Imagine being able to make smarter business decisions, prevent issues ahead of time, and improve the ROI of your marketing strategies. That’s all possible thanks to marketing analytics.
In fact, companies that focus on data-driven marketing are up to six times more profitable year-over-year than businesses that don’t.
Marketing analytics is the practice of analyzing, measuring, and optimizing your strategies to maximize performance. It’s not enough to simply execute anymore. You need to use data to your advantage, too.
While marketing analytics has become popular in recent years, it’s a rapidly changing industry. New ideas and software are constantly innovating, which means you need to keep up to date if you don’t want to be left behind.
Altimeter’s 2019 State of Digital Marketing report found that better use of technology to measure marketing’s impact is a top priority among 39 percent of marketers, while data analysis is the number one desired skill for new marketing hires.
Let’s learn about the latest trends in marketing analytics and how they’ll help grow your business in 2020.
1. Machine learning and predictive analytics
The growth of AI has touched every channel and that includes marketing. One of the newest marketing analytics trends is the use of machine learning processes like predictive analytics.
Predictive analytics is the process of using AI to measure marketing activities for finding trends and opportunities.
This helps companies, and businesses capitalize on opportunities they may have not have found otherwise, while also discovering problems, reputational or product-related before they cause damage.
Since developing this type of software in-house can be expensive, many opt for solutions like Appfollow. It includes analytics and AI-guided semantic analysis to turn user app reviews into actionable marketing insights while allowing decision-makers to better direct the discourse and narrative of their products.
Digital transformation (DX) is mandatory
Everything is digital these days. That means your marketing plan needs to be digital, too. Many companies make the mistake of not having a clear and measurable digital strategy, which results in them falling behind competitors.
Blockbuster, once everyone’s favorite movie rental store, is a great example of this. They failed to become internet-based, while companies like Netflix began to take over, ultimately resulting in their demise, and lead to bankruptcy.
Seeing as 40 percent of all technology is going towards digital transformation this year, your business can follow suit by:
- Investing in content marketing and UGC campaigns.
- Performing PPC campaigns.
- Developing free tools for customers to use.
- Ensuring you’re active on major social networks.
- Using CRMs and other productivity software.
3. Customer experience optimization is key to success
Customer experience, or CX for short, is quickly becoming one of the most important business opportunities of 2020. Even niche markets have become saturated with products that are largely similar to one another, so providing people with a delightful, and unified brand experience across touchpoints is becoming key to differentiation.
What’s more, with digital word of mouth providing trust signals to prospective buyers, ensuring that your current customers are happy to spread the good word about you is a major marketing opportunity. Hence the recent obsession over CX and quantifiable metrics like net promoter score (NPS).
Optimizing your CX results in improved engagement, retention, and satisfaction. Seeing as every customer is unique, they react to copy, calls to action, and offers differently. Presenting unique content to every segment gets around this while also showing you care enough about them to do so.
While most businesses use a standard marketing funnel to understand the customer experience and measure journeys, a newer concept that might be a better fit for today’s CX patterns is the flywheel.
First adopted by the marketing authority HubSpot, the flywheel concept teaches us that delighting customers is the key to generating leads. Furthermore, it helps marketers understand that marketing takes time and requires addressing several different journey stages at once to achieve success. It’s not enough to simply publish awareness-focused content and think you’re finished.
Lastly, customer experience is the fuel of any good flywheel. It holds businesses accountable for improving their products, services, and content to keep the wheel turning. That’s why ClickMeeting, another adopter of the flywheel, decided to take the concept and improve upon and package it for marketers.
Specifically, they’ve created a workflow model that enables marketers to create their own webinar flywheels. On-demand webinar recordings, personalized nurture messages, cross-channel social video posts and more can be completely automated through their drag-and-drop system.
On top of this, users can leverage follow-up emails, additional offers, and social media content to optimize CX at all stages of the flywheel at once.
While using funnel metrics to optimize buyer’s journeys used to be all the rage, in the age of the self-service, multi-channel buyer’s journey has become increasingly important to tackle CX holistically. In other words, this is what makes the flywheel so compelling.
4. Data protection policies and procedures
How much data do you juggle on a daily basis? Across email, CRMs, and other tools. this can make it seem like there’s no end. That means protecting this data is becoming critical, too.
Having clear policies and procedures in place will help reduce the chances of data being compromised, stolen, or shared. As a matter of fact, 65 percent of security professionals who attended Black Hat USA 2019 agreed they expect to handle a major cybersecurity attack.
Ensure that moving forward into 2020 that your company takes advantage of cybersecurity services, creates emergency procedures, and has strict policies in place for employees.
5. Server-side optimization and testing
A/B split tests are commonly performed through what’s called client-side testing. This is when an experiment is run directly through a user’s browser by loading the original page before experimental changes are patched on top using scripts.
While commonplace, it creates a round-trip effect where more steps are needed to get to the end result. This is why server-side testing is starting to become more commonplace.
Instead of injecting changes into a user’s display, the experimental designs are already made on the server and simply requested by the browser. This means businesses don’t have to rely on code or scripts to make the changes, which makes the results more trustworthy.
All of the recorded information from server-side testing can then be analyzed to optimize the prototype before the next release. Developers can leverage tools like Cloudflare’s testing feature to run these types of experiments easily.
This enables developers to push functional, low latency, and high-performance changes live without touching the user’s browsing experience. Furthermore, Cloudflare sends your changes to their server for users to pull data from, speeding up applications and deployments.
Final thoughts on marketing analytics trends
Marketing is changing rapidly, and that means your strategies need to adapt just as fast. Measuring, analyzing, and forecasting are now at the forefront of marketing plans in 2020.
Machine learning software that predicts opportunities, trends, and issues before they arise is one trend companies are taking advantage of in marketing analytics. Ensuring an effective digital strategy is in place through content marketing, UGC, and PPC are rising as well.
Perhaps most importantly, optimizing the customer experience for every buyer journey stage and segment is needed to produce great ROI.
Businesses need to focus on protecting data through strict policies, emergency procedures, and cybersecurity tools. Finally, testing changes to apps and other tools for prototyping via server-side optimization is an efficient way to pursue marketing analytics.