Guest column: Effectively using analytics in marketing - Ajay Kashyap

Remember when the telecommunication giant, Hutch launched its “You and I” campaign, where the adorable pug followed a young boy everywhere? That was the brand’s way of saying that – “wherever you go, we follow!” 

Today, because of the digital disruption and customers spending so much time online, this is what they have started expecting from their favourite brands – wherever they go, their brands would follow. 

The role change of marketers 

Marketers have evolved quite a bit from the door-to-door-service-of-first-name-basis. Today, their role revolves around strategy, data and business development as much as it is about advertisement, ‘right’ communication and delivering on the new-age customer expectations. New priorities would mean new approach, and marketers are supposed to represent the customer needs and turn that into commercial opportunity for the brand. 

To successfully do the job, however, marketers need to understand that certain elements like the communication channels and preferences of customers have undergone radical changes. This increased complexity has, in fact, made it more difficult to connect with users in ways they would have previously done. It’s now all about sending relevant messages that are rooted in deep insights across all engagement channels. 

Any marketing strategy that focuses on inbound demand generation or account-based outbound tactics would agree that they required insights to who they are actually marketing to. Predictive analytics has helped marketers so far to optimise conversions for funnel efficiency by best methods to move leads down the funnel and thereby converting them into prospects, opportunities and closed deals. 

Customer experience is all that matters 

Marketers believe that ‘customer experience’ has taken centerstage. More than 79 per cent of marketers believe that to achieve this data analytics plays an important role and 74 per cent of them believe that brand strategy plays a much bigger role than it did five years ago. Marketing, in fact, has veered away from being just a branding exercise to that when they play a role in creating ‘moments’ that increase customer loyalty and retention. Moreover, customers too have changed. They are aware that you have their data, and that marketers can now access information that was unconceivable even a decade back, which is why they demand that these ‘moments’ to be highly relevant. 

With the ‘age of customer’ being here, every interaction that they have with a brand would leave a trail of data that is waiting to be analysed. This trail is extremely rich data containing the customer profile, the products they viewed across different categories, the time they spent on different pages, the channels that they responded and did not respond to, the time of the day and day of the week for different interactions, and finally the transactions. As of now, only few firms have tapped into this intelligence zeitgeist, with more than half still thinking that big data and predictive analytics to be all hype. Also, the small percentage that has started leveraging on analytics mostly continue their focus on “trying to understand what happened in the past” rather than using this to predict and guide the future, and on very limited and specific areas of the customer journey. 

However, to reap the true benefits of data, it is important for customer analytics to be pervasive across the lifecycle of the customer, across every touch point, every time. Marketers need to agree that sustaining growth only through acquisition is no longer possible, and they must manage and engage the customers across the life cycle to maximise their customer portfolios. Also, on the other hand, analytics efforts should be focused on predicting and guiding the future by learning from the history. Every output should end in some additional insight on which customer to touch, when to touch, with which channel, and with what content. Further, efforts should be made to make this decision engine more and more real-time so that the lag between a customer’s wants and what the enterprise provides is continually reduced, thus maximising the probability of a purchase. 

Marketing – a brilliant story being told 

There’s plenty of value to be gained in adopting analytics solutions that are in practice at real businesses today for after all, isn’t marketing a brilliant story being told that is personal, just at the right moment and just through the right medium?

(Ajay Kashyap is the Co-founder of, a software provider for various platforms dealing in analytics, which was developed to help retailers and other involved factions utilise analytics to augment their operations.)


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