First, let’s discuss the term marketing, and start by defining what it is not (or at least, what it shouldn’t be). Real marketing is not manipulative. Real marketing is not the slick used car salesman trying to rip you off. Real marketing is not trying to make a trash product look better than it really is. Real marketing is not deceitful.
Real marketing means bringing valuable products and services to the people who need, want, and are able to purchase them. Assuming you have a product or service that is valuable to other people, you already have a market. The trick for you now is finding that market, educating about your product or service, and building trust so that the market will purchase. When this occurs, both parties win – you make the sale, and your market gets your valuable product or service.
It sounds like a simple idea, and in theory, it is. It’s when we need to apply this theory to real world situations and make marketing work that the problems occur. There are many questions to be answered, such as: Who is my market (who needs my product or service)? What will resonate with them? How do I best educate them about my product or service? What are the best channels to reach them? How do I communicate with them in a way that they will understand? What are the ways I build trust with them?
Because there are so many variables involved in marketing, it’s not possible to have exact answers to these questions. What’s more, the variables always seem to be in flux and we never have complete control over them, making it hard to find concrete, sure answers. Despite these difficulties, however, it still remains that we need marketing to work.
This is where the analytics enter the picture. Analytics, in practical terms, can be defined as the investigation of available data and facts (be it qualitative or quantitative) to arrive at an optimal decision. The analyst seeks to find true, valuable insight from the investigation of the data and circumstances.
Combining the two terms, we arrive at marketing analytics, or the practice of investigating data and facts to make optimal and functional marketing decisions. The marketing analytics practitioner, then, must not only be able to do this type of analysis and see the data in context to get real insight, but he must also be able to translate this insight into action.
To be successful at marketing analytics, one must draw from a large base of knowledge and skills. An understanding of sociology, human relationships, psychology, communications, and statistics is necessary. Being able to write, educate, make an idea sticky, manipulate data, see data in context, and break down complexity into simplicity is essential. Marketing analytics can span from doing web analytics, search engine optimization, good website or advertisement design, social media, traditional PR channels, content creation, television and radio campaigns, to a myriad of other activities.
In short, it is not something you master in a day. It is a multi-faceted discipline that requires study, practice, and dedication. The purpose of this blog is to help you understand and effectively use marketing analytics. We hope that by covering various aspects of marketing analytics on a daily basis, we can all come to a greater understanding and gain the ability to have success in the discipline.