How Analytics is Helping Today’s Social Marketers
“In the next two years, savvy marketers will demand social measurement tools that demonstrate how their social programs are creating marketing and business success.” – Nate Elliott, Forrester
Today, we are firmly planted in the age of Big Data. No arguments any longer that the insights that this data presents has unprecedented value for businesses. One aspect of modern day business that has quickly realized the value of big data analytics is marketing, especially, since the customer’s digital footprint has increased so substantially. While the average American consumed 33 gigabytes of data daily, in 2015 this number increased to 74 gigabytes per day which amounts to approximately 8.75 zettabytes per year. In the time of this data deluge, one wonder how old time advertiser and (M)ad man, Don Draper would cope with the barrage of marketing opportunities presented by data?
Data is presenting a whole world of opportunities to marketers to tweak and refine their marketing strategies, get more accurate and measurable insights into campaign success and produce better advertisements etc. That apart, it is also providing them with insights by which they can capture the attention of their audience. Let’s focus on how Social media marketers can especially benefit from the insights presented by big data analytics in their quest to leverage social channels to communicate with an online audience.
Microtargeting helps marketers gain very specific and sharper insights into consumer behavior and then build interactions with the help of very specific and targeted messaging. Microtargeting leverages consumer data to identify specific interests of individuals or a very small group of like-minded individuals, to send out tailored messages to this niche audience and deliver them through the audience’s preferred communication channel. Ever wondered how you get to see an advertisement designed almost exactly for you and delivered to you through your preferred social media platform? That’s microtargeting. Microtargeting enables marketers to narrowly target consumers and businesses. This can positively influence the audience’s perception of your brand, make a more personal connection and develop long-term relationships – all by leveraging granular-level data.
Sentiment analysis or opinion mining is the analysis of the emotional tone used by customers and prospect. This is the message behind the natural language, mined using very specific processing tools. Social media marketers can especially leverage sentiment analysis as this aims to get an understanding of opinions, attitudes, and emotions that are expressed in an online interaction. For eg. the Obama campaign employed sentiment analysis to great effect to assess public opinion to campaign messages and policy announcements during the 2012 presidential election. Sentiment analysis gives social marketers insights into the consumer attitudes and allows them to react appropriately. Sentiment analysis dives deep into conversations about the brand and enables marketers to react appropriately and eventually increase customer engagement. Marketers are leaning towards sentiment analysis as they feel this analysis is likely to provide more usable information than focus groups or surveys by triangulating both the qualitative and the quantitative with the help of real-time data analysis.
Customer Journey Marketing
Customer Journey marketing is now a hot buzzword in the marketing world. Today, customer journeys are defining the way customers are interacting with companies. Mapping customer journeys helps organizations identify pain points and their root causes, prioritize initiatives and dynamically assess impact with the KPI’s. In the face of so much Data, analytics is, therefore, crucial when you want to understand the customer and their experiences across each stage of the customer journey. Since there are so many digital interactions, it becomes equally essential to integrate the data, both structured and unstructured, from every channel and analyze it together as a single data set to get a single integrated view of the customer. This mass analysis of data helps marketers develop the ‘destination thinking’ plan which helps them gain answers to the problems customers want to solve or the questions they need to answer.
Analyst Martin Kihn of Gartner had said, “Data processing at massive scale is only now becoming realistic. And data about our wanderings around the web exist on hundreds of random site servers. Data management platforms and exchanges arose to do the piecing-together, and today more (usually anonymized) information is available to marketers than ever before. This will only get better.” This goldmine of data is growing at a phenomenal pace and social analytics may well prove to be a turning point for firmly establishing the strategic value of social media marketers. Clearly in the age of digital marketing success will belong to those marketers who will be willing to mine this gold effectively.