Stepping out of the comfort zone

Of the long list of misconstrued terms in the field of analytics, the synonymous usage of “web analytics” and “digital marketing analytics” by the practitioners has been increasing of late. Majority of the digital marketers associate digital analytics to the practice of deriving insights from popular web analytics tools’ metrics such as conversion rate, new users, session duration etc. Being the subset of digital analytics, web analytics actually comprises much more than the web traffic analysis.

Understanding digital marketing analytics is not just about how to look into the numbers as most of the fervently sought metrics, say likes and followers, by the internet marketing professionals — that’s because these may end up as “vanity metrics” if importance is not given to customer behaviour in the digital world. The “cold-calling” method is on the verge of obsolescence. The digital native customers do not want to see or listen to anything that is not relevant to them. The “cold-calling” of digital marketing —sending bulk emails — would soon become a thing of the past. Potential customers are blocking telemarketing calls on their mobile phones, and marketing emails etc., thanks to the new technologies that empower customers to block them through intelligent spam filters.

So how could the marketers succeed in the customers’ world, where the customers don’t want to see any annoying advertisements? How should the marketing team define the key performance indicators that define the customer behaviour rather than the “vanity metrics”? Can the “pay per click” model be extended to all sorts of digital marketing? The new age marketing community is continuously experimenting to answer these questions that would redefine “marketing 4.0”, which practically removes the border between traditional marketing and online marketing.

Towards that endeavour, today’s marketing efforts are synergised towards operationalising a multichannel marketing framework. Multichannel marketing enables the marketers to reach the potential customers on multiple platforms, say television, social networking sites, print ads etc. This is often confused with omnichannel marketing strategy. Omnichannel refers to the approach in which the customers are provided with an integrated experience, seamlessly between brick and mortar and online shopping. Still many organisations are trying to crack the code for omnichannel marketing to entice their potential customers. This is where analytics is playing a major role in redefining the KPIs and metrics.

One of the recent successful strategies in digital marketing – real-time bidding (RTB) – is used to purchase the ad slots on platforms based on the relevance of the potential customers who may get an impression of the campaign. The variables in programmatic advertising are increasing, and analytics is solving the problem. To maximise the benefits of programmatic bidding, insights derived from traditional marketing data could be leveraged; for example, the impressions of TV commercials aired could be matched with the demography data and the RTB could be made even smarter by incorporating these insights. 

Thus, the evolution of digital marketing has also brought new mandates to the executive roles who are now going outside their comfort zones as the demarcation lines are being blurred. 
With inputs from Vinoth Balaji A, Manager (Analytics), Advisory Services, EY India

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