It used to be that only the most sophisticated marketing departments were heavy analytics users. Today, with the proliferation of marketing contact options and their associated data volume, analytics are a must for every business. The days are gone where you can hope to understand your customers and their interactions solely via reports, spreadsheets, and human intuition; according to Gartner Group, “By 2017, a CMO will spend more on IT than the CIO.”
The good news is that sophisticated analytics have never been more accessible; more user friendly software and innovations like cloud computing have greatly reduced the cost, implementation time, and skill level barriers. You can implement a solution and produce actionable results in days or weeks not months or years, and any business user with data knowledge and Excel proficiency can produce significant results.
Analytically, you must be able to rapidly adjust to business changes — new channels, data sources, programs, etc. — and answer questions like:
- Who are your best customers and what portion of total revenues and profits do they represent?
- Which customers prefer which marketing channels and how should that influence your marketing plan?
- How many contacts do different customer segments really need to produce the same revenues?
- How many of your customers are really engaged in your email marketing and how many have informally opted out and ignore you?
- What is the long-term value of a new customer, and therefore, how much can you afford to spend to acquire customers?
- What is the marketing treatment profile for existing customers? Does everyone get everything?
- What data best predicts customer performance?
- What is your customer profile by segment based on purchase behavior, web browsing behavior, email behavior, demographics, lifestyles, and more?
If a broad segment of your business users aren’t equipped to answer these types of questions or your current analytics platform can’t be easily modified to keep up with changes in the business, you need a new solution.