively configure your analytics data.
Our company is an official Google Premier Partners which is the highest level attainable for online marketing specialists that have been trained and certified by Google. Technically, that means that the members of our team have the competencies to properly analyse data and provide you with the most effective solutions/approach to online marketing. Maximise your digital marketing now, and contact acidgreen today!
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