How can you better understand your audience? Introduce analytical vehicles into your communications plan.
Analytics can help marketers begin to understand their market position and target audience because you can measure just about anything. The information might help you see what is working and what is not. You might see how to tweak your communications plan and create a roadmap for areas of future improvement.
You might also begin to see what kind of “return on investment,” or ROI, your marketing plan is yielding. You can come one step closer to the holy grail of marketing -- proving that marketing communications is linked to sales. In a down economy, marketers are focused on every dollar spent and have higher performance expectations. They don't want to spend their budget on wasted programs that don't deliver results.
But the popular saying attributed to John Wanamaker, "Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don't know which half," illustrates how difficult it is know what is working and what is not. Internal and external variables can make measurement a complex assignment. Marketing analytics are part art, part skill, and part science. It’s whether you have enough data and the right variables to measure. Tactics differ widely and across many different levels from awareness, interest, desire and action.
Here are just a few suggestions of how to approach different analytical vehicles and what variables you may want to measure.
- Database analysis of variables like name, address, SIC/NAICS codes and transaction history can yield information like: current customers base, customer behavior, target prospects as well as geographic considerations. You might go further down data to company size and customer retention, for example. Ultimately, the information yielded can allow for targeted communication to a customer that will be of interest and benefit to them, and yield a better result for the marketer.
- Market research gathers, records and analyzes data about issues relating to marketing products and services. The questions could be about competitors, market structure, government regulations, economic trends, technological advances, and numerous other business environment factors. Marketing communications could use this data to craft a consistent message across multiple media platforms. The message will hopefully be attention getting, well branded, and have the proper motivational points to yield results.
- We know that for every marketing action, there is a reaction to track. Tracking the marketing results of your communications plan is where you can begin to measure the ROI and each individual vehicles performance. What were your set objectives? Where they met? Can you track the results of your advertising and promotion programs? Public relations? Other types of data tracking could be number of online clicks, offline calls, online and offline revenues and inquires, tradeshow attendees, inbound responses, and market share.
- SWOT analysis is a situation analysis tool used to help marketers understand their Strengths and Weaknesses, and look at the Opportunities and Threats they face. This information can be used to shape communications from a strategic perspective. It can help in the development of positioning and key messaging. What is your unique selling proposition? What are your deficiencies or problems? What are the opportunities to exploit your strengths or turnaround your weaknesses? Are there external treats that could impact you negatively?
As an advertising agency, Brigham & Rago is here to help businesses develop marketing communications plans to keep or capture new market share. We are ready to consult with you, then based on our experience and the information we gather, help put together the analytical vehicle portion of your communications plan. Our goal is to help you meet your marketing objectives by assisting in implementing and delivering a clear, consistent message. Call 973-656-9006 to set up a meeting to discuss your next communications project. Visit our online portfolio to see examples of work we’ve created for our clients.