You need data. As a marketer, you know the more information you have, the more likely you are to make a sale. And, that’s what it’s all about. Nowadays it seems like the world is being overrun with information. Collecting it is a big job but figuring out how to use it all can be difficult.
Luckily, there are technologies and tools to make it simple. All you have to do is learn how to integrate marketing data science in your growth strategy.
The Rise of Big Data and Marketing Data Science
The rise of big data has been coming for some time. In the past decade, information has been collected and transmitted at a pace never seen before. And, it is still picking up steam. Estimates put the rate of increase at forty percent per year with no slowing in sight. It has created a role in almost every professional field and has become the backbone of data science.
So, what exactly is big data?
Simply put, it is an assembly of information too huge for traditional data processors to handle.
So big, that storage becomes the only limiting factor. And, large enough to reveal very accurate predictions when used correctly. In the coming years, big data will be a powerful force for those able to integrate it into digital growth.
As this treasure trove of information becomes available, industries of all types are recognizing the value in big data and investing in ways to harness its power. From diagnostic applications in the medical field to crime fighting algorithms in law enforcement, big data is partnering with a diverse array of leaders to change the way decisions are made in the modern world.
The real value in crunching enormous numbers is found in the patterns these massive data sets uncover. Identifying trends has long been a talent valued highly in the marketing world but accuracy was sometimes hit or miss. Ten thousand samples used to be a quality data set. Now, that number can easily be in the millions. With such a large population, outliers are more easily weeded out and true predictive analysis occurs.
This is the heart and soul of machine learning and artificial intelligence. Computers backed by so much data they can anticipate what happens next and see far into the future. It’s real and it’s here. All it takes is the right tools and access to the right data.
Better Analytics and Automation Through Marketing Data Science
Two areas in which marketers should be seeking immediate integration are analytics and automation. Both are on the brink of exploding with new innovation and could very well change the face of marketing as we know it.
The biggest advantage analytics in the age of big data gives you is the ability to produce predictive analysis. Reactive evaluation will have to take a back seat to accurate forecasting with the ability to maximize ROI and stretch your budget. The challenge will be filtering the vast amount of information available and spending time and energy on what is useful and what is going to help drive activity.
The speed with which big data moves will change the way you evaluate performance and make adjustments to campaigns. Automation can now react in real time, connecting instantly to customers and leads when they are ready to receive your offers. In order to stay current and make the most of the tools now available, automation must be a priority. Without these processes, too many opportunities will be missed and a workforce operating without significant automation will be overwhelmed and left behind.
It’s not enough just to have access to all this information. The real questions are how can it be used, what areas lend themselves to integration, and where will resources be used best. With artificial intelligence driving marketing today, integrating data science to drive growth - from predicting MROI to data-driven lead generation - has never been easier.
Better analytics combined with the ability to learn in real time enables you to gain insight into new markets, explore different market segments, and take an honest look at your marketing efforts and where they can be improved. Using marketing data science to identify and create new strategic opportunities, business intelligence builds smarter tools with the ability to receive and interpret increasingly complicated data.
Predictive Marketing ROI
Having a clear understanding of your marketing ROI is a huge benefit when evaluating your efforts or deciding where to invest resources next. Enhanced analytics takes the guesswork out. By using tools such as data mining, key audience segments, and database marketing you can have a clear understanding of what to expect from every dollar you commit.
More Accurate Buyer Personas
The quest for more accurate buyer personas will never end. With big data analytics and readily available social network behavior building the perfect customer avatar is within reach. Plus, with enhanced automation, you can use what you have learned to act in real time and build relationships far stronger than ever before with even better results. When you dial in your buyer personas you can’t help but increase your MROI. It’s almost like fishing in a stocked pond.
Data-Driven Lead Generation
Accurate and reliable data will help generate leads and respond to the needs of your prospects throughout the buyer's journey by predicting lead behavior and anticipating tough questions before they are asked. Staying one step ahead is the best way to secure trust and establish the relationship you want. And, you know it will work because you have mountains of data to back it up.
Competitor Data Analysis
You spend a lot of time and energy trying to understand your customer. Why not use some of those resources figuring out what your competitors are up to? It is a great way to understand your market more completely and see first-hand what your prospects are being offered and how you can differentiate yourself from the pack. Data mining, website and SEO data, social network behavior, and paid ads will all contribute actionable information to be analyzed and acted upon in this area.
Predictive Customer Lifetime Value
You can stop arguing about your cap on customer acquisition costs. An accurate predictive customer lifetime value will make that debate unnecessary. Data from web site traffic, historical customer purchases, behavioral data, website actions, and demographics can all be combined to give you a cash value that you can rely on. And, it will make it even easier to ignore the quarterly reports and focus instead on the long-term relationships that mean more in the end.
You can’t send the same offer to every person on your master list and expect to keep your numbers up. Segmentation allows for short and long-term strategies and personalized workflows for every step of the journey. No way a human is going to sort through ten thousand names looking for similar customer interests, consumer behavior, and income level. Advanced analytics and automation make segmentation easy and the results will make you smile.
Data Driven Sales Forecasting
Clarifying through data driven metrics who is ready for a sale and who is not is the best way to clear up issues between sales and marketing teams. Using data to accurately forecast sales reduces risk and identifies opportunities in real time allowing you to strike while the iron’s hot. Data-driven sales forecasting is an excellent way to improve your funnel conversion rates and cut down at strife at the company picnic.
Tools of the Trade
Because of the magnitude of information and complexity of the analytics, the world of data may seem intimidating. Fortunately, that is not necessarily the case. In fact, there are very powerful tools available which require little or no programming language to be learned. Most are no more complicated than a CRM to use.
R Studio is a powerful analytics tool which can be used with MS Windows or on your Mac. The suite has an approachable user interface and is expandable depending on what type of analytics you will be using. This tool does require knowledge of the R programming code.
Another free tool, IBM has created a great resource for predictive analytics. You may be happy to know that this platform does not require fluency in a developer language to operate.
Known for its incredibly intuitive interface, BigML is another predictive analysis tool which gives results without requiring you to program. It doesn’t even require a deep understanding of statistics to produce in depth reports and accurate predictions.
Although no spring chicken, Excel continues to be a strong performer. Excel is not the most seamless design for this type of work but most marketers have at least a passing familiarity with the software making the learning curve less long.
Big data is here to stay. So are its cousins; big analytics and big automation.
True artificial intelligence isn’t far behind. Times are changing, and information is taking over. Integrating marketing data science in your digital growth is the logical next step. It’s where marketing is headed and you should be too.