Friday, May 8, 2015

Agency Execs: 3 Advices for Being a Smart Analytics Firm

It is clear that the coming of Big Data era has changed the marketing landscape a lot. According to the data from CMOSurvey.org, marketers are predicted to increase their budget on marketing analytics by 83% over the next 3 years, which is for sure a great news for marketing analytics firms. But have you been prepared for it? As a M.S candidate in the Integrated Marketing Communications program at Medill School of Journalism, I believe the following 2 article will help you gear up to be a smart analytics firm.

In the article "The Value of Big DataIsn’t the Data", Kristian J. Hammond provides us with a new thinking about how to make value out of data, which is really important to marketing analytics. He suggests that we should try to turn data into a story and argues that the starting point has to be the story (or the communication) itself, which defines the data needs. Marketers or analysts should pay attention to how to turn the data collected into a story instead of just exposing or displaying it. And in his article, he defines the overall analytics flow, which goes from data to fact to angle to story to language.

(Source: https://hbr.org/)

In the article "Big Data Driven Marketing Analytics Invades the Enterprise", the author also provides some suggestions on how to be a smart analytical guy. On the one hand, he/she reminds marketing analysts not to neglect pre-purchase behaviors data by saying that studying and analyzing the development of customer decisions prior to a particular purchase can unravel potential customer winning strategies. On the other hand, he/she calls on to strengthen the link between technology and marketing expertise by pointing out the issue that marketing departments have to serve as advisors to their technology peers.

Based on the two articles discussed above, my graduate education as well as my working experience in marketing research firm, here are three advices for becoming a smart analytics firm:
  • Conceive Story first - Think of the story you want to tell before collecting data and analyzing data.
  • Focus on Pre-purchase - Study and analyze the data concerning the development of customer decisions prior to a particular purchase, instead of just digging the purchase behavior data.
  • Think skill set - It's O.K. to have marketing guys along with statisticians, but it would be even better to have someone who is expert in both marketing and analytics join the firm.
Being a smart analytical firm means doing things effectively and efficiently. Think of the story you want to tell before heading toward data things. By doing this, you will have a clear mind of what data needs to be collected and what analysis needs to be done, which greatly lift the efficiency of marketing analytics. Spending efforts on pre-purchase data instead of only on post-purchase data can unravel potential customer winning strategies as well as protect existing customers from the prying eyes of competition, which effectively adds value to client’s business. Finally, it is crucial not to separate marketing with analytics. While more and more companies set direct link between marketing and technology departments, it is time for analytical firms to equip its analyst with both expertise.



Qimin Wu is a MS candidate in the Integrated Marketing Communication program at Northwestern University. He is now pursing the track of marketing analytics as well as digital and interactive marketing. He has a good command of quantitative analytical tools and has considerable experience in applying these tools for solving real problems. Before he came to this program, he had worked for 3 years as an analyst in Shanghai Sinotes Consulting Co., Ltd., which is a major market research partner of China Mobile and Lenovo. Please connect with him on Twitter (@QiminWu111) for more information.




















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