Visual Data Analytics: Paving new ways for enhancing business analytics
The data we generate with our every action is growing by leaps and bounds every second. ‘Data Visualization’ is the technique of filtering and analyzing these complex fragmented raw packets into interpretable, actionable formats providing meaningful value to marketers and customers. In competitive market systems, organizations need to be agile in accessing, deciphering and taking effective action in real-time; which when touches the audience like Oreo at Super Bowl is a marketer’s dream. Specialized data is mandatory for making informed decisions, identifying new business opportunities - even ahead of the market and helping put brands in the driver’s seat to deliver value. The marketing sector is overall flexible, adaptable and learns quickly. There was the initial resistance to digital and social but the customer has given no option. Coupled with powerful free analytics and reports from the likes of Google and Facebook, analytics has become the foundation for many a campaign. Quality and efficiency may differ, basis analytics used and interpretation talent but its importance cannot be overstated.
Leading organizations will adapt quickly –using the agency or internal teams. Some have put in place internal statisticians and analysts with advanced computational techniques and systems. Today every agency uses analytics or is putting together specialized units to better service clients and ride the data-growth tide. The secret is to be agile. Big Data is essential, else companies would not have taken the deep dive or been looking to plunge in. There are millions on the internet with multiple devices, many using multiple devices making it a spray and pray marketing environment. Data analytics aids in precise targeting which further optimizes and saves dollars, which is revenue earned. Deeper insights allow deeper targeting allowing relevant messages to be heard. It helps frame and alter messaging, understand the immediate short term campaign effect, set the framework for the next campaign–knowing what worked, what failed, as well as gain potential interested customers from the captured basket. Retargeting communications with these customers generates conversations. Here, even a small conversion percentage is akin to powerful word-of-mouth; even if it does not result in direct sale (not always an immediate objective).
For example, CarDekho uses big data and analytics to understand demand, popular colors, engine types and features of a particular car. Further, there is rich information for car sellers and insights into future buyers taste and preference. Quikr, Flipkart, Snapdeal, Amazon, Google and Facebook are built on big data of which revenue is a straight fall out. Information Technology systems are fixed cost and capital expense as one would not need to invest say in an ERP every month or year. The audience and terminals are also relatively fixed. On the other hand, the CMO needs to be responsive in real-time as the audience is - constantly mobile, uses multiple devices, active in varying parts 24x7, has tremendous options and is inclined to experiment. Marketing technology is constantly evolving and updating with increasing number of devices and now wearable’s on the horizon. The CMO, aside from driving in new customers, needs to engage with existing customers to retain loyalty, both regularly and constantly. We are looking at CMO: CIO expenditures of 3X and upwards.
Big Data itself is evolving with a long way to unleash its potential. It is hyper targeting, allowing engagement and conversations with the audience. It can ask what the audience wants, needs, preferences; can gain deep insights into the customer behavior and journey. Most important, it can understand the brand customer making marketing effective. Google Trends shows how often a search-term is entered relative to the total search-volume across various regions and languages across the world. Thus, it allows a brand, a society and a country to understand what is important, what is on top-of-mind of its people by analyzing masses of data, created by masses of humanity. Analysis can be at the surface or can penetrate depending on the objective and the questions. In the 2015 report, the top 5 most searched terms were – Flipkart, IRCTC, State Bank of India, Amazon, Snapdeal. So, now - are new ecommerce firms not justified in spurting up with investors investing? Is the government plan to add more trains not apt?
However, we really need ‘smart’ data. When data develops a personality of its own, insightful attributes can be gleaned allowing engaging and meaningful conversations as futuristic marketing strategies evolve.