Jun 5, 2015
In the advertising and marketing business we’re always talking strategy. Strategies to increase awareness, to promote consumer loyalty, build up brand image, introduce a new product, enter a new market, reach a new target – You name it, it needs a strategy. And the very best strategies can be found only through solid research and data analysis. Here is a quick guide to understanding the strategy-analytics connection and how to make the best use of your data.
The fate of any marketing or business campaign is decided long before it launches. But that should come as no surprise – the things you do behind the scenes invariably affect the outcome – and analytics are some of the best things you can do before implementing your plan of attack. Like a soldier undertaking a reconnaissance mission, gathering data and getting a feel for the current climate helps make sure that you are heading in the right direction, solving the right problems and implementing the right tactics.
Once you have collected your data, treat it like the valuable asset that it is. The worst thing you can do with it is nothing. The best thing you can do is turn the data into insights and turn those insights into something actionable: a strategy. This conversion process can be a struggle but it is imperative. Otherwise, all you have is a bunch of numbers, charts and graphs. Start by asking yourself, what is the data telling me and what can I do about it? Once you can see those numbers as the real life people and situations that they represent, insights and strategic ideas will start to form. But without these stats as a starting point, all you have to go on are your own observations and intuition – both of which are important but cannot do the job alone.
Defining a target market is the most crucial thing you can do when marketing your business and analytics can help you do that. Once you have formed a solid picture of your market, you can create a campaign that appeals to them specifically, making the absolute best use of your budget and getting the best possible return on your marketing investment.
A great example of this comes to us from the political world. No one would refute that politicians use some of the most pervasive market analysis techniques out there. Currently, we are heading toward another presidential primary where candidates will be nominated. In the campaign process to follow, each candidate will collect thousands of pieces of data on the American people in order to tailor their campaign message to the biggest possible group of voters they think they have shot at convincing – their swing group. You can better define your company’s swing group through similar methods.
Marketing analytics can help you form a strategy but it can also show you the effectiveness of that strategy once you have implemented it. Being able to judge how well a particular plan has worked by looking at its results is crucial. It can help you determine what adjustments need to be made going forward or if a return to the drawing board is in order.
We can get nowhere without the effort of analyzing where we are and how we can get to where we want to be. Marketing analytics are all about moving forward, taking stock of our current surroundings and trying to make them better. Without it, we are doomed to make the same mistakes – mistakes we very well may not even know we are making.
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