Will analytics arms race shape the future of marketing?

Dan Wigley, MerkleBrands have reviewed the strategic use of analytics within marketing, coming to understand the strong growth that it brings. As we come into 2022, the trends we predicted for the use of data and analytics within marketing are becoming reality.

Companies which understand that speed of translating data into actionable insight underpins future success are yielding impressive results, with many global brands reshaping the entire structure of marketing to gain data-driven consumer insights at speed.

As brands move towards being agile in the face of data and decision making, competition demands integrated consumer experiences are a necessity, on a global scale.

Analytics is at the heart of this marketing tech arms race, as it revolves at the centre of new tech, and is the solution to many arising issues within the space.

A combination of privacy regulations and technological developments have meant that interest in advanced analytics has grown, leading to higher demand than ever. Consumers are expecting better experiences from their brands, and firms are turning to analytics to provide this.

Analytics forms a crucial element into improving the customer experience. It is now a requirement of businesses to double down on their investment in first-party driven communications, primarily in CRM and website experience and ability to deliver holistic customer experience is a competitive advantage. However, the key challenge for many brands is that current customer experience management systems and data storage are unable to support at speed.

Currently, many brands have data stored inefficiently, with no unified accessible data source which can be used across a variety of media. Without existing infrastructure, these brands will struggle to adapt to the tidal wave of new technology seemingly on the horizon.

As the marketing world adjusts to skyrocketing customer expectations, those lacking technological structure will be lost in the rapid innovation that stronger analytics will bring.

New machine learning tools are providing the opportunity for new heights of analytical power. We can now use analytics to create hyper-personalised customer experiences, down to individual one-to-one interactions, such as mass emails that are all individually personalised to the consumer. And this is just the start of a long future of rapid evolution.

Online media is also becoming more expensive and marketers are wanting the efficiency that analytics can deliver. By only targeting the most appropriate and valuable users in marketing efforts using first-party data, brands can minimise expenditure on wide reaching campaigns.

With the slow phasing-out of the third-party cookie on Google platforms – accompanied by increasing privacy concerns – first party data will play a more significant role in the future of marketing. To execute on these forms of data, brands need strong analytical capabilities to keep up with the new technology which will shape the future of marketing.

At Merkle, we work with clients to unlock the value in the data they have and could get. We focus on driving tangible business outcomes and work collaboratively with clients on analytics assessments to inform the areas they should prioritise investment in. A critical part of this is understanding the business challenges our clients are facing and determining how analytics dovetails into the technological and organisational solutions clients are building.

The analytics arms race will shape the marketing landscape as new technology fills the gaps left by regulation and changing consumer-business dynamics. With the advent of this new era for marketing, only those willing to become adaptive organisations, capable of using new technological leaps and marketing techniques will be able to thrive.

Dan Wigley is UK Analytics Practice lead at Merkle

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