The world has witnessed enormous changes in recent years as a result of the global pandemic. The foregone pandemic caused a lot of disruption but has given businesses a fresh, new chance to compete in a more competitive global business environment, leading the typical business to encounter enormous pressures to create more value for their customers and capture it for themselves. These challenges have led businesses to realize that they can greatly benefit from utilizing digital data.
According to an industry forecast, since 2021, the demand for analytics has gone up tremendously with the market size estimated to reach $8.91 billion by 2026 at a CAGR of 17.6% for the 2021-2026 period. Similarly, a poll pointed out that 57% of the C-suite have invested in new data & analytics platforms since the pandemic, showcasing a rise in demand for analytics services.
Digital Data, if utilized and analyzed well, can be used to make better data-driven decisions to deeply understand the wants and needs of the customer as well as improve strategies and offerings to develop an edge over their competition. In doing so, Digital Analytics plays an integral role in interpreting Digital Data and extracting useful pieces of information from it.
What is Digital Analytics?
Digital Analytics can be defined as the process of gathering and analyzing data from various digital sources, such as web pages, social media, and mobile applications. A lot about the customer is highlighted by this data including customers’ behavior, which enables companies to improve and alter their present marketing and advertising strategies to get better outcomes and returns on their marketing spending.
Why is developing a Digital Analytics Strategy Important?
Developing a data analytics strategy is the first step in creating a successful data-driven business. A well developed digital analytics strategy enables companies to better understand their customers and their needs, enabling them to make decisions that are more in line with the customer preferences. A digital analytics approach can also help companies in pinpointing areas for development and improvement which in return can help create more successful marketing campaigns, more accurately target their audiences, and optimize their online presence.
Usually organizations refer to the digital analytics strategy as the blueprint or plan for utilizing data to make better business choices and measure operational success using key performance indicators (KPIs). The documented data analytics strategy may also include procedures, roles, and tasks for achieving the business goals but most commonly miss the step by step guide for successfully achieving the goals.
Now as we know why an effective digital analytics strategy is important for a business, it is equally important to know how to Develop an Effective Digital Analytics Strategy.
5 Steps for Developing an Effective Digital Analytics Strategy
In order to get the most out of their Digital Analytics strategy, organizations should focus on following these 5 steps:
1. Defining Objective
Objectives are the overall goals that the organization desires to achieve within the time frame of the strategy. These lay the foundation for a business to measure the success of their strategy.
Defining Objectives is the foremost step when developing an effective digital analytics strategy. Each component of the digital analytics plan, ranging from the website and content, user experience, digital ads to social media, mobile, and analytics, should have established goals when defining objectives. Setting goals for each component enables clear direction when gauging the effectiveness of a digital analytics strategy.
When setting objectives, companies should consider the goals of their overall business, the current performance of the digital channels, target audience, and timeframe.
2. Identifying Key Stakeholders
Bringing the Digital Analytics strategy to success requires the identification of the key players who will be involved in the process. These stakeholders include Target Audience, an organization’s management, and analytics professionals.
The target audience should be focused on as focusing on them helps understand how the customers behave which can help you develop accurate customer profiles, ensuring the organization is offering the target audience what they want.
In consideration of the organization’s management, the group should have cross-functional team members to ensure that the interests of the entire organization are considered while implementing the strategy.
Lastly, a team of analytics professionals should be identified who are well trained and can offer the necessary support to implement the digital analytics strategy and changes as and when required. This team can be from within the organization or from third-party organizations who specialize in digital analytics.
3. Determining KPIs, Tools and Technology
After identifying the key stakeholders, the next important step that businesses should take into consideration is to determine the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), effective tools, and underlying technology that will allow them to collect customer data, store it, analyze it, and convert it to actionable insights for attaining the desired results.
While referring to KPIs, organizations should focus on SMART KPIs that are specific, measurable, attainable, and time-bound. SMART KPIs assist in determining the value of a KPI for a company, whether it is measurable within a specific time frame, and whether it contributes towards your business objective. They also help to focus the search and provide the most beneficial and practical business insights.
Next, comes the Tools and Tech which is required to gather the most pertinent data from different sources. These tools should be able to store data at a location from where it is simple to reach and retrieve it for use at a later time. It should also support the smooth integration of data to other systems, such as a CRM, ERP, or marketing databases in order for the Analytics strategy to work as expected.
Ideally, these tools and technology should be able to gather customer data for the organization and about competitors as well, through a variety of data sources. It should also be capable of being integrated with different data platforms and technologies for comparison analysis, and carry out customer research and competitive analysis on the collected information.
Here are few tools we recommend all organizations should use:
- Adobe Analytics
- Google Analytics
- Tealium IQ / Adobe Launch /Google Tag Manager
4. Reporting, Monitoring and Analyzing
Now that the organization has the team, tools and tech in place for evaluating goals and to gauge success, it’s time to start reporting, monitoring and analyzing the data. But how often would it be required to report, monitor, and analyze this data? The answer to this question would revolve around the customer journey and lifecycle. Each customer has a different journey and a lifecycle, therefore the process of reporting, monitoring, and analyzing should be continuous.
If this process cannot be done on a daily basis, establishing custom algorithms or hiring third party data analysts to help with the process of data collection, storage, and analysis should be adopted for getting the desired results.
5. Implementing Changes & Communicating Results
The last step of an effective digital analytics strategy is to implement changes from time to time and communicate the results to the respective stakeholders. The success and shortcomings of the entire strategy should be communicated well to the decision makers in order to highlight the performance of the strategy. Since no strategy can guarantee 100% success, it is important to identify the changes as needed and implement them. These can be changes to tools, technology, processes, or methods.
Lastly, once the changes have been implemented, communicating results needs to be the focus. In order to make smart decisions, the analytics team must communicate the outcomes of their digital analytics initiatives to all relevant stakeholders. This can be done in a variety of methods, including formal presentations, discussion, data visualization, storytelling, etc.
Data Visualization and Storytelling are considered the most popular result reporting methods. Data visualizations can be used to understand large amounts of data, spot opportunities and as well as problems. This is because Data Visualization represents data in a visible visual structure using maps or graphs, thereby helping understand what the information means. It is simpler to spot trends, patterns, and anomalies in big data sets because the data is easier for the human mind to understand. While on the other hand, storytelling uses narrative components to demonstrate facts and its consequences making the difficult-to-understand data more understandable.
Organizations that want to make informed decisions and remain ahead of the competition must have a strong digital analytics strategy. Following the aforementioned steps in this blog which include setting measurable goals, selecting the right tools, collecting and analyzing data, creating reports, and monitoring and adjusting the strategy as needed would get the desired results that the organization is aiming for.
With a solid analytics strategy in place, organizations can use data to improve their online standing by getting insightful information about the customer journey and obtain a competitive edge which would help them remain relevant in their industries.
Is your organization having a robust and effective digital analytics strategy to take on competition? Contact our Director of Client Services to know how Aloola’s team of experts can help you beat your competition.