Are You Driven by Data?

By Erin DittmanDirector of Organizational Performance + Insights, OBI Creative

In the world of marketing, data is king. It’s our most powerful tool — but it means nothing if we don’t know how to use it to our advantage.

Analytics aren’t just numbers. They’re the best source of knowledge about our customers’ needs and behaviors. And they’re an important guide for marketing to those who will use their services or buy their products. When you boil it down, data analytics is the process of collecting, processing and analyzing sets of raw data to identify patterns and correlations so you can turn them into actionable insights.

Why Do Marketers Need Data Analytics?

Access to data is becoming easier and more common every day. The amount of data generated by businesses and consumers alike continues to grow, and in turn, so does the importance of data analytics in marketing. Incorporating data analytics into your plan allows you to better understand how customers interact with brands — helping you make more informed decisions and personalize your strategy to the right target audiences.

Data analytics is crucial for gleaning those valuable insights, and informing the decisions we make for our customers. It helps us keep track of our performance so we can continue to push boundaries and improve day in and day out. By taking advantage of data analytics, we can:

  • Improve efficiency and productivity.
  • Enhance financial performance.
  • Identify and create new product and service revenue.
  • Improve customer acquisition and retention.
  • Enhance the customer experience.
  • Create a competitive advantage.

As marketers, we should be driven by research and results — both impossible without data. And lots of it. Data analytics allows us to gain a deeper understanding of our clients and their consumers’ behavior, preferences and trends. This helps us craft targeted, personalized campaigns and messages that resonate with the right audience, ultimately leading to improved engagement and conversions. It helps us be the best strategic partner possible for our clients and make the decisions that will help them reach their goals, with the numbers to back them up.

The Four Key Types of Data Analytics

1. Descriptive Analytics

Focusing on the question, “What happened?” This type of analytics is the simplest and lays the foundation for other kinds of analysis. By allowing you to pull trends from raw data and describe what happened, descriptive analytics provides a comprehensive view of historical data and events, offering crucial insights into consumer interactions and campaign performance.

2. Diagnostic Analytics

Moving beyond understanding what happened, ask the next logical question, “Why did this happen?” Diagnostic analytics compares coexisting trends and movements to uncover correlations between variables and determine relationships wherever possible. A useful tool for getting to the root of a client’s obstacles, we can use diagnostic analytics to uncover the causes behind specific outcomes — enabling us to address them and use them to inform our strategy.

3. Predictive Analytics

Used to make predictions about future trends or events, predictive analysis answers the question, “What’s likely to happen in the future?” This type of analytics uses historical data, current industry trends and advanced techniques to forecast future trends and consumer behaviors. By identifying patterns and potential outcomes,we can proactively tailor our strategies to align with these anticipated changes.

4. Prescriptive Analytics

Prescriptive Analytics aims to answer the question, “What should we do next?” This form of analysis accounts for all the possible factors in a scenario and suggests actionable next steps — making it especially useful for data-driven decision-making. As marketers, we can leverage prescriptive analytics to make informed decisions and optimize our strategies for maximum impact.

Shifting to a Data-Driven Mindset

Implementing these four types of data analytics into our marketing strategies empowers us to make better, data-driven decisions, leading to more precise targeting, better resource allocation, enhanced campaign performance — you name it.

In today’s digital world, collecting and analyzing data isn’t just an option, it’s the expectation. If you’re working to shift to a more data-driven strategy, it’s crucial to embrace a mindset that understands and values the power of data analytics. By converting raw data into actionable insights, you can gain a deeper understanding of your customer’s behaviors and preferences and feel empowered to make bold decisions that make you the best strategic partner possible — creating the competitive edge we’re all looking for.

By Erin Dittman, Director of Organizational Performance + Insights, OBI Creative