Analytics, Predictive or Prescriptive? Why not Both?

Analytics and data are essential to running any business today and firms have established systems that track and monitor everything that we do. In order to have a more effective marketing strategy it is important to understand the different types of data and how to properly use them. The three basic types are descriptive, predictive and perceptive analytics. We discuss each in more detail below.

Descriptive Analytics

This type is raw data in summarized form. Examples include social engagement counts, sales numbers, customer statistics and other metrics that show you what’s going on in your business in an easy-to-understand way.

Predictive Analytics

Predictive analytics forecast what will happen in the future. Examples include consumer trends, forecasting and opportunity analysis that will help determine the actions of a business.

 Perceptive Analytics

This type of analytics builds on predictive analytics. It involves informing key decision makers about different decision choices with their anticipated impact on key performance indicators (KPIs). This type helps you develop specific recommendations. An example of this would be a GPS system which first predicts a route using a multitude of different inputs and “advises” a person to take the shortest route with a predicted ETA.

Using both Predictive and Perceptive Analytics

Both of these types of analytics must be used in order to maximize your company’s marketing efforts. One without the other does not bridge the gap between raw data collected and what actions your company will take. “Prescriptive analytics can help companies alter the future,” stated Immanuel Lee, Web analytics engineer at MetroStar Systems. “They’re both necessary to improve decision-making and business outcomes.”

Perceptive analytics ultimately clarifiy predictive data and can help a company improve their marketing strategy to increase sales. Simply knowing information about a consumer or industry offers some information to a company about the market in which it operates but this is the first step. The next step is to actually determine what this information means and the impact that it has on key areas of the business.

Tips for your Analytics Program

1) Start Small

When dealing with analytics there are many various types of data that get recorded. Therefore it is important to start small and work smart in order to gather the right types of data. Within your business there are many different activities that go on day-to-day and sometimes a more focused strategy is better.

2) Create Specified Data Sets

By separating data into specific groups, it is easier to use when needed within your marketing strategy. Data can be separated into segments like gender, income level and location. This in turn makes it easier to specifically predict and make recommendations through a perceptive program.

3) Understand Why Data is Collected

Predictive and perceptive analytics ultimately depend on humans that design systems and collect data. It is important to understand why certain types of data are being collected and what the purpose of this information is. Understanding why this information is collected and what its use will be will help when trying to determine the best marketing strategy for a company.

4) Keep Your Systems up to Date

As your business grows and advances, it is critical to develop and keep your systems up to date. Technology makes it easier and more efficient to gather information about customers within your market. When your analytical systems are up to date, your company will be more adaptive at responding to current trends or consumer wants.

At Mirza International, we have the know-how when it comes to analytical marketing, which will save you both time and money. We can offer you marketing services that drive success and help convert data into a focused marketing strategy. The benefits for you? Less wasted effort and a greater return – which will help your business grow and keep you happy!

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Marketing Mix

Marketing Mix Tips: 5 Ways to Predict Customers

There is a famous saying in business that states “the customer is always right.” Today companies are getting better at delivering on the desires of customers. I addition customers want companies to serve them at a higher level than in the past. Many of them expect personalized buying experiences. This means companies spend a lot of time and effort to learn how to properly engage their customers. Successful firms incorporate customer expectations into their marketing mix. This has led to an increased foresight and capability to understand the desires of customers. They can then be targeted before they even know they are being marketed to.

A company must focus on things like customer service and satisfaction. This will keep people engaged in their products. Relationship marketing is a huge part of a firm’s marketing mix. This ends up playing a huge role in the profits of an organization. In the past companies relied on testimonies from customers about their products to gain data about them.  Now companies gather data about their customers using technology. Some technologies used today include databases and online information. Analytics are also very important to understand how people differ. For example baby boomers do not respond the same to marketing as a teens. This must be considered when developing your marketing mix.

Developing Your Marketing Mix Can be a Challenge…

It is complicated to adapt to what people want all the time as they are always changing their minds.  As times change or certain trends take over the marketplace it becomes harder for organizations to attain and retain their customers. Customers also have more and more buying power. Now they can purchase online from any store globally.  Globalization makes it important to gather data and stay up to date on what customers want and the best way to reach them. According to New York Times people see or come in contact with up to 20,000 advertisements per day. This makes it very hard for companies to attain a loyal customer base when they have to compete with all this noise. To develop a strong marketing mix the key is to know what customers want by understanding what they are thinking. Here are 5 ways to do that that:

1) Think like Your Customer

This seems simple but is often overlooked by companies. This can be the most useful way to understand the competitors in the marketplace.  By understanding competitors a company can more easily adjust their product or service to offer an advantage to their target market. Learning this will allow a company to look past its core business systems to the front line of where customers are purchasing products.

2) Put Yourself Through the Customer Experience

Experiencing what a customer does at the point of purchase if this is possible can be a very valuable tool. For example many nurses in clinics put themselves through the process of waiting for an appointment. This helps them understand how their patients feel. Interacting with your consumer and experiencing what they do will offer great insight into what is important to them. If it is not possible to experience exactly what your customers do at the point of purchase then role-play each step of the buying process. This will determine some key desires of the customer. From here a company can adjust its marketing mix accordingly.

3) Have a Diverse Customer Service Team

It is important to consider that different types of people can relate and better understand different types of customers. Having a diverse team of service representatives will allow for a company to consider the desires of all its customers. People are very different and are always changing their minds. This means companies must be very diverse because they have to adapt to a huge customer base.

4) Learn With Customers

Another way to gain understanding is to learn with the customer. In some cases companies have invited top customers to their own events and seminars. This is valuable because the company can get a better understanding of the mindset of their customers.  It is also a great time for a company to try to influence the mindset of its customers by directing them toward their own products or services.  A great relationship can be formed with the customers and customer loyalty can begin. To learn with your customer is a creative way to incorporate them directly into your marketing mix.

5) Look to the Future and Anticipate

This is the hardest part of customer service and usually determines the success of a company long-term.  A company must focus on what customers will want in the future. Steve Jobs and Richard Branson are perfect examples of people who were able to look to the future. Looking ahead will also help companies predict the trends in the market that may affect their customers.

To conclude companies have become very good at predicting the wants of their customers. To be able to compete within your industry it is important to know how to do this.  Outlined above are some ways a company can study their customers. Predicting wants are important so that companies can capitalize on opportunities and maintain loyalty from their customers. To develop a strong marketing mix the key is to know what customers want by trying to understand how they think.

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