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Big Data has created analysis paralysis in many organizations today. This term describes a state in which one cannot move or make decisions because of overanalysis of too many data points. Organizationally speaking, it is important to avoid analysis paralysis at all costs. Enter: data-driven analytics as a solution to paralysis in the era of Big Data.

According to Gartner VP distinguished analyst Andrew Frank, this solution “refers to acquiring, analyzing, and applying information about customer and consumer wants, needs, context, behavior and motivations, and the effects of marketing programs and strategies.” From signals to segments to solutions, analytics takes information and makes it useful and actionable for an organization’s bottom line. For example, every data point that comes in when a person clicks, registers, or reads online content, provides information about that visitor. Analytics turns signals turned into traits—demographics, age, etc.—and those are turned into useful segments for marketing.

Analytics empowers organizations to stay relevant, acting in real time based on real data, not guesswork. In “How Marketers Can Adapt to Changing Media,” Carolyn Contois reports that organizations running a campaign can use automated systems to analyze and distill information and then “course correct” in real time, which can be a “total game changer.” In Gartner’s report, “How Data Is Transforming Marketing,” 242 marketing analytics survey participants reported that 21 percent of their marketing budgets are allocated to marketing analytics, and customer analytics was noted as the most essential data to attain. So how can organizations ensure that they have wisely put one-fifth or more of their budgets to good use?

Making analytics work for your organization should entail the following practices or components based on Gartner’s three data megatrends:

Data Megatrend 1 | Providing the Right People with the Right Experience

Gartner reports that this data megatrend, experience targeting, can be illustrated by this thought in customers’ minds: “Recognize me, and don’t make me repeat myself.” Through analytics, an organization can create a better and more powerful experience for their target customers, increase conversions, and improve branding. This is achieved through a multichannel approach including ads, social, website, mobile, and more.

For example, RSA Insurance Group, with over 17 million customers in 140 countries, used analytics to assess demographic preferences and to improve their customer’s website experiences. Analytics provided detailed insight such as where customers abandoned their purchases and whether customers looked at another product, experienced technical difficulties, or abandoned the site to complete the transaction later. After looking at the data, RSA implemented the following changes on their website: 1) highlighted the products suited to each customer during the website visit, 2) personalized optional offers, and 3) segmented homepage traffic by new versus existing customers.

What were the results for RSA? They experienced 1) increased conversion by 2 percent and profits by almost £1 per sale (by personalizing optional offers), 2) lifted login rate by 6 percent (by segmenting homepage traffic), and 3) increased conversion by 4 percent (by optimizing the homepage). RSA is an example of using data-driven analytics and real-time testing to provide the right people with the right experiences in order to improve their ROI.

Data Megatrend 2 | Publicity Gained through Organic, Grassroots Action

Earned media is just that—earned. Your organization has not paid for it, per se, but has worked to earn the public’s interest, buzz, and organic PR. Gartner notes that this data megatrend, attribution and earned media, can be illustrated by this customer sentiment: “I will share opinions to leverage my network.” Organizations that wisely integrate this megatrend into their business practices will leverage cost-effective social media tools. This will increase interactivity and connectivity with customers.

When an organization has done, said, or created something newsworthy, the public takes interest. As a result, the public will advertise for you, free of charge. Alex Ohanian of Reddit explained in his TED Talk that this occurred with the Greenpeace campaign to stop the Japanese government from offshore whaling. Greenpeace created a “vote-on-a-whale-name” campaign that went viral thanks to one catchy name: “Mister Splashy Pants.” The campaign resulted in almost 120,000 votes/site visits, the creation of marketable items such as t-shirts and pins featuring Mister Splashy Pants, and ultimately, the end of Japanese whaling. This campaign’s success was based on organic, grassroots action.

Data Megatrend 3 | Communicating the Right Message at the Right Time

This megatrend, real-time marketing, is illustrated by customers shouting, “I want it now!” How should organizations respond? According to Gartner, through utilizing the automation and programmatic media offered by today’s technology. With the right technological tools, organizations can handle data faster and more efficiently, responding in a timely manner to the customers who just “want it now”!

Analytics tools can provide automated reports on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis that track and aggregate data such as visitor traffic to websites and daily conversion events. Equipped with this powerful data, organizations can then communicate the right message at the right time. For example, using analytics PetCareRx “marketers identified that a condensed one-page checkout process produced an immediate 20% lift in conversion. By introducing customized content related to visitor ‘pet points,’ the retailer was able to achieve an additional 8% boost in conversion.” They also achieved measurable impact through automated matching of banner content for each visitor and rotating content tied to the retailer’s most popular 10 to 15 products, some with product images and cat or dog imagery, based on customers’ preferences. PetCareRx is a great example of communicating the right message at the right time in order to achieve successful results.

The Bottom Line: Use Analytics to Avoid Analysis Paralysis

If your organization is experiencing analysis paralysis, consider the usefulness of analytics in overcoming that state. From this point forward, building analytics into any digital or offline marketing strategy is the key to keep your organization moving forward in this era of big, and ever-expanding, data.

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