3 Tips to Align Your Analytics Strategy with the Empowered Consumer

Today’s empowered consumers will not be confined. They move fluidly between a trifecta of paid, owned, and earned channels. They convert when it’s convenient to them, and they broadcast their experiences—good or bad—to thousands of others via social media.

While this makes for a dynamic customer experience, it simultaneously wreaks havoc on measuring across traditional channels, which in turn presents challenges regarding how to understand the correlation between a real-time social promotion and in-store purchases. It also becomes more difficult to measure the consumer conversion path from phone to tablet to desktop.

With the 2014 World Cup marketing flurry upon us, brands are increasingly seeking to understand the fluid cross-channel journey of their consumers. Marketers need to be able to assign ROI to social campaigns. They need to know how geolocation is affecting user behavior. They need device-specific segmentation for optimized experiences and personalization initiatives.

Having had the fortune to work in client services for a large analytics consultancy that provides digital measurement and actionable insight to global brands, including Microsoft, Costco, and Disney, I’ve been able to glean a viewpoint from a unique window into what’s working and what’s not in the age of the empowered consumer.

Here are three trends I’ve noticed among the most successful data-driven companies:

They’re connecting their data        

Data management isn’t sexy. However, gaining a 360-degree view of your consumer (or at least a 180-degree view for some) requires a scalable process for connecting and analyzing all your disparate sources of data.

The top complaint we hear from marketers at Fortune 500 companies is that they don’t trust their data. Whether it’s a technical data capture issue or an inability to even know how many unique users a company has across mobile, Web, or social, a lack of executive confidence in one’s data will undermine any analytics strategy.

Rock solid data management is the foundation that facilitates both access to your data and organizational trust in your analytics strategy.

They’re iteratively optimizing

What use is data if brands aren’t able to use it to make better experiences for their customers?

Companies know they need to be testing the pages and events in their conversion funnels, but often struggle when trying to figure out what to prioritize.

It’s easy to optimize one portion of a site at the expense of another, but the most successful brands have forged internal partnerships between content owners, analysts, engineering, and marketing decision-makers with the goal of incrementally driving overall site revenue.

Creating and gaining organizational buy in for testing priorities is vital for the long-term success of your company’s optimization campaign.

They know how to evangelize data

Evangelizing data throughout an organization requires a deep understanding of existing internal audiences and the way they need to consume data in order to execute their jobs successfully.

The companies that can deliver data in an engaging, relevant, and actionable way throughout their respective organizations are often the most agile in responding to the needs of today’s empowered consumer.

Mike Zell is VP of client services and strategy at digital analytics agency Pointmarc, where he works with blue-chip brands, including Costco, Microsoft, and Williams-Sonoma.

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