Planning for Marketing Analytics

For any kind of digital marketing data analysis, the first step is always to plan for it. It is vital to identify primary business objectives that your analysis can address and the data that you will analyze will tie back to these key questions.

There are many free and accessible tools available once you understand where you’re going to direct your analysis. And finally documenting your plan is vitally important to your success along the way. So, for digital marketing analytics process, there are five marketing objectives that any digital marketing campaign can have that your analysis is doing can address.

  1. Build awareness
  2. Improve sales processes
  3. Re-position brand
  4. Grow loyalty
  5. Influence consideration

Any company may have multiple marketing challenges across many of these different digital marketing objectives but the analysis that you conduct can only be focused on one of them. These objectives are mutually exclusive. They are together collectively exhaustive. There is no real overlap between these objectives. It really does cover the whole range of challenges that a marketing organization can have.

So, how do you determine whether an organization struggles with one of these different challenges? Well, there are some simple questions that you can ask and depend upon the answers you can determine it is relevant or not.

As recall and recognize a brand. If they don’t, or if they don’t to the extent that you want them to, you have a problem with awareness and you as an organization will need to build your awareness up.

For influence and consideration ask to do the products satisfy consumers’ needs.

If they don’t, that means consumers are choosing other products, competitive products to yours and, as a result, you need to better influence consideration and drive consumers to your products.

The third question for the third business objective is to do my sales efforts result in wins for my brands. If they don’t, there are probably hiccups or problems along your sales process that is causing issues. And let me tell you what I mean by the sales process. I don’t mean your advertising, I don’t mean your marketing. I mean simply what are you doing at the shelf. Are you winning there? That type of sales process. Very distinct and finite. For an e-commerce company, once someone gets a product into my checkout process, are they completing that process or do I have large cart abandonment. Is there something in that process that is preventing them from becoming a customer? Dependent upon the answer that you have to that question, that’s going to tell you if your brand needs to improve its sales processes.

The fourth question Do the experiences I deliver fulfil customer expectations? If they don’t, I’m going to need to re-position my brand. I’m going to need to do something that will allow me to produce products or set the expectations in consumers’ mind that the products that I have, the brand that I promote, actually do fulfil whatever needs they have and fulfil their expectations.

A fifth question that you can ask is do consumers advocate for my brand? If they do, I probably have strong loyalty. If consumers don’t advocate for my brand, well, then loyalty could be an issue.

Now, as I’ve said, organizations struggle with all of these different objectives. Right? These are the primary marketing objectives that organizations carry and very few do all of these things correctly. So, the issue is not that your organization might have more than one problem. The issue is that as you begin your analysis, it will be critically important for you to find and settle on one of those objectives because if you’re trying to chase too many objectives down, your analysis is not going to be concise. It’s not going to be impactful. You’re going to get lost. So, choose one of these objectives that you can work against.

Now, another way that you can go about determining these objectives is using a framework. A great framework to help here is the consumer decision journey that is produced by McKinsey and what that CDJ does is it takes the whole process for consumers from the time they are triggered for a product need all the way through to the point that they make that purchase and then the experiences afterwards. And let me talk a little bit about how that works.

So, everything begins with a trigger, either a customer sees an advertisement and says wow, I really want that product and now that’s instilled a need and the more they run out of a product that they have. Whatever it is. Some kind of trigger has happened for them to say I want to get that product. I’m now in that market. The first thing they’ll start to do is think about what brands could deliver that product. If it’s a car that they want, then they’ll start thinking about the cars that they would want to buy. That initial set, that initial list, is called the initial consideration set. And that is a great place for brands to be. You want to be top of mind. You want to be recognizable. You want customers to think of you when they need a product that you sell.

Following that is this process called active evaluation. It’s when consumers are collecting a lot of information to evaluate the different product choices and brands that they have available to them. This is something that Google calls the zero moment of truth. So, it’s that time before they actually make a purchase where they’re checking different sources. Lots of really robust, rich information being passed around in this phase and things that are great for our analysis. The next step then is the moment of purchase. So, now they have actually purchased a product or they’re at that point where they’ve done all their analysis, they’ve done all their evaluation and they’ve arrived at a product and actually made that purchase. And brands here can win at shelf. This is was P&G calls that first moment of truth when a consumer is standing in a grocery store or a retail outlet and sees the different products in front of them and has to make a choice between those where brands are competing for attention.

After the moment of purchase, there is the post-purchase experience. So, you get the product home, you have to see do I like this, does it fit the expectations that I had going in. This is the second moment of truth that P&G detailed. And then you’ve got this little thing called the loyalty loop and what this is is the place that every brand wants to be. It’s basically a shortcut of the entire consumer decision journey and it says that if that trigger arises again if I’m a satisfied customer and I like that brand and the product that you produce fits my needs, I will go right to the moment of purchase. I’ll jump in that loyalty loop and avoid the possibility of buying some other brand’s products.

Here’s where this becomes interesting for our objective analysis. The questions that we just talked about around those five different business objectives layer in very well to the consumer– the customer decision journey. The recall, the brand awareness, fits very well with the initial consideration side. If you are not– if your brand is not on that initial consideration set, you’ve got an awareness problem. That becomes the marketing objective that you need to tackle. The active evaluation. Do my products satisfy customer needs? If they don’t, they’re going elsewhere for that product, you need to influence consideration. So, you can see how those different brand objectives really measure up very well to the areas in the consumer decision journey. The one that I’ve left out here is the trigger and so, at the trigger, brands would typically want to know what creates that consumer need. Now, that’s not necessarily a business challenge. That’s an understanding the customer challenge and very important for all sorts of brands, but if you don’t know that, it’s not necessarily a marketing challenge that you face, it’s just you don’t have the depth of understanding of the customers that you want. So, that’s why I haven’t mapped that one back to a consumer– a brand objective.

Now, for each of these different questions, each of these objectives, there are different analyses that you’ll conduct to get to insights. For the trigger, a clickstream analysis can be very important to see how consumers are moving around my website, where they’re going, what’s important to them, what is not. An initial consideration set, great insight can be gained from a competitive intelligence study there. Active evaluation, doing experimentation and testing. Putting things into the market, seeing what the response is, pulling things out, seeing what happens.

Doing AB testing where you offer two different choices to consumer and see which ones win. Those are great ways to test that whole process of active evaluation. And outcomes analysis is a fantastic way to say there was a purchase, what were the factors that led up to that, or here’s a customer that didn’t buy my product, what were the factors that caused them to go elsewhere. Voice of the customer studies is great ways to get insight into post-purchase experiences. I bought the product. What do I think about the product?

As well as collecting data around brand advocacy. Are consumers advocating for my brand? That’s a great analysis to learn more about that loyalty move and your customer loyalty.

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