Automated analytics tools free up marketers to focus on creative ideation and problem-solving, smoothing the way toward building high-performance marketing campaigns.
Center-brained cognition is the idea of balancing analytical and creative thinking, emphasizing the value of fusing art and science in marketing. Yet many marketers, bogged down with numbers to crunch and models to analyze, lose opportunities to make good use of their data in a timely manner.
But automated marketing tools have helped mitigate this costly paralysis. AI-powered tools aren’t reducing the need for flesh-and-blood marketers or edging human intellect out of the field. Instead, they’re streamlining tedious groundwork in a way that frees up time for creative ideation and problem-solving.
No algorithm is smart enough to replace human marketers altogether. But by consolidating information more quickly and providing a springboard for complex analyses, advancements in making data smart and accessible allow marketers to more seamlessly access critical insights and craft innovative solutions in response.
When you don’t lean on data, marketing becomes a blindfolded game of whack-a-mole. You know that problems are arising but don’t where to focus your efforts, so you wear yourself out swinging blindly. You might hit the right place at the right time, but you can’t consciously repeat your success. And as channels and competitors proliferate, you resort to business as usual, content with the occasional score.
The Benefits of Data-Driven Insights
Data-driven insight is the starting line for effective campaign planning. When data is accessibly presented, you can holistically review your brand’s standing in its market niche and quantify categories of interest that were previously too nebulous to inform a concrete action.
A well-designed analytics infrastructure can highlight areas of a retailer’s business that are ripe for optimization. A few domains with the highest Return on Insight are:
Those customers most likely to have high lifetime values
The most influential campaigns that drive the highest value (rather than merely the highest conversion, e.g. steep promotions or low-price/small-basket conversions)
The most common points of attrition in the customer lifecycle.
Among other things, data-driven insights lift you above the melee to see your opportunity landscape, distributing customers along the different stages of the customer journey and identifying key pockets of potential.
Harnessing insights drawn from all the datasets at a brand’s disposal (e.g. a customer’s engagement with promotional emails, their product browsing history, or their affinities with various customer personas) allows retail marketers to unleash tactical interventions at precisely the right moment.
Knowing whether—and in what way—to contact a customer 30, 45, or 90 days after their last purchase is crucial in both creating and protecting a robust profit margin. Marketers can use an analytics-informed timetable to guide their implementation of an ideal messaging cadence, both increasing the likelihood that they will be able to entice past customers to return to the brand and helping them recognize when a customer has moved on and is no longer a good candidate for resource-intensive win-back efforts.
The Central Role of a “Human Touch” in Marketing
In essence, technology can illuminate much of the “what” in marketing, but not a lot of the “how.” It can show you what traffic is of the highest quality, but it can’t determine how a brand should go about acquiring more high-value customers. It can help you refine the timing of brand communications, but it can’t dictate how those messages should be crafted to convey relatability and pique the interest of new customers.
Once a brand’s opportunity landscape has been outlined in sufficient detail, a marketing team should always bring their ingenuity and business savvy to bear when determining next steps.
As powerful as automated marketing tools have become, only human marketers can craft authentic brand messaging that establishes meaningful dialogue with customers. Convincing a customer to take a leap of faith (make a purchase with a new brand) or further invest in an existing relationship (evolve into a loyal customer) can be quite a challenge, and surmounting it requires a human touch.
Fusing Science and Art to Fuel High-Performance Campaigns
By combining the insights generated by their analytics tools with their unique experience and expertise, a marketing team can determine which calls to action and value propositions will resonate with their target audience at critical inflection points in the customer journey.
Of course, effectively fusing the “science” (data analytics) and the “art” (the human touch) of marketing is no small task. And while there’s no universal template for success, at Custora, we’re strong believers in a “crawl, walk, run” approach.
First, crawl. This means: start small. Don’t tackle every pain point at once. Creative resources are limited, so allocate them to areas with the most potential for growth, and make sure you have the requisite technology to accomplish what you set out to do. Investing in the right platforms now will pay off in the long term.
Next, walk: Carry out the steps of your plan, but do so at a moderated pace, taking on action items that have a manageable scope. Most importantly, strive to identify your “leakiest bucket.” By isolating the largest hole in your sales funnel, you can zero in on where a minor adjustment will have a considerable impact on your bottom line. Never forget that the place where you’re currently losing the most money is the place where you have the greatest opportunity to generate a sustained increase in revenue.
Finally, run. Once you’ve seen empirical evidence that your initial actions are driving real results, you can expand your marketing efforts into a sophisticated campaign with multiple components.
For instance, a brand may feel that it’s attracting too many customers with low lifetime values only to realize, after investing in a customer analytics platform, that it’s actually acquiring a great deal of high-value customers tool.
The leaky bucket, in this scenario, is an elevated churn rate between first and second purchases. To patch the leak, the brand might begin by sending strategically timed emails announcing scaled promotions to high-value newcomers and, if this helps retention, it might then opt to reconfigure its website to recognize and reward repeat visitors.
At Custora, we created our customer analytics platform to help retailers adapt to the industry’s digital revolution. Our platform is designed to take care of the science of marketing so that you can focus on the fun stuff—namely, the artistry.
If you’re wondering what your brand’s leakiest bucket is but are at a loss as to where to begin your investigation, request a demo of Custora’s customer analytics platform today.