January 2016

Marketing Analytics Q&A: Learning from the Best Digital Agencies in New York!

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Learning from the Best Digital Agencies in New York!

 

Precise data & targeting capabilities

The first significant insight from meeting various Digital Agencies was the availability of different data sets, the merging of those data sets, and analysis to determine the best targeting capabilities for digital advertising. We would be able to target a potential buyer with certain demographic data who also shopped at a specific store, or bought a particular type of product. We could also reconcile POS (Point of Sale) data with advertising campaigns to determine accurate ROI.

The context depends on the established players in the market, the regulations regarding privacy and data handling, and the demand from businesses. The US has quite flexible laws regarding privacy and data handling, at least regarding cookies and the selling and consolidation of data points on consumers. Certain countries in the EU have very strict laws to protect consumers, and other markets which may have slightly stricter laws than the US may not have the market size to warrant investment in this area, or not as much demand from businesses at this stage.

Large players such as Google already enable demographic and affinity-based targeting through their display network, and this is expanding. Facebook is also making a play in this area, and there are some third party companies present. The learning for the majority of SMEs that read this is that there is already technology available to target your advertising more efficiently, and this is likely to increase and get better this year and beyond. I was impressed watching case studies and listening to various experts speak about how much companies could improve their performance by focusing on using the technology to target more efficiently and proactively learn from campaigns.

I’m waiting to see this attitude shift to other markets and enable businesses that take the lead to force others to invest in the technology and expertise, out of fear of being left behind and losing market share to competitors.

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“Customer first” focused experiences and marketing

In the past 12-18 months, I’ve noticed a shift in Australia to begin focusing on “Customer First”. Organisational roles such as “Customer Experience Officer” have started to appear in organisational charts, and I’ve seen various conferences dedicated to the cause of the customer.

The customer is important and always has been. So why the need to suddenly assign internal focus solely to the customer? My observations are that from a digital perspective, this has primarily been driven by competition, including a greater transparency of organisations through reviews, and other transparent real-time customer feedback online.

Technology has enabled us to interact with and direct specific offers towards existing customers. For example, here are a couple of examples I’ve seen just recently:

– Personalised offers via email and snail mail based on buying behaviour and previous purchases
– Customised personalised content and pricing based on being logged into the website or having visited recently
– Incentive based marketing such as coupons or high value offers based on a higher probability of a negative behaviour such as churning
– Value added content and other techniques to improve customer loyalty

Sure, some of these things may not seem new to you, and many have been around for several years. However, the adoption of technology by organisations appears to be driven by competition and the threat of having customers taken away by competitors. Despite the ability to use analytics to retain and delight the customer, the greater focus needs to be on providing greater value, and moving as far from a commodity as possible, to be distinguishable in more than dollars and cents.

Marketing Analytics Q&A: Analytics Battle Plan for 2016

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Analytics Battle Plan for 2016 (1)

 

I want us to get better with data in 2016. Where should we start?

I read some predictions that data will be one of the big trends in 2016 (I think I read that in 2015 too). Data is important, but it’s also quite a non-specific term without quite a bit of context.

I mostly work with website data, marketing data, and occasionally databases and other business data. Often, the biggest problems when undertaking a project is that the data we want isn’t available, or worse, is available but not reliable.

Often, when I’m speaking to a client about a data related project, I will mention that they need to begin collecting some additional data before a project could go ahead. Practically, one way to determine if you are collecting the right data is to undertake measurement planning. A measurement plan is basically a plan that outlines what data you need to collect, how you will collect it, and how it will be used.

A measurement plan will usually relate to a particular system such as a website, a database, or another sort of information system. The simplest measurement plan is just answering the following example questions with some short answers:

– What information do we need to collect?
Further details about the source of phone sales inquiries.
What is the purpose of collecting this information?

For analysis later with other sales data.

How will understanding this data improve my business?
Yes, we can understand more about what our customers call us about and how we can provide more value.

How will we store this information?

Excel or CRM system.

How often will we analyse this information?

Quarterly.

Sometimes it’s a good idea to hire an external firm to do this for you. You’d want to hire an external company if you were not an expert in the system you were looking to collect data for, or you wanted deeper answers to the above questions than you could come up with yourself.

So if you want to get better with data in 2016, start off by creating a measurement plan for your business, and think about how you can use data to improve your business.

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What can I do to ensure we get better results from our website this year?

The fastest way to improve your site this year is to understand what objectively happened last year. By results I assume we are talking about conversions, the business generated, etc.

When we look at improving website results we are seeking to understand:

a) Why would your potential customers come to your site?
b) What information are they looking for?
c) What device are they accessing your website from?
d) What marketing channels are bringing in the right kids of people, what can we do to improve this?

In my experience, the fastest way to do this is to analyse or have someone interpret your web analytics data such as Google Analytics, and draw conclusions.

Walter Analytics offers the Marketing Opportunities Report, which does this and answers critical business questions.

The analysis helps you understand what channels to prioritise, what website changes you might make, and actionable recommendations to help you make your site convert better.

If you’d like a specific recommendation for your site, just send us an email, and I’ll provide you with some pointers.