How often do we pause and ponder about industry issues that have a bearing beyond just our rigmaroles? Share insights that can further the common understanding? Or, at the very least, point at things that need to be set right. View Point - an exchange4media platform, will fill this void and become a source of understanding, action and perhaps some inspiration.
Growing hunger for Business Analytics
Sandeep Pandey, National Business Director, ATG
Business analytics has assumed the status of a strategic tool over the last few years with high-performing businesses looking to notch up their marketshare. Analytics provide business owners with valuable insights for various strategic and operational decisions. They focus on effective use of data and information to drive positive business actions. Indian businesses are increasingly adopting analytics in their processes to scale down costs, improve inventory flows and achieve higher profits.
The objective of high-end analytics is to turn data into insights that let managers grasp the dynamics of their business immediately. These include the current and projected status of customers grouped by preference, age, buying power, and other parameters. Ideally, analytics let companies combine demographic and behavioral data with sales information to determine how best to leverage customer relationship.
Analytics play a much more significant role with businesses that have reached saturation and are exploring new sources of revenue. The depth and width of analyses in such cases need to be far more advanced, as they must quantify not only the finer nuances of marketing responsible for sales, but also the factors that lead to customers switching loyalties.
The body of knowledge for analytics includes both business and technical - including an understanding of the business and industry, various analytics tools and techniques for delivery of business metrics, data visualization, and deployment and use of technology solutions optimizers and dashboards.
Specialist marketing RoI consulting companies like ATG (Advanced Technique Group), the business science division of Mindshare and Maxus, have been using advanced analytics to deliver marketing solutions to realize profitable growth for their clients.
Marketers Focus: Improve RoI through Analytics
The marketing environment is unrelenting and there is unprecedented demand on managers to deliver more with less.
The era of personalized communications has altered the marketing orientation from product-focused to customer-focused, a fact most companies are just beginning to come to terms with.
There is growing pressure on marketing to justify every penny invested and link it to RoI.
Add to this the complexity of the marketing environment, which is simultaneously flooded with multiple campaigns across multiple markets and channels, more often than not, for a single brand.
Bombarded with multiple targets, geographies, incentives and products, it is an uphill task for managers to assess campaign performance and categorize leads - yet there are no two ways about it.
A slew of product innovations have led to a boom in the Indian economy, creating an extremely competitive marketplace. The best hedge against an uncertain future is to keep a close tab on trends in order to avoid being caught off-guard when the unexpected happens. This is the driving force behind any analytics exercise.
Traditional marketing methods and processes are passé and no longer yield the desired results. Proactive organizations do not have isolated campaign blasts to promote a product; instead, they use personalized, multi-channel, ongoing interactions to build customer relationships. And they use the services of marketing consulting firms to measure the outcome of these efforts. However, it is important to understand consumer behaviour and market dynamics before measuring any media or personalized activity.
Analytics could span various key areas within a business. Accordingly, it could be segmented into:
Marketing Analytics: Here, analytics measure the impact of various marketing elements (price, promotions, advertising, competition, packaging and distribution) on brand sales in different markets. It offers a complete framework that guides budget allocation for that brand by market. It evaluates the efficiency of each marketing element, which helps further refine the allocation decision. This provides an in-depth analysis of the entire range of products and helps marketers in portfolio management and optimization.
Marketing analytics calculate the RoI for each brand market and prioritize each on the basis of actual returns.
Media Analytics: This measures the impact of different types of communication on brand sales and awareness. It helps in identifying communications that are most elastic to sales and yield the maximum return on investment. This understanding leads to the optimum media mix for maximizing brand sales within a given budget. .
CRM Analytics: It is important to understand consumer dynamics before implementing any marketing plan and analytics help you do precisely that. .
Consumer Segmentation - It helps segment the consumer base on variables such as media viewing habits, brand loyalty, socio-economic status, health consciousness, etc. This learning goes into planning the marketing activities for a particular demographic.
Consumer Loyalty - This assesses brand loyalty and its effect on sales. Specifically, it quantifies the percentage of people loyal to a brand over a period of time and the likelihood that they will continue to remain so irrespective of any change.
Supply Chain Analytics (Efficient Inventory Management) -- Analytics play an important role in tracking stock movements and forecasting future demand for a product. This improves supply chain efficiency. It works through the following steps:
Understand the movement of products across outlets
Analyze each outlet and its key selling products
Use analytics and predict the sales for the top selling products of that store in the next 6-9 months
Improve your supply chain by studying the movement of goods in all outlets
Understand store SKU affinity
Analytics must grow with the market
A meaningful analytics exercise involves the generation of insights through data modeling that can be carried out on an ongoing basis. In a fast-paced environment, this implies continuous updation of the technique to capture all market dynamics.
In an effort to make analytics more relevant and tangible to the business user, marketing RoI consulting companies like ATG focus on specific vertical applications and tailor the results and interface to the business audience with the help of web-enabled tools and various optimizers, so they are comprehensible and provide human-level insight.