Ear­lier this year, the theme of our annual Adobe Sum­mit in Salt Lake City was the “renais­sance of dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing.” It was very fit­ting as we see how quickly the indus­try is evolv­ing, with busi­ness, mar­ket­ing, and IT all converging.

For dig­i­tal mar­keters, this renais­sance starts with think­ing about the idea of Big Data dif­fer­ently; mar­keters aren’t just col­lect­ing data nowa­days. Instead, data rel­e­vancy—or putting the data to work to meet busi­ness goalsis now essen­tial and a cen­tral focus for many mar­keters. Data isn’t enough; the num­bers must be action­able and enable smarter analysis.

(You can read the blog, “It’s Time to Rein­vent the Dig­i­tal Mar­keter,” from Adobe’s Senior Direc­tor of Strate­gic Mar­ket­ing, Matt Langie, for a more in-depth look at this shift in dig­i­tal marketing.)

Ana­lyt­ics plays a major role in this trans­form­ing mar­ket­ing land­scape, which was the theme of a panel I co-presented at Adobe Sum­mit called “The Future of Analytics.”

In the past, ana­lyz­ing all your data pro­vided cus­tomer insights after the fact. Analy­sis came in hind­sight. Now, dis­cov­er­ing cus­tomer insights and being able to act on them is eas­ier than ever before. More value can be extracted from the data to enhance mar­ket­ing efforts in real time; the data is smarter, and the analy­sis simpler.

Advances in ana­lyt­ics are crit­i­cally impor­tant for the rein­ven­tion of the mar­keter, and our cus­tomers are embrac­ing inno­va­tion to max­i­mize their mar­ket­ing efforts. For instance, pub­lish­ers are now able to opti­mize arti­cles, sto­ries, and videos in real time to max­i­mize engage­ment and ad impres­sions. And retail­ers have made it a pri­or­ity to lever­age data to per­son­al­ize and opti­mize the cus­tomer experience.

The ROI of this data-driven style of mar­ket­ing is clear: increased engage­ment, more ad impres­sions, bet­ter cus­tomer reten­tion, increased sales, etc. I believe three inno­va­tions in ana­lyt­ics are enabling mar­keters to rein­vent themselves.

1. Visual Data with Context

Ana­lyt­ics isn’t just num­bers and data any­more. Now, data is being cou­pled with con­text and con­tent to boost rel­e­vancy for an entire orga­ni­za­tion and build an emo­tional con­nec­tion to the numbers.

Tra­di­tional reports dis­play black-and-white data. It’s just about the num­bers. Adding con­text and con­tent enhances your reporting—the data is col­or­ful, Hi-Def. More impor­tantly, it con­nects peo­ple to their cam­paigns in a more visual way. With con­text and con­tent, your report­ing has the abil­ity to show how the num­bers are con­nected to the cus­tomer experience.

In some ways, con­text is avail­able in real time; pre­dic­tive ana­lyt­ics, data visu­al­iza­tions, and real-time report­ing that offers insights like trend­ing prod­ucts or sto­ries. This merg­ing of data, con­text, and con­tent will con­tinue to evolve to incor­po­rate con­tent like web­site copy, prod­ucts, arti­cles, and videos to tie the num­bers to the cus­tomer experience.

2. Action­able Data

As ana­lyt­ics soft­ware con­tin­ues to improve, data is becom­ing sharper and more insightful—the data is smarter now. This smarter data lets mar­keters quickly iso­late cus­tomer insights, which is a key to greater data rel­e­vancy, and it’s enabling mar­keters to make bet­ter real-time decisions.

We’ve seen our cus­tomers use real-time action­able data in a few dif­fer­ent ways.

For instance, they’re using gran­u­lar data to opti­mize con­tent and cam­paigns. Our cus­tomers are also using smarter data to pro­vide rel­e­vant and per­son­al­ized offers to cus­tomers. This has enabled them to max­i­mize engage­ment and ad impres­sions. And they are also using real-time data to resolve cam­paign issues as soon as they arise, i.e. trend-spotting.

Put another way, smarter data enables orga­ni­za­tions to bet­ter iden­tify oppor­tu­ni­ties and dimin­ish risk.

3. Smarter Analysis

Before, data analy­sis was a time-intensive process. To deliver mean­ing­ful cus­tomer insights, it took time, and you didn’t have rel­e­vant cus­tomer data until it was too late. This is chang­ing; with smarter data, analy­sis is sim­pli­fied. You get bet­ter, visu­al­ized data that make insights eas­ier to iden­tify and respond to.

This shift has also made it so any­one can now mine data for insights because the tools are there for mar­keters and ana­lysts of all types to dig into the data. Now, busi­nesses big and small can take the data they’ve been col­lect­ing and uncover use­ful cus­tomer infor­ma­tion, which is dri­ving change in the way mar­keters work.

 

Every day, our cus­tomers rede­fine what dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing will mean in the future, and it’s been incred­i­ble to watch the ways they are using Adobe Ana­lyt­ics to respond to this need for rein­ven­tion. This blog was the first in a series that will high­light some of the ways mar­keters are using data and ana­lyt­ics to rein­vent the role of the dig­i­tal marketer.

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