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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