5 Ways Real-Time Analytics Can Increase Your Marketing ROI
By David Cunningham
Proving ROI is an eternal struggle for marketers. Conversions, customer satisfaction, and user retention rates are all critical metrics, yet they’re not always easy to pin down. Still, products and campaigns live and die based on their ROI, and marketers are constantly working to justify their programs.
21% of marketers surveyed by Hubspot said providing ROI for their marketing activities was their single biggest challenge. And roughly half of the respondents were only somewhat confident when making budgeting decisions to invest in programs that influence revenue.
As the digital world moves faster than ever, marketers need tools and stats to keep pace. In this landscape, working with data that’s weeks or months old won’t cut it. Making decisions based on stale information is an uphill battle–one you might never win. Brands need metrics on what their users are doing right now and rapid insight into their customer journey.
Enter real-time analytics, a game-changing tool for marketers. Read on to find out how real-time analytics can help increase ROI and optimize marketing efforts.
Challenges of increasing ROI without real-time analytics
Marketing professionals have no shortage of performance-measuring tools at their disposal. These platforms–and the data they process–are valuable assets in the quest to increase ROI.
But as digital marketing grows in both speed and complexity, legacy solutions are increasingly falling short. Existing tools still have value, but they can no longer provide a comprehensive solution on their own. Here are some of the ways traditional analytics platforms are holding marketers back:
1. Fractured toolsets and siloed data streams
As a marketing pro, you have access to various platforms for monitoring user behavior. CRMs, CDPs, DMPs, Google Analytics, and plenty of others could be part of your toolset. But each has separate data streams and reports, and they don’t always play nicely together.
Working with multiple, siloed data streams is kind of like trying to form a picture with pieces from different puzzles–the result is incomplete at best and can be confusing or even misleading. Basically, if brands don’t have a 360-degree view of their customers’ journeys, they’re missing critical information that can improve ROI.
2. Missed connections with users
A polished customer experience is vital to your success as a marketer. If you’re looking at analytics reports every month or quarter, you’re missing out on chances to upsell, recover abandoned carts, and offer discounts. Worse, you might follow up with users when it’s too late, whether they’ve already purchased your product through a different channel or gone to a competitor. Delays in reporting only make friction points more painful than they need to be.
3. Data is perishable
Knowing what your users were doing a week or two ago is interesting, but nowhere near as valuable as understanding what they’re doing right this minute. The longer you wait to analyze user behavior, the less accurate your insights are, and the less impact you’ll have on their journey. Time is money, and working from stale data is a surefire way to lose both.
4. Organizational analytical bottlenecks
In a high-speed business world, waiting on data scientists or analysts to interpret statistics and produce results costs marketing teams money. Analytics tools that require outside help to glean insights leave you tapping your feet when you could be springing to action. While other departments are slowly putting information together, your marketing campaigns are still running full-steam ahead–and you have to manage the ROI without access to comprehensive analysis.
5. Misunderstanding customer journeys
Customer journeys are rich, complex, and increasingly omnichannel experiences. Breaking them down into discrete events, as traditional analytics platforms do, misses the forest for the trees. You might get a good handle on specific touchpoints, but how valuable is that without understanding how they got there, and where they went next? Understanding your customers’ journeys requires a continuous intelligence platform capable of stitching myriad touchpoints into a cohesive narrative.
6. Challenges in measuring KPIs
If you don’t have a solid plan on how and when to measure your ROI, you’ll always be working with skewed numbers. Using multiple reports from different tools makes trying to piece together a sense of ROI a challenge. And stale information can give you a false sense of your KPIs and make your SMART goals unattainable. If you’re working from incomplete or faulty data, how much faith can you have in your conclusions? You might be unknowingly killing a successful campaign or prolonging a failure, simply because your reporting is off.
5 ways real-time analytics help increase ROI
As a marketing professional, the ROI of your programs shouldn’t hinge on stale data or delayed reports from business analysts. To increase your impact, you need a continuous intelligence platform that empowers you to manage your campaigns and rapidly respond to your customers’ needs.
Real-time analytics helps brands do that in a number of ways:
1. Rapidly impact your customers’ journeys
Traditional analytics look at a customer journey that’s already complete. You can learn from it, but you can’t change it. With real-time analytics, you’re monitoring events as they happen. You can ease friction points as they arise, keep users on your site, and increase customer satisfaction on the fly.
2. Continuous monitoring facilitates comprehensive analysis
With a constant 360-degree view of your customers’ journeys, end-to-end analysis is more accessible than ever. You can manage all of your KPIs in real-time, even when they span multiple departments or marketing channels. If a user sees an ad on their phone, goes to your website on their laptop, and then buys your product over the phone, real-time analytics will help you stitch it all together so you can capture and report on the impact of your efforts.
3. Experiment with fresh data
Every marketer wants to find ways to optimize and increase their ROI. Experimenting is great, but having to wait for impact data risks letting a detrimental change run for too long. Real-time analytics allow you to experiment rapidly, iterate, and optimize without long waits for results. Shortening the test cycle helps prevent wasteful spending and maximizes your ROI by quickly eliminating underperforming ideas.
4. Optimize content based on real-time trends
When brands operate in real-time, their opportunities drastically increase. Brands have the ability to quickly optimize content that’s performing well or particularly timely. Platforms that flag these kinds of real-time opportunities, like pin notifications or signals, can give your team the power to tap into what customers are most interested in. For example, when Bleacher Report, a sports and sports culture website, implemented Scuba Analytics, they were able to automatically flag and detect trending topics–such as a football game result or a top-player trades team–in real-time and promote relevant content to their users–driving their engagement and membership growth.
5. Increase your organizational velocity & save time
Real-time analytics empower you to make decisions without depending on other departments–or burdening analysts with additional and time-consuming requests. With continuous intelligence at your fingertips, you don’t need to wait for data scientists to build custom queries or interpret results. You can spot trends as they happen and respond rapidly, be it releasing product fixes or pushing more resources into a popular campaign.
Elevate your marketing with Scuba
The ROI of your marketing teams depends on understanding and responding to a rapidly evolving digital world. Brands need a real-time analytics tool that can keep pace and empower them to meet customers’ needs.
Scuba’s continuous intelligence platform helps marketers get the most out of their data:
- Unify disparate data sources and democratize access across departmental boundaries
- Build complex queries with zero coding knowledge
- Remove organizational bottlenecks and delays with self-service analytics
- Interactive tools to help you easily visualize complex customer journeys
- Set up complex alerts and rapidly respond to changes
- Live and continuously updated data pipelines for up-to-the-moment insights
Leveraging a real-time analytics platform like Scuba will give you the rapid, actionable insights you need to maximize your ROI.
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