Marketers need to be more comfortable with data and analytics. Source: Shutterstock

Marketers need to be more comfortable with data and analytics. Source: Shutterstock

Study says more marketers need to actively use analytics

ANALYTICS can really help marketers maximize their reach. It’s the tool that modern marketers are using to transform customer engagement and improve business.

Most marketers understand this.

“It was very risky not to change the marketing department, and we realized we needed to disrupt marketing,” said Zalando Senior VP Moritz Hahn in a recent interview.

However, not many marketers are taking action. According to a recent study, only 29 percent of marketers actively participate in advanced analytics modeling.

“Marketers either don’t know the data they have or don’t know what to do with it. In fact, 40 percent are ‘exploring’ while a third are building their reporting,” said Gartner Director Mike Froggatt.

“As a result, brands struggle with adapting to a data-driven mindset that can influence marketing strategy.”

Gartner research shows that more than eight out of 10 marketers anticipate making their marketing decisions based on analytics within the next year, making it imperative for them to maintain or surpass their peers.

“Brands already have the data, like pieces of a puzzle, most just need to better understand how to leverage that data to drive decision making and guide their digital strategies.”

Digital channels primed for disruption

Based on more than 1,250 data points from four main digital pillars — site and commerce, social media, mobile and digital marketing — Gartner found three digital channels (search, site, and online retail) primed for disruption via data-driven strategies with brand-owned or easily accessible third-party data.

Here’s a short summary of the three digital channels and how marketers can make the most of them:

# 1 | Leveraging search as a digital channel

Gartner research reveals that search is responsible for six out of 10 desktop visits to brand sites, with more than half via organic search and only 7 percent coming from paid placements.

“Brands need to ask themselves if they are 100 percent certain that they own their organic results associated with their brand.”

Leading brands are building out their organic search advantage by following three key steps:

  1. Claiming ownership of the knowledge panel via a verified account
  2. Controlling interaction of store profile features via Google Maps
  3. Leveraging search data to closely monitor consumer trends

# 2 | Making the most of site traffic

A brand’s website is one of the largest investments for marketing teams today. It’s why companies such as Murad and Face Inc keep re-inventing their online presence to meet customer needs.

From facilitating transactions, to capturing the data to help create ‘customer identity’ profiles, the data derived from a brand’s website is imperative for both marketing and strategic corporate decision making.

“The golden rule with collecting data on site is to use it to meet consumer expectations. Recently, we’ve seen a lot of leading brands leverage this data to launch loyalty programs,”

Gartner’s research into department stores, specialty retail, and activewear sectors show nearly 50 percent have established a loyalty program.

# 3 | Getting ahead with online retail

Brands across most sectors, especially consumer packaged goods (CPG), have almost entirely ceded paid search to retailers. Gartner’s research shows that big box retailers lead the way by leveraging personalization.

Another area leading brands optimize their retail partners based on data is with fulfillment. Gartner’s research shows that brands often modify packaging to optimize both shelf space and shipping while also utilizing omnichannel aspects.

“Fulfillment details like this represent an opportunity for brands to co-market and optimize their channel strategies, online and offline, ship and pick up.”