It’s a scenario that’s been faced by plenty of marketing managers: A senior executive announces to the marketing team that they want to promote a new product with a marketing campaign involving, as its centre piece, a seminar for prospective customers. The senior exec states what city the seminar should be in, when it should be held, and the marketing team swings into action.
But alas, the event doesn’t produce the desired results. Conversions to sales fall below expectations. And the supporting direct mail campaign, online promotion and the spattering of advertisements also don’t generate the hoped-for interest and sales.
Said senior exec complains: “What’s wrong with you people? Why isn’t our fantastic new product selling its head off?”
Avoiding the avoidable
Well, maybe it’s because the campaign strategy was based on experience and gut-feel rather than cold hard facts. For a marketing department faced with this situation, it’s likely that the information that could have predicted, and therefore avoided, this unfortunate scenario was there all the time. It just wasn’t being used.
Marketers would do well to take advantage of the powerful analytics software tools available today. With these tools you can drill down into historical marketing campaign data to work out what works, what doesn’t, and where resources should best be allocated for your next campaign.
Much of this work can of course be done using spreadsheets. But if you’re the typical marketer you’re not all that spreadsheet-orientated. Spreadsheets belong in the finance department, not in marketing. The good news, however, is that you don’t need to be good with that type of thing to get the information you need from analytics software.
Better tools produce better results
Today’s analytics applications are quite easy to use and the information they unearth is presented using simple to interpret dashboards. Also, an analytics tool will pull data from a variety of sources to provide you with a holistic, integrated view of everything’s that’s relevant to your campaigns. Financial, CRM, sales and email data all come together to inform the big picture and allow you to move forward with confidence.
You can also perform ‘what if’ analyses to predict what will happen with, for example, a change in campaign strategy. Drawing on volumes of data from past campaigns, you might want to find out what results can be expected from changing an event location from Perth to Brisbane, or from pouring 50% more resources into direct mail rather than online marketing.
Decision support with analytics
As well as proving invaluable campaign intelligence, the information revealed through analytics can be used to support your campaign management decisions and strategy to the higher-ups in your organisation (what’s known as ‘decision support’). Rather than say, “No I don’t think that will work”, you’ll be able to say, “The data tells us that simply won’t work. And here it is.” You will be far better informed in these types of conversations, and you’ll stand a better chance of being able to run campaigns the way you know they should be run.
Closing the finance/marketing gap
An additional benefit of business analytics, which is great news for marketers, is that it bridges the gap between finance and marketing. Because financial data can be produced easily and is presented in an easy-to-decipher style, marketers can create financial reports and interpret their data without relying on the finance department. An analytics application won’t necessarily turn a marketer into a business analyst, but it will sure come close.
Boosting return on investment
Ultimately it’s all about ROI, generating maximum revenue for the minimal outlay. Generating awareness of products and converting prospects into customers can of course be an expensive, time consuming and labour intensive process. But if you’re supported by the right analytics tools you’ll be sure to achieve a much bigger bang for your buck.
You can read more about how Professional Advantage can help yours sales and marketing team. Read more about Professional Advantage and QlikView here.
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