From pie charts to today’s dashboards everywhere, marketers cannot work without analytics. Marketing analytics have been in stay for decades. Digital analytics, however, has been the mainstream in recent years as everything goes online and digitalised. It has almost become a stand-alone craft.
Digital analytics gains the prominence largely due to the multitudes of the data and formats. In the good old days, a spreadsheet was sufficient to carry a company’s analytics. But in the digital era, a company’s analytics profile is complex. Website analytics alone using Google would have more than 200 metrics. What makes the situation more interesting is the speed of data creation and collection. Everything happens in real-time and a blink of eyes.
Despite the Four Vs of Big Data, digital analytics for marketing still falls in the realm of marketing analytics. This blog discusses the roles of digital analytics play in marketing to be useful for organisations. The roles are pretty straightforward.
Today marketers must understand their addressable markets quantitatively. They must measure new opportunities and the investment needed to realise them. Marketers must quantify the value of products, customers and distribution channels— all under various pricing and promotional scenarios. Increasingly, marketers are held accountable for the financial ramifications of their decisions. (p.2)
They summarised marketing metrics’ roles in organisations are to assess opportunities, performances, and accountability. But do not forget about risks.
Opportunities and risks
Digital analytics measures data collected internally and externally of organisations. Externally, the focus is mainly on consumers and competitions.
Consumer data enables businesses to understand consumer attitude and behaviours. Marketing decisions follow to engage and convert consumers into customers. The analytics work does not stop at monetising the insights. It continues to advise the efforts of customer relationship management.
Marketing analytics also help businesses manage risks. Social media monitoring is a common practice for firms to detect consumer sentiment. All social monitoring dashboards nowadays attempt to measure consumer sentiments to brands. A negative sentiment score would alert marketers to find issues and prevent them from becoming problems.
The ultimate purpose of identifying and measuring opportunities and risks is to set consequent marketing objectives, which are decisions to either take the opportunities or to walk around the risks.
Analytics measure how much results marketers have delivered. It is perhaps the biggest role that marketing analytics plays. Therefore the term KPI (key performance indicator) appears everywhere.
Monitoring performances relies mostly on internal data, for example, sales, revenue, and profit margin. Organisations tend to guard such data tightly unless they have to disclose, for example, the regular investor reports. Competitors crave for rival’s performance data. Marketing researchers and analyst value such data with the same level of interest.
Therefore it is unique for Clicademy to disclose its website performance data to assist the member’s learning of marketing analytics.
Performance data are significant by themselves. But they are even more meaningful when examined against objectives. This leads to the next role that analytics played.
Effective marketers deliver performances that meet or exceed objectives. Marketing objectives must be aligned with businesses’ ultimate objective which is to be profitable. In the old days when marketing was a side-kick of the sales function, marketing constantly needed to justify its expenses.
The contemporary definition puts marketing management in the central and ubiquitous position of a firms’ value creation and exchange with customers and other stakeholders. This does not alleviate marketers’ accountability to the financial ramifications of their decisions. What has been changed is the scope of the marketing objectives. They are no longer only to the quantifiable contributions to the sales numbers. Meeting the qualitative value creation and exchanges objectives, for example, managing a firm’s social citizenship, can also justify marketers’ accountabilities.
Down to the objectives
There is a common phrase which is “marketing objectives” to link up the three roles of digital analytics for marketing. A firm uses digital analytics to assess opportunities and risks, performances, and accountability of the marketing teams. They only make sense when there are meaningful and realistic objectives set and delivered.