Explore the Strategy of Analytical Marketing
Best Buy, well-known as a consumer electronics retailer, is also a pioneer in analytical marketing practices. Since 1997, the company has recorded consumer data from its everyday dealings with customers, helping Best Buy transform itself into a successful business driven by analysis.
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Companies today track their customers’ preferences, keeping data on their likes, retweets, check-ins and other shared content on social networking services. They can also see which websites customers visited most often and for the longest amount of time.
This data yields important insights into how consumers interact with companies and each other, allowing businesses to make smarter and more calculated decisions. By taking into account what customers do (or don't) buy, and collecting data about their online and offline lives, businesses are better able to cater to individual consumers.
Analytical marketing provides information that businesses in multiple industries can leverage to their advantage. Most companies who offer email lists, newsletters, or customer loyalty programs collect information about their consumers to build large databases. They use these databases to create sortable lists that inform their business decisions going forward. (See also Closed-loop Marketing)
Marketing analytics has grown in importance for businesses in all industries. In a February 2012 CMO Survey, it was found that companies with less than $25 million currently allocate 4.8 percent of their marketing budgets to marketing analytics. Companies with sales revenues of $10 billion or more currently spend 7.3 percent of their marketing budgets on marketing analytics. In three years, these percentages are expected to jump to 7.3 and 10.8 percent, respectively.
Analytical marketing is also used by non-profits hoping to better attract donors and raise awareness in more effective ways.
MyCokeRewards.com is one way that Coca-Cola has connected with its younger customers. By offering promotions and catering to the online lifestyle of this customer base, Coca-Cola has effectively been able not only to connect with its younger customers, but also use the site to gather more data about them and to treat them as individuals, which is what today’s tech-savvy consumers want. Between 2007 and 2008, the site increased the number of its visitors about 13,000 percent.
(Source: SAS -Turning Customer Data into Analytical Marketing Fuel)
Non-profit organizations use analytical marketing tactics to track current, past and potential donors, stakeholders, and interested or uninterested potential donors. For example, a non-profit might be able to determine it is not getting donations from IP addresses in a certain area of the country, but people in other areas donate regularly.
Analytical marketing techniques are most effective with tech-savvy consumers who sign up for email marketing lists and choose the kinds of information they want to receive.
This customer base also want to see their interests reflected on websites, customized to their particular needs or wants. Consumers today have the freedom to compare reviews, prices, features, products and services online, allowing businesses to easily track how often these customers talk about them and what they say on different websites. This allows for smoother adjustment when using consumer feedback to create a positive customer service experience.(See also Real-Time Marketing)
Customers who are not as digitally connected can also be used for analytical marketing, but it is not as easy to track their preferences and habits. Surveys, questionnaires and other, more traditional, analytical marketing techniques can help discover what makes them buy, or not buy, certain products or services.
An analytical marketing plan begins by gaining insight into a business’ customers. Analytical strategists need to decide what they want to know from customers, manage and organize the data, and create customer profiles to gain insight. Companies can then predict consumers’ behavior from their data.
The second part of developing and implementing an analytical marketing plan is to manage customers’ interactions with a business in such a way that the customer is the center of all communications. The channels through which a customer can communicate with a company have multiplied dramatically in the last 15 years. Some of them include live chat, social networking sites, company blog and white papers, industry fairs, visits to the store, email, the company website, the call center, or old-fashioned letters. Businesses must tailor each message they send to customers in any of these mediums according to their individual and group preferences. (See also Personalized Marketing)
Finally, businesses constantly seek to improve their marketing strategies using data gained from analytical marketing. If a marketing strategy did not provide a successful return, revisiting the data and assumptions drawn from it is vital to renegotiating or creating future campaigns if they are to be profitable. Results of marketing campaigns must be clearly tied to data streams for future reference. Each customer transaction and interaction is an important piece of the marketing puzzle, and tracking the data to improve tomorrow’s performance should be a priority.
What do they do?
Marketing specialists and analysts regularly utilize analytical marketing to improve their companies’ competitiveness. Analytical marketing is not always tracking customers’ online behavior regarding a certain company or product.
Marketing specialists and analysts also design and use surveys, polls, questionnaires, literature reviews and focus groups to collect data that enables them to watch and predict sales and marketing patterns. They also determine how successful marketing programs and plans have been. Using information about competitors’ pricing, customers, and sales strategies, marketing specialists can better design a marketing program for their own customers.
Another aspect of marketing specialists and analysts’ work is translating what they find into usable information for high-level executives. They write reports with charts, graphs and other visual material to make it easier and faster to convey the main trends in their findings. They may also do the same for lower-level managers who make everyday decisions in the company. With the information they gather about competitors and customers, marketing specialists can help executives identify possible markets, determine pricing, demand and how to best market the company’s products or services.
Education and Experience
Marketing specialists typically have at least a bachelor’s degree. Higher-level positions require a master’s degree. Marketing specialists and analysts may have a wide variety of undergraduate and graduate degrees. Math, computer science, statistics, market research, business administration, communications and social sciences that explain how people think are useful subjects.
Furthermore, having internship or work experience in sales, marketing and business is important in finding a marketing specialist or analyst position. Also, possessing a Professional Researcher Certification from the Marketing Research Association demonstrates a high level of skill in marketing to future employers. This certification requires three years of related work experience and passing an exam. In addition, marketing specialists and analysts with this certification must continue to take professional development classes regularly and renew every two years.
These salaries are for careers that utilize analytical marketing on a regular basis.
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What do they do?
Marketing managers design marketing campaigns to interest potential customers in a certain product or service. They consult with department managers in areas like public relations, product development and sales. Most importantly, they use analytical marketing data to help them create their marketing programs, and they handle advertising contracts and pricing. Marketing managers also determine demand and identify possible new markets.
Education and Experience
A bachelor’s degree is the minimum education required for most marketing manager positions. Some positions may require a master’s degree or equivalent work experience in marketing, advertising, sales or promotions.
At the master’s degree level, many complete marketing research degrees. However, graduate marketing or statistics degrees in addition to MBAs are also helpful to have. A master’s degree is particularly important for marketing manager positions that conduct highly-detailed research.
What do they do?
Promotions managers use data from analytical marketing to help them develop promotions that will encourage segments of a business’ customer base to purchase its products or services.
Email newsletters with sales advertisements, Internet ads, special events, direct mailings, samples, rebates, contests, discounts, sweepstakes and special events are some of the ways promotions managers generate business for a company. They know how to tailor these methods to individuals and small customer groups to create more sales.
Education and Experience
Promotions managers, like marketing managers, should have at least a bachelor’s degree. While some positions require a master’s degree in marketing, business or a related area, 3-5 years of relevant work experience is generally required to be a promotion manager.
Attending a school with programs in marketing will put you ahead of candidates with degrees in related fields. Earning a bachelor’s degree in a social science, for example, can help you find a job as a marketing specialist or manager. However, having a solid understanding of the mathematical, business, analytical and technical skills and concepts required to perform these jobs is best received in a specialized marketing program.
Analytical marketing is about numbers, trends, patterns and understanding how these numbers relate to customers. It is a skill you will learn best in a marketing program. With a formal education in analytical marketing, you will be well-prepared to use it in your first marketing job.
Moreover, marketing-related networking is easier when you enroll in a marketing program. You have the chance to participate in college career fairs, internships, externships and get to know your marketing instructors. A school with a marketing program has contacts with businesses and organizations that want marketing interns and employees. As an intern, you will likely practice using analytical marketing and experience first-hand how it relates to the marketing decision making of a real organization.
Professionals using analytical marketing must be logical and methodical. Details must stand out to them as well as the bigger picture. Trends and patterns must emerge easily from the numerous sources of data through which they sift regularly. They must also have strong problem solving skills and the creativity necessary to design surveys and promotions as needed. (See also Careers in Marketing)
Communication and interpersonal skills are also important in these positions. Working with colleagues, clients and the public occurs on a regular basis. Marketing and promotions managers must also be confident and knowledgeable decision makers and have good management skills.