Category Archives: Business Intelligence
The business world is adopting website data and metrics as the guidance to understanding customers and developing new ideas. But what should a small company look for when considering an analyst for its needs.
The temptation is to focus on the skill set with a given tool. This is natural but can be an overemphasis on one aspect. Avinash Kaushik, co-Founder of Market Motive Inc and Digital Marketing Evangelist for Google, once stated that 10% of every analysis budget should go towards the tool; 90% towards the analysts. He understood technology and how a spend on a particular tool has a limited period of value before something else comes along.
Businesses should focus on people who understand some of the technical but also the strategic purposes within the business. Thomas Davenport in Competing on Analytics believed that understanding those purposes is at the heart of analytic value. His quote:
“Without a distinctive capability (what you do to set your business apart), it becomes impossible to compete and distinguish what data is important.”
A good analyst should be able to understand what your distinctive capability is. He or she can then related that capability to the dimensions and metrics that conduct the reporting.
Here is how that understanding gets applied in your business.
- An analyst understands KPIs – the metrics that monitor a business’ performance – or at least how the business objectives are represented online
- An analyst can help set up the best tag structure according to the KPIs and objectives. Thus a business receives guidance to link data to your business resources. For web analytics, the guidance is valuable when developing marketing plans or social media strategy.
- An analyst has an ability to see trends and correlate data to business objectives. An analyst is not afraid of raw thinking with the data – There are many ways analysts can convey “raw thinking”. I keep paper and pad available to think through what is being presented.
- Ultimately an analyst has the following characteristics: Curiosity with reviewing details, even when the marketing data is a mystery and being Proactive once the objectives for an analytics review are understood (Keep in mind: you and an analyst should be in communication with each other to stay in sync)
One note: in some instances, a business may not have KPIs identified. But every business will have objectives, and select metrics to reflect those objectives yields the same process as that for businesses with KPIs.
But no matter the semantics about the starting point, ask yourself “What type of analysis do I need of my business?” The answer will lead to the best description for hiring analytic support.
Customer relationship management has always been a valuable business intelligence asset. A growth in mobile marketing has enhanced that value further than many marketers could have imagined.
Some digital solutions have contained long-standing features that have been relatively dormant when it comes to immediate utility.
Take geolocation reporting in web analytics. Web analytic solutions have been available for years, permitting analysts to discover regions from which website traffic arrives consistently. Developing strategies for those regions, however, have been limited to search engine marketing (SEM) and the imagined purpose from the analyst.
Paid search ads in a SEM campaign connect announced banking services to a customer’s view through a laptop at home.
Enter mobile devices. Tablets and smartphones have further perfected digital marketing strategy. With mobile, businesses can scale message exposure while coordinating their responses along the chosen marketing channels.
Digital advertising networks have taken advantage of that scale. For example, Google improved Adwords, an ad service once reserved for laptop search, with filters for device, operating systems, and blending with other Google services such as Google Maps. The Location Extension feature can display retail sites in a Google map alongside an Adwords mobile ad. Enhanced campaigns provide adjustments of where an ad can be shown relative to search conducted on a smartphone, a tablet, or desktop.
With these features, the marketing challenge comes clear. A once-singular connection between a business and a PC in a living room has morphed into digital marketing alternatives that can potentially draw customers in a multitude of ways.
Mobile marketing capability has consequentially increased the strategic value of CRMs. CRM data can reveal the best decisions between where website traffic is currently arriving versus where mobile media should be placed.
By having analysts compare analytics data to customer locations, businesses can tailor appropriate offers to the customers who will most likely respond. For example, a CRM can link to a website lead capture form. Comparing geolocation search traffic patterns to collected CRM contacts can indicate ideas for media that attracts new customer leads or strengthens branding for prospective customers.
The end result is increased marketing conversions from on-the-go customers. Google once noted in a study that most customers are willing to take action when receiving local-specific marketing. Tying a unique appeal to customers within a region is certainly possible with a CRM and mobile campaign.
Establishing a customer connection based on CRM data requires proactive privacy protection. To do so, managers should understand when identifiable information is added to an analysis. Doing so can prevent abuse of analytic solution safeguards.
The terms of service for Google Analytics, for example, forbids pulling data that can identify an individual. So managers should know how CRM data is used for a model in which its data is combined with an analytics solution.
Nevertheless, planning geolocation with CRM-related data can lead to an effective mobile campaign. A good plan can stretch marketing dollars further. In fact, mobile ads are affordable relative to standard search ads — at least for now. Google’s Larry Page has suggested the cost gap may not last long.
The newly introduced Hummingbird algorithm may refocus businesses on including paid search to analyze keyword contribution to conversion. Bing, Google’s main competitor in the paid search space, has introduced its own enhanced campaign feature. The competition from Bing raises the stakes just as social media platforms Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram are all adding their own interpretation of advertising.
But until that day when the mobile ad pricing is raised, businesses relying on CRMs for any mobile program have the best advantages for marketing and budget.
Need a few events to network and learn the latest trends in Analytics. Stephane Hamel (@SHamelCP) of Cardinal Path has created a great list of annual events that focus on analytics and big data issues of the day. You can click on each event on Hamel’s List.ly post (click here to see the analytics events list). It’s a solid list, with worthwhile events such as the eMetrics summit (founded by Jim Sterne). Check it out if you are looking for other resources that can raise your big data or business intelligence wisdom.