by Monica Paici, Internal Marketing Director, PIN Business Network
I was re-reading our manifesto this morning and contemplating its meaning. No, really, I was. First, what’s PIN’s manifesto? It is an anthemic narrative of who we are as a company and what we do. It’s a beautiful combination of words that reflect our “why” or reason for being. There’s a statement within it that read… “Data without purpose is just that, data—taking up space and unusable. What we do with it and how we harness it, can make all the difference in the pressure keg of building, growing and protecting business.”
So, what is data WITH a purpose and how do we find it, use it and, of course, measure it? This is where we enter the world of analytics. So many companies have thousands of data points at their fingertips, but no way to make that data actionable. Analytics gives us the power to make the data meaningful and contribute to the bottom-line.
We call it “Data Science” and data scientists take all this information we collect both on and offline, and make sense of it through complicated, intense and insightful analytics. Digital analytics has been around for years. Think Google Analytics. The dashboards and reporting display how, where and for how long viewers interact with your website. All digital platforms have dashboards. Even offline advertising uses metrics to tell you who is watching, listening and reading. I think we can all agree that without these dashboards aggregating all the data, we wouldn’t have a clue what was working and what was not.
Analytics make it possible to find “customer ‘needles’ in a sea of haystacks.” Wading through all the data and making sense of it is a daunting task. Gone are the days of decision making purely based on demographic targets. The amount of information each of us reveals to the world every day is astounding. Every purchase we make, every web page we visit, every social media interaction leaves a trail, providing a window into our wants, thoughts and behavior. The layers of data are useful only if they can be aggregated, analyzed and made actionable. By using analytics, we can’t predict future behavior, but we can interpret the data and determine the propensity or the likelihood of certain actions, choices and potential purchases. Analytics also makes it possible to use data to find “look-a-likes” that may react or be receptive to similar messaging as our current customers.
Thanks to the cloud and the advancement of business intelligence, data and analytics are more accessible than ever. According to Forrester’s Global Business Technographics Marketing Survey, 2016, “Seventy-one percent of B2C marketing decision-makers surveyed reported that increasing the use of data and analytics is a top priority for them over the next 12 months.” Unfortunately, the same study revealed that “only 28% of B2C marketers reported that customer analytics insights are applied to campaign and media planning today.” With the help of data mining and analytics, you can separate yourself from your competition, grow your customer base and ultimately make your business more profitable.