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Everybody today has been talking about marketing analytics, especially today when the market seems to be sweeped by Big Data. However, if we look at McKinsey’s report it has to believe that there lays a great shortage within the business professionals who can work with data. More interestingly, the shortage of business professionals who can work with data (1.5M by 2018) is about 10X that of data scientists (140K by 2018) (source: Forbes)
The question is how can this gap be closed in the future? It’s only possible if business professional become a part analyst.
Analytics comprises images of complex algorithms and code, therefore most business professionals cannot imagine themselves associating with it. But there lies a simpler approach too; lets experience the same with an example:
The non-analytical approach would start by test driving the cars, without any criteria, and you start discovering criteria’s as you move along driving different cars, costing time and money.
Buying a car, let’s say you start by listing down the constraints – time, money etc and your ‘must haves’ that includes good mileage and ‘good haves’ that includes low emission. Now based on these criteria’s you shortlist few finalists. You drive and decide which is going to be The One. Analytics thus is fact driven decision making.
A conversation with my friend made me realized something. He purchased a car and was unhappy with the buy. Why? It was costing him $100/week on gas that gives a real low mileage and he still bought it knowing he had to travel long distance for office. Asking him why, he said “He liked the feel of it”. Now, was it possible to buy a car that had the same feel with the ‘must haves’, you bet?
Using data to drive decision gives you significantly higher chances of making good, long lasting decision over non-data driven approach.
For example: You are a marketing manager of an e-commerce company selling books and have a marketing budget of $500 to get the best ROI possible. Now, would you spend towards:
You have to make the choice Now, How?
Will lead marketing campaign repeating the things done last spring or choosing projects from last quarter or going with projects which you feel is right.
Would start from learning what worked best and what didn’t, also why? Lets say in the above campaign example – you find customers segments (loyalist) buy irrespective of marketing to them (you know it because you used a control in the last campaign) and you also find other segments that respond to marketing. Now you have clues as to which segment to not market, which segment to saturate towards optimizing the ROI.
Business professionals right now must be depended on their analytics counterpart to make decisions, but its high time that start measuring purview of business management. They should stop taking gut based decision and learn the basic tricks of analytics to be more equipped for taking business decisions.