An in-depth understanding of consumers sits at the heart of what we all need to do, but we know it’s not always easy to uncover insights that will unlock a true innovation opportunity.
This year saw the rise of massive interest and demand for data analytics and predictive analytics capabilities and skillsets in the modern marketing function.
To make sure our readers don’t miss out on any tips and tricks, we’ve pooled together the best and most popular of our extensive coverage around the use of data analytics by leading Australian and global brands, as well as advice from the world’s best on how you can get ahead.
Analytics and insight for its own sake is just an academic exercise: “It’s about everything we do driving to an action and outcome,” Telstra head of analytics, Liz, Moore, told CMO in an interview describing how the telco is applying data analytics to its customer engagement efforts.
“When we talk with internal stakeholders and work out how to allocate revenues, it’s about being clear on the pathway to action – what we will do differently as a result of knowing that information? It’s a powerful question for analysts and researchers. We use it as a lens over our program of work so we strip away any ‘nice to knows’ and focus on things that will drive to an outcome organisationally.”
Digital futurist, Chris Riddell, looks at how predictive analytics and smart data will provide marketers with the ability to finally tackle the individual.
“I see three directions predictive analytics will take in 2015, which I’m calling ‘upwards, downwards and inside out’,” he said. “But rather than different directions, it is more helpful to see these as inter-connected. The real value for business leaders and their businesses comes from being able to access the insights generated from all three.”
Big data analytics is not only providing Aon with the tools to improve existing insurance policies and risk management models, it’s also paving the way to product and customer innovation.
The risk management and insurance provider has invested about $350m globally in recent years to build out its data capabilities, culminating in two analytics and innovation centres of excellence in Dublin, Ireland and most recently, Singapore.
“On the one hand, big data is generating new risks, and on the other hand, the fact you have the analytics allows you to think about quantifying risks and designing products to help mitigate them,” said Steven Mildenhall, the global CEO of analytics at AON and in charge of the analytics and innovation centre.
With all the hype that has accompanied the digitisation of consumer marketing, it is easy to forget that another important field of marketing has been going through its own digital revolution.
B2B marketing is benefiting from many of the same automation and analytic technologies and techniques being used in consumer marketing, but applied to a much smaller range of targets and in a one-to-one fashion that many consumer marketers might only dream of.
The world of big data vendors is divided into two camps. There are the pure-play big data startups bringing innovation and buzz to the marketplace. And then there are the established database/data warehouse vendors who are moving into the world of big data from a position of strength. Here’s a list of the 15 companies to watch from both sides.
Banks have worked hard to accumulate their vast customer data repositories, and guard them jealously. But Spanish bank, BBVA, has determined the best way to profit from its data is to give it away for free.
BBVA’s chief data scientist, Marco Bressan, said his bank had aggregated all client data into a single view, and was combining that with point-of-sale (POS) and ATM data collected from across Spain. This created a highly dense network of sensors that captured data on one in six transactions.
Understanding and targeting segmented audiences, rather than digital contexts, has led Australia’s Carsales.com.au to invest in a programmatic audience targeting offering from Krux and Audience360.
“At some point in the consumer buying journey, 80 per cent of Australians looking for a car are coming through our websites, often many times,” Carsales.com.au’s director of media and OEM, Anthony Saines, said. “People are buying or selling, looking at new versus used vehicles, then there are those wanting family versus sports cars, or sedans versus a midlife crisis Porsche. It wasn’t enough to say we have car buyers, we needed to segment our audience to a far greater degree.”
Customer loyalty lies at the heart of ING Direct’s latest efforts to target customers in their moment of need using a combination of sophisticated data analytics, insight and real-time communication.
The banking group’s executive director of customer delivery, Lisa Claes, told CMO the business has shifted its focus onto rewarding existing customers as part of efforts to deepen relationships with them. One way it’s striving to achieve this is by generating targeted and contextually relevant offers across digital channels when customers engage with its products and services.
Behavioural research firm, Gateway Research, claims to have completed the world’s largest single store eye tracking study across 300 Australian shoppers in partnership with Nestle and Woolworths.
Gateway founder, Dr Peter Brawn, told CMO the Shopper Compass project was an exercise in big data management, with more than 4 million fixations, 700,000 navigation data points and 10,000 purchases tracked and analysed.
A new jobs report has highlighted a major gap between the demand for and supply of skilled marketing candidates with digital marketing and data analytics experience in the Australian market.Read more: Australian-based artificial intelligence vendor appoints data science chief
Private sector vacancies remain high and there is a continued shortage of skilled candidates, particularly around digital marketing and big data experience.
“If employers are not currently recruiting in these areas, they usually expect to do so in the coming six to 12 months,” Hays said in its report.
Customers are less interested in hearing you talk than in you talking to them, according to Vodafone marketing and communications general manager, Nilanjan Sarkar.
Speaking at the SAS conference in Sydney, Sarkar said it’s only when we start to look at the customer experience as journeys that we start listening and truly responding.
“That [point-based experience] is a mindset we need to get out of,” he told attendees. “When you get out of that mindset and look at the customer experience as journeys, you stop talking at customers and start listening and responding.”