Marketing Analytics: The Gateway to Revenue Growth

An Accenture study found that that those companies who have implemented analytics and an analytics culture in their organization are much more likely to outperform their industry peers in terms of revenue growth, profitability, and shareholder return.

Specifically, the 2015 State of Analytics study found that high performers are 8.2 times more likely than underperformers to say analytics is absolutely critical to driving the company’s overall business strategy and improving operational outcomes.

As the CEO, or member of the leadership team, you know how important data, and the ability to draw actionable insights from the data, are to making fact-based strategic decisions.  The fact-based decision making process entails analyzing data, converting this data to insights, and then deciding on the best course of action to take advantage of these insights. In short, analytics provide insights and color to your business experience and expertise.

As your company attempts to deal with increasing market pressure and competition, it is imperative that you can depend on your marketing organization for relevant and timely data about the market, customers, competition, and about which marketing investments are, and are not, effective and efficient.  To insure you have this data, the marketers in your organization need to be competent and proficient at data and analytics.

As marketers gain access to more and more data, the challenge they face is moving from data collection to analyzing and turning the data into key facts and learnings that can be used to make the decisions, predict trends, understand customers, and improve business performance.   And this is where the gap exists. Only the high performing marketers are truly able to use data to drive business decisions. 

Here are the three ingredients your marketers need to ensure analytics are a gateway to your organization’s revenue growth:

  1. Skills: The ability to turn the data into actionable insight requires skill. Our research and other studies find that many organizations lack analytical talent. A McKinsey study forecasted that in 2018, the United States could face a shortage of 140,000 to 190,000 people with deep analytical skills. Without the right people, it won’t matter how much you invest in analytical tools. There’s no time like the present to invest in developing and growing this analytical talent within marketing. You want marketers who are able to integrate science with the art of marketing.
  2. Culture: Organizations that emphasize fact-based decisions, measurability, and process reflect a culture that is more predisposed to analytics and the associated investments needed to build and leverage this competency. These organizations take a holistic approach to data and view data as a strategic asset and the “backbone of effective” decision making.
  3. Processes: The leadership team should expect marketing to become more analytically oriented and to do that marketers will need processes. We have found that marketing organizations that excel at analytics develop and implement these processes into their workflow to support analytics: defining the impact and scope for their analytics, data management and the rules for how data will be selected, gathered, captured and prepared; developing analytical models and the processes associated with deploying, managing, modifying/updating and operationalizing these models.

If analytics is relatively new to your marketing team, as a first step in supporting your marketing organization, approve adding a dedicated analytics resource to the marketing team.  This is someone who will be responsible for capturing and analyzing data, from market trends and competitive intelligence, to customer buying processes and preferences.  This person or team should be able to collect, organize and present both quantitative and qualitative data and analysis processes, and use a variety of methods to track and report the impact of analytics on fact-based decisions and business results.  Creating an analytically-inclined culture can’t rest on the shoulders of one person.  Invest in ensuring everyone on your marketing team has the skills to go from data to insights to action.  Check out this white paper to learn more about how marketing analytics can help fuel growth.

© 2016, Laura Patterson. All rights reserved.

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