There’s an interesting correlation that exists between marketing analytics and sports analytics. In the world of marketing, analytics help companies determine who to target, how to target them, and when to do it. It also shows them which strategies are working and which ones are coming up short. The ultimate goal is to be better than the competition – and, of course, to make more money. In short, the ultimate goal is to win.
In sports, analytics aim to accomplish many of the same goals. Teams use data to gain an advantage over their opponents. All data tells a story, and depending on what that story is, teams can adjust their game plan accordingly to be better than the competition – to win.
Despite these similarities, there’s still a world of difference between how analytics are used and interpreted in marketing and in sports. Although marketing analytics technology continues to get better and more sophisticated, there remains some disconnect between how marketers should be capitalizing on their wealth of analysis, and how they’re actually using it.
When analytics tell a baseball manager that his third baseman is only 2-for-49 against left-handed pitchers, he’ll act on that data immediately and either remove him from the lineup or move him down when the team faces a lefty. Real-time analytics require real-time action in order to expect real-time results. Otherwise, how useful is all of that data you’re collecting?
On the other hand, marketers tend to take a more measured approach. Data captured from website visitors, for example, is often used to help build future campaigns and inform marketing strategy. It’s poured over and interpreted and analyzed, but rarely is it ever acted on in real-time.
But the power of analytics really shows when immediate action is taken to reach out and actually communicate with those people whose data you’ve captured, using real, tangible methods that evoke responsiveness.
A lot of today’s user data captured from website visits is compiled and used to analyze demographics and attributes, and even to retarget users with digital display ads – which many times they may not even notice. But taking that data and having the ability to immediately connect with people through multiple channels like email and direct mail is big league ball, and it will generate big league results.
The more recent your data is, the more valuable it is – which is why taking immediate action on analytics is worth much more to your marketing and your business than action that is taken days, weeks, or months down the road. In fact, data changes and evolves so frequently, that it’s worth questioning whether it is even relevant beyond a certain point.
That’s why when it comes to taking action on your analytics, striking while the iron is hot and leveraging your data to communicate directly with valuable prospects, can mean the difference between winning and losing.