A look at updates organizations must make culturally to compete in today’s real-time marketplace, where the focus is human connectivity
Customer data is driving marketing into the future. But even the most tech-savvy marketing office won’t fully succeed when analyzing data without also integrating big changes into its company culture.
Data is valuable; there’s no doubt about that. But without using it to its full potential, businesses miss out on many crucial improvements to business strategy, including, most importantly, fostering real human connections.
A Forrester survey revealed that companies that integrate an advanced analytics culture increased their marketing ROI by an average of 9.1 percent over the last one to two years. This improved performance 1.7 times for these companies versus those that didn’t have an advanced analytics culture.
These considerations clearly matter for the bottom line. Here are ways that organizations can harness data to its full potential.
Updating company analytics culture
A greater focus on company culture is a major part of using data analytics successfully. It’s not enough to use the newest tools and technologies; the team must collaborate and learn together how data push the business forward.
Across the company, the key components of a successful analytics culture are, according to Forrester:
- Strategy. This requires business leaders to use data insights to drive decision-making. Data should be included in all marketing channels.
- Adoption. Marketing strategy that is driven by data insights must be considered a business growth driver across the company.
- Turning insights into action. The team must be able to interpret data and use it quickly.
- Tech and tools. Data must come from various sources, and tools must be implemented that provide clear and distinguishable facts about the data.
- Data science expertise. The team must be able to weed through large amounts of data and have the expertise required to use the insights for future predictions.
Because using customer data to drive marketing strategy is so multifaceted, it’s clear that doing so successfully requires much more than bringing new platforms into the office. An effective analytics culture must be learned and implemented across teams and experience levels so decisions can be driven efficiently by real-time data insights.
Integrate data in a decision-making
Company leaders may not be fully using data and relevant customer-insight teams to make decisions. The Forrester surveyors concluded that companies that involve customer insights and data teams into decision-making for marketing show a stronger analytics culture overall than those that don’t.
This is why customer insights and data should be directly connected to marketing decision-making. Business outcomes are improved when decisions are made based on facts and real-time insights. The majority of companies surveyed by Forrester (81 percent) that use data to drive their decision-making processes saw better business outcomes and reported improvements in marketing performance.
Companies should, therefore, focus on educating employees so everyone is aligned on driving decisions from analytics, and teams must then come together behind this practice. Decisions should be backed up by facts pulled from data, and this should become the minimum expectation.
Fostering real human connection
One of the biggest benefits of fully integrating data analytics is the human component. Companies using real-time customer data are able to make immediate, relevant connections with their audience.
It’s important to note that customers shouldn’t be treated like data figures or numbers; for companies to effectively use real-time customer insights, they must connect on an individual and human level. This means decisions should be well thought-through and based on data, but they should also have a basis of underlying trust that drives relationships, as Inc.com points out.
This thinking continues to drive the age-old idea that the customer should be No. 1 in any marketing strategy, digital or not.
The Forrester survey also indicated that there were clear advantages for companies that had actually mastered measurement and analytics, over those that had just started implementing such programs. One company surveyed reported a 30 percent reduction in customer acquisition cost that was directly attributable to the company’s increased focus on analytics.
These “mastering” companies were shown to have “nearly 3x improvement in business decision-making speed and time-to-market with new products, higher marketing ROI, greater marketing efficiency, and new customer insights.”
The benefits of revamping analytics company culture are clear. Knowledge is power, and data is behind all valuable marketing information in our modern world. Data should begin to drive business decisions, which will ultimately improve business outcomes, valuable customer connections, flexibility, credibility, and ROI.
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