The advancements in technology and shifts in the way the world interacts have brought about considerable change in the way marketing analytics and machine learning are being used. When it comes to driving business, technology and big data are responsible for optimizing ad spend, targeting content, and reducing churn. Although technology is responsible for many advancements in marketing, it has also brought about the need for focusing on the security and privacy of data handling. Further, with the death of cookies on the way, marketers are using third-party sources differently. Throughout this article, we will tell you what the most likely trends are in the world of marketing analytics.
What Is Marketing Analytics?
Marketing analytics allows businesses to gain in-depth insights into the needs of their target demographic. Essentially, this data-driven field is the science behind the art of marketing. Although marketing analytics has been around for some time, it’s only over the last couple of years that businesses have been forced to fully acknowledge its scope. After many people were forced to work from home, technology was their only ally. This meant that marketers were forced to use emerging technologies to understand their audience.
Why Is Marketing Analytics Important?
With brick-and-mortar sites closing around the world, people were forced to shop online. With this move, the need for marketing analytics excelled exponentially. The use of data analytics enabled businesses to boost their profits, increase overall productivity, make quick decisions, and communicate better with their customers.
Data has always been a huge part of improving businesses and understanding customer trends. However, it’s only recently that technology has made it easy to collect and understand. On the back of marketing data, businesses can build an effective marketing strategy. To find out more, read this article from Emerson College on why data analytics should be at the core of your digital marketing strategy.
Increased Usage of Predictive Analytics
By using the power of machine learning, businesses can predict future trends by looking at past data. The concept of predictive analysis utilizes the look-alike model. This entails the identification of people who are most likely to become high-paying customers. Further, it seeks to work out those who are likely to abandon sales and subscriptions. Also, predictive analysis analyzes browsing history to gauge what their interests are over time. Knowing all of this allows marketers to understand their clients and target them with content that is likely to boost sales and reduce churn.
Predictive analytics has worked up enormous communication over the past ten years, and the investments are beginning to match the chatter. According to Zion Market Research, the predictive analytics market is expected to breach the $11B mark by 2022. This figure is expected to experience a growth of around 21% by 2028.
Inbound Marketing Investments
With so many people working from home and being forced to shop online, marketers are moving towards the use of inbound marketing. This means that blogs, SEO, social media marketing, and content creation will see a rise in popularity. Using strategies made for driving traffic, businesses can effectively drive brand awareness as well as build trust with their customers.
When investing in inbound marketing, customers need to be aware that the return on investment (ROI), won’t always be seen overnight. However, inbound marketing is one of the most lucrative long-term strategies out there today.
On the back of this increased investment in inbound marketing, the gig economy is thriving. Some of the best options for boosting your traffic are through using freelancers who are experts in the field. Although you are putting your business in the hands of an outsider, you can keep track of the data through the likes of SEMrush.
Regulation Compliance and Data Security
People are constantly looking for ways to keep themselves safe online, given how many data breaches there have been over the past years. This is why experts in marketing analytics are working tirelessly to build effective infrastructures for the handling of data. With this, increased encryption, network monitoring, access control, and physical security is becoming central to their practices. However, cybercriminals are hard at work as well, which is why many businesses are teaming up with partners who can offer monitoring and effective alerting systems.
As well as handling data effectively, businesses need to ensure that they are compliant with regulations including the Californian Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) and GDPR to avoid harsh penalties imposed for breaches. With this in mind, businesses are turning to advances in cloud computing and encryption to house data in one place. Storing data in one place and having everyone in the business interacting with it removes the risk of oversights.
Focus on Privacy in Data Handling
Businesses come into contact with a wealth of data when users visit their websites. On the back of backlash from users for greater control of their data, marketers must be vigilant and offer user controls. This means that when you go onto a website, customers will have to choose what a company can see. This may include opting out entirely, requesting data be scrubbed when you leave the website or rejecting third-party cookies that offer personalized ads. Along with this, marketers should ensure that there is a clear distinction between the handling of identifiable information and other data used for marketing.
Continuing Growth of Real-Time Marketing Analytics
Over the past couple of years, there has been a surge in the use of real-time marketing. This means that marketers can use data immediately and deploy tactics to try and convert. For example, when online shoppers fill their cart and abandon it before buying, the marketers can send targeted emails in an attempt to entice the deserter to continue with their purchase. For marketers to do this, they must use large platforms that are capable of processing multiple data loads including data analytics and business intelligence.
Another benefit of using real-time marketing analytics is that SWOT analysis can be carried out. This means that underlying threats in the market can be spotted and dealt with swiftly. Understanding your position in the market at all times will help to maintain consistent growth.
Growth In First-Party Data Investments
Google is one of the strongest forces of change when it comes to the internet, and on the back of their abandonment of third-party cookies back in 2020, businesses have had to adapt the way they work. Historically, marketers would place cookies on a user’s system to map out their activities before and after they visit their website. This meant that they had a holistic view of the customer’s behavior. However, with the changes made by web browser giants, marketers must gather what little information they can through first-party data.
First-party data is anything that a business owns including apps, websites, CRMs, surveys, and social media. With these limitations put on marketers, their jobs have become harder to achieve.
When preparing for a cookie-less world, businesses need to alter their marketing strategy and come up with a plan. In this plan, businesses should invest in first-party data that they wouldn’t have needed before. To get started, businesses should analyze what they have and work out where the majority of their data comes from.
Despite these changes, the eradication of third-party tracking cookies is an enormous win for consumer privacy. To keep in favor of users, businesses need to be committed to ensuring privacy on all their platforms.
Focus Shifting Towards Contextual Customer Experiences
Marketing analytics is becoming more contextual in 2021 and beyond. This is a direct result of the loss of third-party data. For this to work in practice, businesses need to invest in first-party infrastructures. After which, they will be able to use customers’ location, age, and opinions on the brand. Further, with the use of apps and GPS, they can see where customers are shopping. When all of this data is put together, marketers will be able to create content and messages that speak directly to certain sets of customers.
To do this effectively, marketers will need to analyze their data as a collective, and there are plenty of SaaS platforms on hand to help. Across 2021 and into 2022, we are expecting to see the use of contextual customer data rise significantly.
Reliance in Trusted Third-Party Sources
Investing in first-party solutions is all well and good, but it comes with limitations. For example, marketers can only see how customers have interacted with their own business. Therefore, businesses need to invest in third-party data to gain a well-rounded picture of their customers’ habits. Although this spending is essential, marketers must be careful about who they choose to invest in. There are data sources out there that will sell false data, which will be detrimental to your cause. Also, when you are selling your own data sets, you need to ensure that the buying business is reputable. The last thing you need is lawsuits on your hands when the data you provide gets leaked online.
With the extinction of third-party cookies, the market for third-party data has grown 6% in the space of a year, taking it to $11.9B. As the shift takes hold and marketers adapt their data models, this figure is only expected to rise by the end of 2021. It will be interesting to see what the yearly rise percentage will be.
An Influx of ML and AI
Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) have become integrated into the world culture. Therefore, marketers are utilizing AI and ML when it comes to adapting their business operations. The reason 2021 is seeing widespread adoption of AI and ML is that businesses have been forced by the pandemic to make their infrastructures applicable to the virtual world we live in. Using AI and MI means that marketers can keep on top of the shifting state of consumer needs.
A Collision of Analyst and Marketing Roles
Before the pandemic hit and technology started to integrate into every aspect of business, the data analyst and the marketer would be two separate roles. However, as the world shifts, there is a demand for marketers to have the know-how to analyze data. Throughout 2021 and the beginning of 2022, businesses will alter their expert hiring criteria, which places those that understand both the marketing science and the creative side ahead of the competition.
The Future of Marketing Analytics
Technology will continue to adapt, which will push the marketing climate to adapt with it. With this shift, the expectation of the customer will change. With this in mind, the techniques that marketers use to track consumerism will need to change as well. To achieve this goal, we will see marketers unify their measurement tactics through the use of quality marketing analytics platforms. Bringing data analytics together in one place will ensure that businesses can stay ahead while simultaneously meeting consumer expectations.
When it comes to training in marketing, there will be a shift in people studying the analytical strategies outlined above. Understanding the modern business world will allow prospective digital marketers to use data to effectively inform content creation and grow businesses.
The way businesses operate is shifting as a result of technological growth and the global pandemic. People were forced to work from home and shop online, which meant that businesses had to alter their infrastructure. Further, the elimination of third-party cookies means that marketers need to invest in first-party data, which includes apps, websites, and social media. With the handling of data shifting, more control has been put in the hands of the consumer, which makes them feel safer while browsing online. However, this has seen the need for greater investment in third-party data between reputable businesses. Another key area of growth over 2021 is the understanding and investment of inbound marketing techniques. Driving traffic this way helps to convert more people over a longer period. Finally, through AI and ML integrations, marketers can better track shifts in customer needs, which is essential in 2021 and beyond.