Analytics Will Matter Even More in 2019
I often say to my students, “A business without analytics is a blind business. After all, how can you know where you’re going if you don’t know where you are?”
To best predict your future, you need to have a really clear picture of your past and present.
Analytics: Past & present
What once involved intense manual data mining, report creation, repetition and a whole lot of human error has become more and more automated as the years have progressed.
And, because machines tend to move faster than humans (certainly where data processing is concerned), the rate of change in the field of analytics has been getting faster and faster.
The existence of change has always been there (and always will be), it’s just now happening at unprecedented speeds, with updates, upgrades and plenty more “ups” happening on a daily basis.
Marketing: Past & present
When the speed of change in analytics increases, so too can the speed at which we adapt our marketing and business strategies. And that’s a good thing.
Being able to make informed business decisions that are fully aligned with your dreams and objectives is a powerful thing. The more efficient analytics becomes, the more efficient we become at making those amazing decisions.
Your Business: Past & present
I’m not clairvoyant, so I can only offer guidance, but let me ask you this: Are you investing ⅔ of your marketing efforts in analytics?
Looking ahead to 2019, you may be surprised that trends show about ⅔ of all marketing is now, and will continue to be, based strongly on analytics and data.
So, if you are spending the majority of your efforts on implementation, think twice.
Back to marketing
Given the current trends, I see marketing in 2019 summarised by three key pursuits: Research, Implementation and Measurement.
Both Research and Measurement (making up ⅔ of the above-mentioned pursuits) require a strong understanding of analytics.
Additionally, as you likely already know, the value of analytics goes beyond marketing. It also plays a key role in other areas of business decision making. Therefore, making the investment on the marketing side will pay off beyond that.
Why is Analytics important for businesses in 2019?
Here are 5 critical uses of analytics to pick up in 2019:
Match the message to the traffic.
Analytics gives insight into which types of traffic are most engaged with what types of content and who is most likely to buy your product or service.
By understanding your different audiences, you can create campaigns that target them with relevant content and aligned strategies, leading to higher conversions.
Essentially, you’ll know who responds to what, taking a lot of guesswork out of implementation.
Understand how people navigate your site.
It’s important to know who your visitors are, and more important to understand how they behave on your site.
Understanding how visitors engage with your web property shows you where they enter, what they interact with, where conversions originate and where people quit. Understanding specific user flows on your site empowers you to make changes that address your business goals, whether it’s keeping people on your site longer, funneling them to specific content, or taking specific actions.
Know your traffic sources.
Simply put, when you know which sources drive the most (and best quality) traffic, you know exactly where to direct further investments of time, money and/or effort.
Get clear on the actual interests of people visiting your site.
The better you know your clients and visitors, the better you can cater to their needs, the greater your business will grow.
Analytics gives insight into valuable demographics, which you can capitalize on. Those can include age, gender, interests, device type, location… it goes on.
Having access to this information helps you create more relevant personas and exceptional targeting.
Recycle your analytics in other business areas.
The thing about information is that you can use it over and over again, for as many different purposes as you like.
The idea that analytics is only for analytics experts or marketing professionals is flat out wrong.
Knowledge empowers everyone. Circulate that knowledge throughout your organization so whether someone is working in customer service or product design, they have a wealth of information right at their fingertips to help make better business decisions.
Planning for 2019
Remember that, ultimately, it isn’t about the information you get from analytics. It’s about what you do with it. Invest in bringing that critical knowledge and insight into your business, then use it!