Today, consumers are constantly exposed to, and able to interact with, a brand’s ads, communications, and experiences across multiple digital channels. This information can enable marketers to enhance the consumer-brand relationship, influence customer behaviors, and more. Each interaction creates valuable opportunities for marketers. But connecting this data is not an easy process — and current concerns about privacy only compound issues.
By examining how consumers behave individually and collectively, as well as why their behavior patterns change, marketers can better track key performance indicators, better known as KPIs, across campaigns and audience segments. Marketing analytics are the key to achieving this level of consumer understanding.
The ability to identify a unique customer across all channels will help create a 360-degree customer profile. This profile enables marketers to understand, and focus on, what the customers want. There are two main steps to this process: 1) tracking customer interactions by marketing analytics; and 2) deciding relevant action for each interaction.
Marketing analytics can help with this process in three ways — each of them integral to the process.
1. Marketing analytics makes matching data with the customer possible.
Technology is making data more accessible than ever before. Marketing analytics uses internal and external data to give marketers a broader view of what is happening within the customer base. The wealth of data collected from various sources is only useful if you can create analytics systems that allow you to combine it into a single view and match it back to unique customers. What’s more, the analytics system should refresh periodically to ensure the customer’s profile is up-to-date with recent brand interactions.
Analytics can also help marketers follow individual customers across media and channels. Such capabilities are now an essential part of what marketers need to stay ahead in the game.
2. Marketing data allows a story to be told.
A well-implemented analytics solution should be able to tell a consumer behavior story that makes sense and compels a call-to-action. It should convey this story in a concise manner and clearly communicate what actions are necessary. Each metric it identifies will be a part of this story.
For example, an open rate will show how effective a subject line is and click-through rate will provide results on the email content.
One metric that tracks customer behavior more holistically is the click-to-open rate (CTOR). CTOR identifies how a customer behaves once they receive and open an email, allowing marketers to identify key customer insights. By tracking consumer behavior using demographic segments (e.g. age, gender, location), behavior segments (e.g. response activity, CTOR), and transactional segments (e.g. past purchases, average order value), marketers can offer more relevant content to customers.
Marketers can also design a powerful story that explains how consumers interact with email content and what factors influence these engagements. This helps create more data-driven marketing campaigns that will resonate with their audience.
3. Data signals consumer behavior.
Marketers should be on the lookout for indicators that customers are ready to engage and design campaigns that are capable of rapidly responding to these signals. This requires advanced analytics that can apply the latest in machine learning to spot and/or anticipate customer intent sooner than competitors. Advanced analytical models like product recommendations, customer lifetime value, and the propensity to open, click, or buy can improve such predictions, allow marketers to better optimize programs, identify what the intent is, and act accordingly. The whole concept is to create a scenario where subscribers are looking forward to a brand’s message because it keeps them interested — ultimately allowing the brand to gain consumer trust.
But alas, all data is not equal. The most important metrics are the ones that pertain directly to one’s business goals — whether that means growing subscriber lists, improving conversions, or selling more products. These metrics will give a good idea of how relevant and engaging campaigns are for subscribers. Utilizing every consumer interaction and analyzing the type of marketing action gives brands a competitive edge.
The hallmark of effective marketing is the ability to deliver the right message to the right person at the right time via the right channel. And, in turn, driving intended results. The key to achieving this — and creating the best possible customer experience — is simple: marketers need access to a best-in-class marketing analytics solution.