Today’s value-oriented, less loyal customers create even greater challenges in an already challenging business environment. With a keen focus on growth, increased customer expectations and competition, and the proliferation of new technologies and channels, the world is just too dynamic for businesses and especially marketers to rely solely on intuition and experience to succeed.  Relevant, timely data; and analytical skill must back up all decisions.

An Accenture High Performance research study found that companies that invest heavily in their analytic capabilities outperform the S&P 500 on average by 64%. How are these high performers different?

First, they have above average analytical capabilities. Second they have better decision support analytical capabilities. Third, they value analytical insights more highly than the average company, which seems obvious or they wouldn’t have invested in the first two. And finally, they use analytics across their entire organization, including sales and marketing.

Julio Hernandez, once a partner at Accenture and now at KPMG, says, “Companies need to be analytically inclined and data-driven in order to turn insights into action for driving growth.”

How Analytics Drive Growth

Let analytics be your growth mantra.  Use analytics to  evaluate and address five growth opportunities:

  1. Acquire new valuable customers
  2. Acquire customers who will buy more from you
  3. Acquire customers who will buy your more high value products/services
  4. Retain high value customers longer
  5. Determine which marketing activities will have the greatest impact on accelerating customer acquisition and improving retention

growth, marketing operations, growth

The Best Way to Get Started

We all know that analytics is challenging and time consuming. And there are so many possible projects to evaluate that it’s hard to know where to start. To prioritize projects we recommend you evaluate projects against two dimensions: ease of execution from easy to hard and value derived from low to high.

Here’s how to use this idea.

  • Create your criteria for each dimension.
  • Make a list of all your potential projects.
  • Score each project against the criteria.
  • Plot each project based on its score into one of the four boxes.
  1. High-Value/Easy-to-Execute- Must Dos
  2. Low-Value/Easy-to-Execute – Quick Hits (things you can do in 30 days or less)
  3. High-Value/Hard-to-Execute- Transformative
  4. Low-Value/Hard-to-Execute- Nice to Have

We recommend you focus on the high-value/easy-to-execute first. Create and implement a plan to act on these NOW. These projects prove your way to demonstrate fast, high value wins.

Then tackle the easy-to-execute/low-value for the next set of fast wins. These may be projects where university students can help if you’re short on internal staff.

Put a plan in place to address the hard-to-execute/high-value projects. These may require you to seek external expertise.

Place the last group in your “parking lot” for reevaluation when you repeat this process.

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Marketing Operations is Oxygen for Growth

An analytical approach to the business takes skills and resources and it is not easy to scale. How do you scale it? The optimal way to scale is with marketing operations. Marketing operations is oxygen for growth. A properly chartered and resourced marketing operations function facilitates an agile marketing organization. Best-in-class marketing organizations:

  • Define efficient and scalable processes, including data capture and management
  • Use analytics to identify and recommend ROI-led marketing investment, including developing models to optimize channels
  • Facilitate strategic planning and growth by using analytics to develop market and customer segmentation models

Our research shows that many organizations have someone performing some part of the marketing operations function, primarily budgeting, research and planning. As you plan for the role of Marketing Operations, consider how combining an increased invested in infrastructure and skills will help you prove Marketing’s contribution, value, and impact on growth.


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