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Great Marketing Analytics?

Global marketing spending exceeds $1 trillion, which makes up for 1 to about 2 percent of global GDP. As markets undergo dynamic changes, it is intuitive that for any company Finance and R&D are not the functions to lead this. Even with the best operations and organisation, without strong marketing plans, products or services will not meet the market and will fail to attract customer loyalty. Therefore, there is no question that companies nowadays place significant importance on their marketing approaches. The development of better analytical tools from recent years has made business leaders even more powerful and gave them a firepower for decisions with regards to strategy. If wisely chosen, marketing-mix analytics could lead to really pleasing marketing return to investment ratios.

A CMO survey from February last year revealed that enterprises currently allocate 6.7% of their marketing budgets on analytics and expect to increase their spending to 11.1% over the next three years. The results of the survey also drew attention to the fact that more than one billion dollars was directed to this field. Estimates show that the number of marketing-tech companies doubled since 2014, currently reaching 2,000. Beginning with 2012, systems around the world have generated approximately 2.5 exabytes (10^18 bites) of data each day.

There is certainly a reason for all of these. Analytics are currently considered a driver for product innovation. Companies can certainly make use of big data and digital platforms to develop and test new products, therefore, tracking the impact of product launches in real time. In addition, enterprises can benefit from information from digital channels by gaining insights from and about customers. Data-visualisation tools and dashboards help in building a clear view with regards to consumer preferences which can lead to new product ideas or improvement of existing products. Companies can also use analytics to keep themselves connected to market trends and competitors’ moves in order to make optimal pricing choices. Further on, big data can facilitate an efficient coordination with suppliers and other stakeholders. Sophisticated software systems are developed by companies in order to share inventory information and product prices with suppliers in real time.

However, it is sometimes the case that marketing analytics does not act as a guardian angel for firms. 

It goes that all the diverse turbulences in the business environment have been labelled as “disruptions”. Although any disruption could be tackled down with the use of an adequate strategy backed up by regressions, the sad part is that most marketers actually fail to identify the factors that led to disruptions and establish action points.

Firstly, this is certainly tied to the idea that when creating business plans and accounting for challenges, marketing executives do not separate between “controllables” and “uncontrollables”. The key solution is focus on empowering actions that have an impact on controllables while striving to defend from uncontrollables. And this is where marketing analytics should come to rescue. It is believed that quite a few companies do not have the capability to actually catalyse benefits brought by analytics, go wrong in their understanding of why sales initiatives have or have not worked out and therefore, end up with weak planning.

To wrap it up, despite of all the fuss around analytics, according to Unica’s State of Marketing in 2011 report , 57% of marketers cited “measurement, analysis, and learning” as the biggest bottleneck they face within their organisations. In theory, big data and advanced analytics can offer useful insights, but in reality, it is maybe that all the consumer packaged goods companies just seem to be starting to leverage them.


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