It’s a term so often thrown around by marketers, yet how deep of an understanding do we truly have of why this is such an important buzzword? It seems simple, really. Analytics help to construct a bigger picture of how a marketer’s work is performing and how consumers are behaving.
Without some form of analytics, it can be difficult (or at least more time consuming) to note trends in behavior and return on investment. But often, particularly for newer or more inexperienced marketers or those without a marketing background, the idea of analytics can be nothing but overwhelming.
With so many options for metrics to analyze, numbers to keep track of and costs to count, some business owners may say the learning expense and time it takes isn’t worth it. In reality, this idea couldn’t be further from the truth. And with artificial intelligence in marketing making higher levels of automation possible, analytics can be much simpler than one may think.
But first, let’s talk more about why analytics are important. In a future article, we’ll dive further into how we make analytics work for any business’ marketing needs. Analytics, at their fundamental core, tells a story. This data is important because it plays an integral role in the study of consumer behavior. After all, this concept is the cornerstone of what marketing is founded on. Consider the metric that tracks the performance of a series of ads run over a period of time on social media.
The ads ran in two unique sets, targeting the same group of people as a test to find out which type of ad would perform better. One ad used sharp design and bright colors to attract attention. It used minimal yet persuasive copy and a call to action. The other ad featured an average looking woman holding her puppy in her arms. A cute tagline adorned the bottom of the ad, along with an equally smile-inducing call to action. Which ad performed better? The second, of course.
For this brand, which sells financial products, using the emotive appeal of the woman and her dog — connecting with many users in the brand’s target demographic on a personal level — to reel customers in. While the first ad was of good quality by industry standards, and likely still performed strongly among some users, having the ability to track these differences provides insight into consumer behavior. This study of behavior can mold future campaigns based on the results of previous iterations. And without the data, it can be difficult to ascertain more minute differences.
Analytics is also a way for businesses to maintain good control of their costs. Marketing is expensive, and it’s easy to burn through a budget far quicker than necessary. Analytics is a constant source of data that can be utilized to assess the company’s return on investment. If a campaign underperforms, data will show exactly how poorly.
With this information, decisions are made easier and with more confidence. This information may seem like a no-brainer, but there are still many business owners who don’t see the benefit of utilizing the wide array of technology available for our use. Education is key, especially given the state of most industries in which competition has become fierce.
Analytics (and proper use of them) can give businesses a much-needed leg up in an environment where every edge matters.