Data analytics in digital marketing makes for a robust methodology. Data-informed digital marketing efforts often result in more conversions through sales. But what is data analytics, and how does marketing actually benefit from it?
Defining Data Analytics
Data analytics is the field of research that transforms raw data into insights. The study of data previously fell to mathematicians and statisticians but now relies on automated processes. In turn, data analysts need to be familiar with the algorithms that make up the core of the profession and how to apply them to different data sets.
The Role of Data Analysis in Digital Marketing
The importance of data analytics in digital marketing stems from the ability to pinpoint the information that observers would otherwise miss. At its heart, data analytics is the ability to spot patterns. Current methods of digital marketing utilize big data — massive collections of information from multiple sources. Data analytics processes this data to provide a company with actionable insights.
Target marketing is an example of how analytics informs a company’s decision-making. By developing rich, informative content that appeals to the core values of its target consumer group, a business can start building a community. As each user visits the content, the company gleans information about the user. It can then develop profiles that encompass all of the members of its community, allowing it to improve its advertising.
Additionally, by collecting data about products that are the same as or similar to a business’s product, the company can adjust its pricing to be more competitive. For massive markets, having access to this data enables companies to formulate better sales strategies. Furthermore, lower pricing can attract potential customers who were previously loyal to another brand.
Trends in Data Analysis: Current and Predicted
The field of data analytics is growing rapidly, with companies recognizing the importance of utilizing technological innovations to drive marketing. In the past, marketing was about hitting as many people with the company’s message as it could and hoping it impacted some of them enough to close a sale. Today’s marketing is more streamlined thanks to data analytics. The business only sends its marketing message to the customers most likely to buy. The following trends in data analysis are likely to continue:
- Increased Use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML): AI and ML form the most cutting-edge advances that technology can offer the world. In the field of marketing, there has been a push to increase automation by incorporating self-correcting ML algorithms. Additionally, AI engines have been developed to manage data classification and storage. Some of these innovations may fail to make their expected impact, as is often the case with experimental technology. However, many of them will survive and find their way into the system as useful tools.
- Increased Cloud Adoption: Another cutting-edge advance available to digital marketing is cloud architecture for storing, accessing, and processing big data. Thanks to the massive volume of data coming into the system every minute, it would be increasingly difficult to process data with a traditional relational database model. As companies start adopting big data, the necessity of cloud computing will also increase.
- Focus on Customer Experience: Customer experience remains crucial to a business’s success. By leveraging AI chatbots to offer more “human” assistance — and then making adjustments based on customers’ questions — a company could offer consumers a higher level of service. Furthermore, incorporating ML into these chatbots could allow the system to learn from the questions and responses, enabling it to provide optimal answers to an increasing number of complex questions.
- Social Media Marketing: With platforms such as Facebook and Instagram offering easy access to demographic targeting, the use of social media advertising is likely to skyrocket into the near future. By using data analytics to collect information on consumers, a business can better inform its marketing department of the people it should be targeting for its digital ad campaigns. The campaigns, in return, generate more data through conversions, creating a positive feedback loop.
Skills Needed to Embrace These Trends
A person considering a career in data analytics needs to hone several skills to succeed in this type of environment.
- Data Visualization: Making numbers usable is what data analysts do. Data visualization allows them to present the meaning found in the data rather than just a series of numbers.
- Critical Thinking: Like other scientific disciplines, the ability to interpret information is important to the field. Understanding what the data suggests to the company is the core responsibility of the data analyst.
- Communication: The data analyst should be able to present the data in a form that management and other departments can comprehend. Communication, in this case, includes both the development of reports and presentations as well as verbal communication between departments.
- Business Acumen: The only way for a data analyst to know whether something is essential to a business is to understand how the company functions. Business awareness will help the analyst determine what is critical and what is noise.
- Technical Skills: Proficiency with programming languages designed for big data (R, Python, etc.) is crucial to data analytics. For example, using algorithms on multiple data sets to define similarities produces insights that allow marketers to make informed decisions.
Obtaining the Necessary Skills
In today’s marketing world, it’s not enough to just have creative skills. Future professionals in this field must have a zeal for data-driven digital marketing, as well as other essential elements. To this end, Maryville University’s online Master of Science in Business Data Analytics teaches students key competencies. For example, the curriculum offers courses on data mining and developing forecasts using predictive modeling — skills that many businesses value in a business analyst.
Are you ready to experience the world of big data? Explore Maryville University’s online Master of Science in Business Data Analytics to see where data can take you.