Measuring what matters, making Analytics count

Our guest blogger is IAB trainer, Steve Thompson (pictured right). Steve is running our first Analytics Workshop next week in Dublin, on how to use analytics to understand your customers through the consumer purchasing journey, how they engage with your digital portfolio and how to manage your digital marketing activities across the owned, paid and earned media channels. He outlines why the topic of Analytics is vital and why it is important in digital publishing and marketing.

Measuring what matter, making Analytics count

Analytics isn’t just about tracking the number of visitors to your website over time. The ability to capture data about your consumers as they explore and engage with your media platform or brand and analyse these findings is redefining the way is which we look at digital publishing and marketing.

Understanding consumers

The path to purchase has traditionally been viewed as a linear journey or funnel. And although this approach can still be used to explain the principles of buying, we know know that consumers will engage with products and services across a myriad of touchpoints over time. Analytical tools can now capture and offer insights on demographic, behavioural, sentiment and intent data across desktop and mobile.  Combine this data with previous purchasing activity, loyalty programmes or any other first party data source, and you can start to pinpoint consumers in a way that wasn’t dreamed of ten years ago.

We no longer rely on on-site analytics to track audiences.  We can monitor demand for products and services over time using a variety of trending tools, which in turn offer further precision to media plans and other marketing communications. Marketers are now using predictive analytics and segmentation to better target and engage key audiences.

There is increased investment in data-driven marketing using a combination of big data capture, analytics tools and experts, marketing technology and advertising technology to reach consumers with the right message at the right time, in the right place, in the right context.

Campaign performance

Campaigns can now be monitored in real-time using analytical tools that track performance over time and lead to optimisation of conversions. These tools can track performance across the marketing mix, so marketers can understand the impact of media channels on a variety of touchpoints, eg the impact of TV advertising on search performance, or the use of geolocation and context to identify intent.

We now understand the value of engagement and a far higher weighting can now be placed on early journey exposure with display advertising, rather than relying on the last click to measure performance and ROI. Analytical tools to measure attribution are redefining the way in which marketers allocate budgets and these insights are enabling a far higher level of precision across all channels.