With COVID-19 impact, can 2021 be the year of marketing analytics enabling major transformation?
The impact of COVID-19 on the global economy and businesses has made 2020 the most memorable year in recent history. With changing consumer demands and behavior, brands had to digitize their marketing strategies while ensuring smooth experiences and interactions with their target audience. Meanwhile, with hopes of reverting to pre-COVID business practices heavily dependent on a vaccine, the length of this downturn remains uncertain. This means brands will continue relying on digital channels to connect with the customers. Therefore, last year has been an inflection point, as business started leveraging marketing analytics to understand and act on the new normal.
According to SAS, marketing analytics comprises the processes and technologies that enable marketers to evaluate the success of their marketing initiatives – using metrics like ROI, marketing attribution and overall marketing effectiveness. It achieves this by collating data from across all marketing channels and consolidates it into a common marketing view.
Today, marketing sector is in the midst of exciting change. Employing marketing analytics is given – but with new horizons. 2020 was about identifying customer’s expectations, reaching touchpoints, improving efficiency and reducing costs through the automation of certain processes and the elimination of error. And the prolonged crisis due to pandemic will bring the opportunity for further progress. Earlier marketing brands compiled and collected data on buying and selling trends in a specific area, traffic, demographic information, consumer survey results, and more. Then they analyzed those datasets to gain insights on pricing, purchase behavior, and product value, and forecast future patterns. This wasn’t limited to physical footprints but also applied on e-commerce and other online services too.
Since, businesses have gone digital last year, in 2021, marketers will focus on investing in direct relationships with their customers. As emotion is a key factor shapes customer behavior and has a strong influence on brand loyalty, marketers will rely on emotional analytics tools (predictive and sentiment analytics) to comprehend the diverse range of human emotions including mood, attitude and personality. While it is well known that businesses today revolve their brand strategies around customers, so why not use customer oriented data for personalized services? Emotional analytics can help marketers build a more inclusive customer profile, understand how to use emotions as stimulus and develop customized product and services tailored to individuals.
Apart from customers acting as arbiters of value, optimization of online customer experience will also go mainstream. This will lead in improved engagement, retention, and satisfaction. Further online media data based marketing analytics are much easier to track and measure. When used by pairing with social listening analytics, it will help brands know what good service looks like online, or via social media.
Gartner predicts that by 2023, 25% of organizations will amalgamate marketing, sales and CX into a single function. Today, marketers are more curious to understand every touchpoint and channels, at an aggregate level, contributes to sales and other KPIs. This is possible by carrying data analysis using a variety of methods and models depending on the KPIs being measured. Hence, we can expect marketers to switch to market mix modelling. This transition also helps in adhering to privacy concerns too. For instance, if a user or customers prefers not opting for third party apps to use app or browser cookies, in that situation, marketer may experiment with other methods that can illustrate how online interaction affect sales or use untraceable advertising like TV and out-of-home.
In other words, business brands may merge the aggregate level data derived from traditional methods such as marketing mix modeling with individual user-level data derived from newer approaches such as multi-touch attribution. This shall help them discover which components of their marketing strategy are contributing to sales and how they should optimize their budget allocations and future strategies for maximum ROI and growth.