1. Focus on the ultimate consumer engagement.No longer a one-step process, consumer engagement instead involves myriad potential touchpoints and interactions. When sales resulting from television, Web, mobile, retail, and other channels can be measured, assessed for performance, and tweaked accordingly, the entire campaign benefits. “Look at how the consumer engages with your campaign across all platforms,” says George Leon, Hawthorne Direct's senior vice president of media/account management, “and then use that information to draw insights into response frequency, buying preferences, and transactions.”
2. Study key consumer trends.The Internet is a goldmine of information about consumer trends, and data analytics companies themselves publish much of it online. Tools such as Simmons’ National Consumer Studies, for example, feature insights into consumer attitudes, product and brand preferences, media consumption habits, and demographic and lifestyle characteristics. By studying these and other resources, marketers can see how consumers in specific demographics respond to different advertising messages and mechanisms—yet another way to effectively leverage data analytics.
3. Use the information to become a smarter marketer.Marketers should look carefully at how consumers engage with their products, how customers find their products, the times of the day when they are most likely to purchase the products, and the optimum reach needed to be able to engage those consumers. Seasonality trends, clearance levels at cable network stations, and total category spend should also be factored into the equation. With this information at hand, organizations can draw important insights and formulate success strategies more efficiently.
4. Make the data actionable from an execution perspective.
Having all of the numbers and statistics at your fingertips is one thing, but actually using the data effectively is completely different. Use the data to predict where the consumer is going to be, how he or she will make the purchase, and how you can reach them in that setting and at the right time. “Use the data to stay ahead of the curve and to not only execute on a one-time basis,” Leon says, “but also to duplicate the data in a way that allows you to repeat the successes and avoid the mistakes.”
When marketers take the time to extract and analyze both internal data (customer databases) and external data (tools such as Simmons, Personicx, and others), the results can be significant. Not only can they come away with stronger customer bases, but they can also build greater lifetime value from those consumers. Finally, solid data analytics can help marketers grow their businesses year-over-year, explore new market opportunities, find new customers, and come up with new and innovative ways of reaching those consumers.
Jessica Hawthorne-Castro is CEO of Hawthorne Direct.
Note: The above post was adapted from the Agency Insights' column entitled "Four Ways to Leverage Data Analytics," published in ER magazine's March-April issue.
Photo by cooldesign/FreeDigitalPhotos.net