As businesses see the transformative potential of targeted digital marketing initiatives, they are investing in cutting-edge analytics solutions. But are they putting this technology to its best use?
As data volumes continue to grow exponentially, marketers ought to have all the data they need to engage customers in new and exciting ways. In reality, however, they’re frequently overwhelmed by the sheer volume of information at their disposal. And their traditional marketing systems and processes just can’t keep pace.
As a result, companies are directing more resources to equip their marketing teams with the latest analytics technology. But without the right strategy supporting the implementation of new tools, this investment may yield limited results. In particular, when marketing clings to an outdated operating model, cultural change will often lag behind technological innovation.
Stuck in silos
Many businesses still divide their marketing department into highly specialised teams that work independently on different campaigns. This siloed way of working can have big drawbacks for both marketing efficiency and marketing effectiveness. And new opportunities to boost customer engagement can often go unnoticed.
With different teams focused on their own initiatives, it can be very difficult for business leaders to get a detailed view of the overall effectiveness of their organisation’s marketing efforts. Siloed teams may use different technologies to support their efforts and measure the success of campaigns against subjective, internally defined metrics.
As a result, CMOs struggle to answer questions like: "How does a recent increase in web traffic actually impact our sales figures?", "Which initiatives did our customers engage with most?", and "Are we conveying a consistent message to our customers across channels?"
How does the customer view your business?
What’s more, siloed approaches to marketing don’t take account of how a customer views your business. Customers don’t categorise their interactions with your company based on the specific products and services that they have bought. Instead, they develop impressions of your organisation based on each engagement they have with your company, whether that’s online or in store.
No matter how engaging a specific marketing initiative in one area of your business may be, it won’t create a lasting impact if the customer experience in another area is lacking. Worst of all, if your teams, tools and strategies are siloed, you will struggle to see the strengths and weaknesses of your current campaigns, or understand how they interact. If one initiative is only succeeding because it’s cannibalising the results of another, you need to be able to take action fast.
Lengthy campaign generation
Getting new initiatives from the drawing board to your customers can take a long time with more traditional approaches to marketing. For instance, marketing departments may spend months gathering and painstakingly analyzing data before they even consider bringing a campaign to market.
And even after months of analysis and ideation, campaign material is still not ready to be shared with its intended audience. Instead, content will typically spend more time being put through A/B testing and other market research processes.
So by the time marketing teams are actually ready to engage customers, the content they use can be weeks or months behind current trends. This is a big setback in a world where your customers’ impression of your brand can change in an instant.
Taking a more intelligent approach
Thankfully, a smarter way to improve marketing effectiveness and efficiency is emerging – and real-time, contextual data analysis is the driving force behind it. Rather than operate siloed marketing departments, each with its own data sets, KPIs and goals, successful organisations are harmonising their approach to create consistent, enticing and effective campaigns across all touch points.
Uniting specialised marketing teams under one shared vision and giving them access to a single, objective version of the truth can generate huge benefits for your marketing efficiency and effectiveness.
First of all, this method provides much greater clarity into which campaigns generate more impressions or traffic. This can help you see how these metrics translate into sales. With this information, marketing departments can track the success of their campaigns across channels in more detail and iteratively replan their marketing spending to get the best outcome and value for money.
Cohesive marketing strategies that put data analysis first also reveal new insights into the lifetime value of a customer. These are lessons that can help marketers send the right message to a targeted group of customers at the most appealing times.
Leading the way with SAS
Contrary to popular belief, transforming your marketing efforts with an objective, data-driven strategy doesn’t have to disrupt your core business or break the bank. Sure, having the right solutions to extract insights from your data in real time is important. But it’s equally important to transform the culture and operating model of your marketing team.
Take the example of ICA Banken, a financial services provider operated by ICA Group—the parent company of the largest supermarket chain in Sweden. With over 750,000 customers and no physical branches, ICA Banken wanted to ensure that it could effectively promote its products and services online to existing customers.
Using SAS Customer Intelligence, the bank combined information about the products that customers had previously chosen with customer usage data for its mobile and online banking services.
Armed with this new insight into customer behaviour, ICA Banken was able to create highly personalised offers and display them online or via its mobile app to its customers at the right time. For instance, if a customer searched for loan products, ICA Banken could display a personalised loan rate based on their behaviour.Using SAS ICA Banken combined information about the products that customers had previously chosen with customer usage data for its mobile and online banking services. Click To Tweet
Real-time marketing means dramatic results
ICA Banken has seen dramatic benefits since taking a real-time, data driven approach to marketing. Whereas it used to take three people six weeks to design campaigns, it now takes two people one day to produce new, targeted initiatives. Such a huge improvement in marketing efficiency has also been accompanied by an impressive boost to marketing effectiveness, with 10 times better conversion rates for new initiatives compared to any previous campaigns.
As the example of ICA Banken demonstrates, with a 360-degree view of your customers’ behaviour, smart data analysis, and a willingness to put data at the heart of your marketing strategies, you, too, can propel marketing effectiveness and efficiency to new heights.
If this blog post has sparked your interest and you’d like to discuss further, please reach out to me at Andreas.Heiz@sas.com or look me up on LinkedIn. Discover more ways to transform your data into memorable customer experience.