Prasun Kumar, Head – Marketing, MagicBricks.com shares his perspective on how Data Science can change the face of a brand’s marketing initiative.
Marketing has often been slotted at the confluence of Science & Arts. The perfect combination of left brain – right brain dynamics. For a marketer needs to be driving businesses & brands, deliver ROI and at the same point in time must be creative enough to design promotions & campaigns.
However, it’s the science which has taken a march ahead of everything else. Never has marketing been so measureable, predictive and accurate. John Wanamaker had famously said – “I know only half of my advertising works. The problem is, I don’t know which half”. Well, if Mr. Wanamaker would have lived today, he would have eaten his words – for you now know just how much every marketing penny works. Welcome to Marketing Data Science.
Role of data & analytics in marketing has been as old as probably the discipline itself. Market Research as a discipline has been around for decades and has contributed significantly to the growth of marketing as a scientific practice. Analysis of data points to spot consumer behavior, emerging consumption trends and effectiveness of campaigns have been around and used universally. However, what has changed now is the sheer scale of it all. We call it – Big Data.
With consumers and brands going digital, brands are generating billions of data points – from shopping behavior to trigger & barriers to post sale experiences. Consumers are talking non-stop and brands are all the more eager to listen. In 2013 IBM claimed that “90% of the data in the world today has been created in the last two years.” More recently, in 2015, Cisco predicted that the amount of data created in 2019 will eclipse the total data created in all prior Internet years combined. And, within two years, each person will apparently be producing, on average, 1.7 megabytes of data every second.
So what does it mean to marketing & marketers? A few areas where the impact is profound are –
- Consumer Segmentation : In order to reach out to the right audiences and minimise wastages, consumers are segmented into homogenous groups. This helps craft a single value proposition, create and structure a market well. But this needs data. The more the merrier. With Data Sciences, marketers today can very sharply & accurately define a segment basis variety of factors – consumption pattern, search history, purchase life cycle, social media behaviour etc. etc. . This slicing & dicing of a large market is empowering markets to launch segment specific products, services and messages. Helping brands grow manifold by catering to new segments & sharp shoot existing ones.
- Messaging & Content Development : Getting the message right has been the holy grail of marketing since time immortal. It has always been considered a subjective area left to the brilliance of few creative minds at advertising agencies. David Ogilvy made an empire out of this. However, with Data Sciences, today its possible to craft just the message that a consumer is most likely to respond to. And do multiple copy testing in real time scenario to know which delivers better ROI. It allows for customisation of messages like never before – for the individual, the media, the platform et all. Today a consumer doesn’t need to be bombarded with same message multiple times. She is shown targeted & customised messages every time a brand finds an audience with her.
- Optimizing Marketing Investments : How much marketing dollar is good enough to achieve the target? This has been the most challenging issue confronting marketers since time immortal. While empirical data points have been giving some broad trends, this multi billion dollar (literally) question had a good amount of gut feel involved. The “new world,” allows businesses to use “advanced analytics—particularly more real-time data—[to] eliminate much of the guesswork” when attempting to ensure spend is spot on for any number of marketing activities: from social media to call-center investment, or traditional advertising to store fit-outs.
- Measurement & Attribution : This has been one area that has seen highest impact as a result of development in the Marketing Data Sciences. Long neglected, the very important ROI is the center stage now, thanks to the ability to measure every single dollar invested and correct attribution of sources. Today even traditional media is getting integrated with technology & digital eco-system to make impact visible and ROI measurable.
- Predictive Analysis : Marketing teams have been using data to drive incremental growth. However, the advent of marketing Data Science promises to completely revolutionize the stream. Big Data is increasingly being used everywhere to predict & forecast consumer trends & behaviours. The ‘what’ of Data science is increasingly delivering unique insights – Data science taps into the information that’s already out there, the information that’s pointing the way a trend is headed.”