Analytics investments need a little analysis
Raise your hand if you haven’t felt any pressure regarding marketing analytics. With so much money being invested in digital marketing tools and techniques, there’s growing pressure from the top to justify those investments with hard data that you’re getting some bang for the buck.
One survey indicates 80% of CEOs don’t trust and aren’t impressed by their marketing teams! So there’s obviously a vast credibility gap that needs to be filled, and a rush by technology vendors and venture capitalists to cash in on that very poignant marketing pain point.
As VentureBeat reported, “A new research report on marketing analytics shows that brands plan to increase their spending on the category by a whopping 73 percent over the next three years. For big market cap B2C companies, it’s closer to a 100 percent increase.” VCs have invested more than $1 billion in these segments so far this year.
Jen Spencer asserts in an Entrepreneur column that few marketers would admit to having a good handle on their analytics. “Despite the feverish efforts to invest in marketing analytics, the lay-marketer is still struggling to get a grasp on which metrics to track,” she says.
The problem is there is just too much data available. Teradata Corp, the big data analytics and marketing applications company, issued a global report on the state of big data analytics that found 90% of surveyed firms are investing in bid data analytics. at a medium to high level. But half indicated that adopting a data-driven culture is the largest barrier.
If data is good, then more data must be better, right? For the most part I’d have to agree. Data and data analytics are transforming marketing at a rapid rate. But overly relying on data without a clear strategy on how or why you’re putting it to use is not healthy.
In a LinkedIn post, Justin Pugsley makes a good case that marketers may be paying too much attention to data and not enough to emotion. “Though data can reveal amazing insights and even exciting new business opportunities the very crucial role of emotion should not be overlooked,” he argues. “Combined they can be very powerful and if nothing else data can help validate the emotional positioning or even uncover what it should be.”
That’s an interesting perspective: relying overly on data to understand your market can make you detached from what drives your target prospects!
Another potential error is using analytics for the wrong reasons. If, instead of utilizing data to uncover market opportunities, you’re using it to justify your professional existence to the boss, then you may well have lost your way.
It may be time to step back a bit, and I don’t mean giving up on analytics. Rather, focus on how and what you’re using those tools for. If you’re trying to get into the mind of a specific target audience or impressing top executives, mounds of data may not always be the right choice.
Instead, narrow your focus a little bit, identify a manageable chunk of prospects and utilize prospect surveying to develop qualitative information that you can analyze on that human, emotional level.