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The journey from data to actionable insights

Stephen McNulty, Managing Director, Asia Pacific and Japan, Progress | Nov. 5, 2015
The emergence of cloud-based platforms that unify data analytics will further disrupt the marketing models.

This vendor-written piece has been edited by Executive Networks Media to eliminate product promotion, but readers should note it will likely favour the submitter's approach.

Disruption is shaking up the business world. New technologies are continuously evolving, propelling the natural transformation of the customer buying process. The exponential growth of web, mobile and social networking has redefined the customer journey — customers are now interacting with enterprises across more channels and touchpoints than ever before.

While additional data from these sources can be a great way for marketers to craft a targeted and personalised approach to engage customers, the process of analysing available data to gain valuable insights can be complex and daunting.

In order to ensure meaningful relationships with current and potential customers, marketers require a solution that can integrate data from content management, relationship management, marketing automation and other systems to provide a holistic view of known and anonymous individual customers.

Aligning key metrics to business goals
Despite, and perhaps because of, the sheer volume of available customer interaction data, there has been little success when it comes to translating it into relevant insights.

Usual spreadsheet-based analytics are not insightful enough and tend to be reflective rather than forward-looking. To add another layer of complexity, data is stored in numerous disconnected systems and such a fragmented approach makes it near impossible to effect real time change to the brand experience.

The challenge lies not only in measuring and analysing the data but also knowing which marketing metrics to measure and how they align with the larger goals of the business. Each business unit, be it marketing, sales or customer service has its own set of KPIs and organisations rarely measure individual successes against the key goals of the business as a whole.

A centralised command centre that collects and analyses data can give organisations the capability to relate the KPIs of each business unit to the overall KPIs of the business. As a result, organisations get a comprehensive view of how each activity is contributing to business success.

Armed with this knowledge, companies can connect the customer journey across the multiple touchpoints to deliver a more relevant and consistent experience with the brand.

Cloud-based analytics and real-time machine learning
Relevant data can be mined from a host of different sources — CRM tools, content management and marketing automation systems among others. In order to paint an accurate picture of the customers' journey across the buying process, businesses must dip into all these systems that record customer information and engagement. Some available tools will simply provide background data, while others can run programmes or make adjustments to push groups of individuals toward marketing, or client satisfaction goals.


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