A business may be run out of a garage, a kitchen, a street, a building or an industrial park. Across any size of business, one mantra stands firm – “The Customer Is king” and marketing helps “attract”, “engage” and “retain” that king. Boutique or small organizations can use logic, intuition or peer behavior to cull out their marketing strategy. But a large organization which spans across multiple locations and brands needs to be armed with more than “distributor logic” and “sales intuition” to drive its operations – it needs the decision science of “analytics.”
How does analytics help a business in the process of attracting customers?
The rules of attraction are similar across marketing and dating. Before you can ask someone out on a date you have to understand who they are, as people. There are many analytics techniques that help corporations understand who their customers are. Segmentation using different kinds of clustering techniques groups large masses of people into smaller sets based on their behavior, purchases, their lifestyle preferences, geography, age, ethnicity or any number of pre-defined variables.
Analytics can also help a company understand if their offering is attractive to the customer. Techniques such as conjoint analysis help marketers design products that will appeal most strongly to their consumers. From car manufacturers to cell phone designers, choice modeling helps pinpoint the actual preferences of the consumers resulting in more useful, better designed products.
How does analytics help a business engage with customers?
As marketers attempt to engage consumers using a variety of marketing activities such as advertising, promotions, digital marketing initiatives and so on, analytics becomes a key enabler of this process. Analytics is central to measuring the everyday impact of each of these items – for example, analytics techniques help understand the impact of promotions and how one promotion tactic fares compared to others; going one step above, analytics techniques are also widely used today to measure the overall retun on marketing investments. Such uses of analytics combine complex modeling with a deep understanding of business context. As the consumer landscape gets more and more challenging, and budgets shrink and competition gets more intense, these powerful analytics tools can make the difference between team that win and the also-rans.
How does analytics help a business retain it’s customer base?
It is not enough to attract consumers and engage them. Retaining customers in a fiercely competitive environment requires constant thought, and the ability to pick up early signs of disinterest. Businesses like telecom, retail and banking, which deal with live transactions on a daily basis, can use analytics to identify behavior patterns of different groups of customers, and understand who might be exhibiting some of these early warning signs.
In the market place of today, analytics is no longer an after-thought. Marketers can no longer think of analytics as a secondary skill that comes into place only after the rest of the marketing plan has been put in place. Successful marketing plans incorporate analytics from the get-go, and successful marketing managers will ensure that they take on enough analytics talent to make sense of, and harness the massive amounts of data that is daily being made available to them.