Investing in Actionable Insights Part 1 – Making the Case

Buyer behavior is changing quite rapidly, and the evidence supports that research and buying are increasingly done online across a wide range of demographics.  To collect and analyze these online interactions and behaviors requires a carefully planned process.
When you are planning marketing campaigns, how intentional are you about campaign design and execution generating actionable insights that inform not just your ongoing marketing efforts, but other important activities and initiatives in your business as well?

  • How important is understanding how a prospective buyer of your product or service behaves, and why they behave that way?
  • What if you could find an emerging segment of your customer base as it’s developing, and develop it faster?
  • Do you know when and where these buyers experiencing their “zero moment of truth” in making a purchase decision?

Being more intentional about mining these critical behavioral insights into your buyer’s behavior does require some ongoing allocation of budget, planning, and a commitment to leverage the data and insights they reveal to increase the effectiveness of campaigns and put these insights to work in your business.  I’m not just referring to software driven analytics living in marketing automation platforms, I’m talking about a skilled professional.  I’m talking about someone practiced in applying sophisticated analysis techniques and who truly embodies the art to the science of direct response marketing.
Too often this value is only partially realized, because ongoing thorough and skilled analysis of the data does not occur.  Perhaps the laser focus given to carefully crafted ROI formulas and current cycle results today is to blame.  Maybe we need to be thinking about actionable insights as a key metric in our campaigns, as sort of a leading indicator of value, if you will, or a precursor of the kind of value we measure in traditional ROI models.  A professor once told me that many of the most important numbers to a business do not show up on a financial statement, at least in the short term.  Good advice.
I and many before me have written about the importance of viewing a campaign not as a linear “effort”, but as a circular and iterative process.  Marketers are embracing this view of the context they operate in, and I would venture to say that with the increasing importance of marketing automation technologies and Marketing Operations organizations, that we’re seeing this change manifest all around us.  The ever increasing focus on systems to collect and analyze behavioral data from online interactions creates an even broader system context to our marketing efforts.  These incredible stores of timely data created from online interactions create endless opportunities to gain insights into our customers’ behavior, and the value of engaging an experienced data scientist to analyze these behavioral data sets, and developing actionable insights from them, can be surprising.  Stay tuned for Part 2 in this series, where I’ll discuss some real world examples of the value Actionable Insights can deliver for a business.

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