What Do Marketing Analytics & Big Data Agencies Do?
Top marketing analytics and big data companies use their robust client lists, high-tech tools and teams of experts to stay on top of the latest marketing trends. By doing so, they can ensure clients are serving consumers the information and content that desire almost instantaneously.
In fact, assessing analytics is one of the easiest, most surefire ways to identify trends within your industry or demographic. Numbers are honest indicators of emerging patterns, and agencies can utilize them to determine behaviors and patterns that can inform overall business growth, as well as content marketing, social media posts, and more.
A strong understanding of your target audience is the key to appealing to them across several mediums. However, locating the tools, time and expertise needed to gather that information can be daunting. Enter: Marketing analytics and big data companies.
In addition to conducting demographic research, these top agencies also gather information on your specific industry -- what trends are popular, who are purchasing products with a similar brand identity (even if they aren’t the same product), and even which consumers are gravitating towards your type of production and distribution. By understanding the audience you’ve been targeting and the audience that seeks out your competition, you’ll be able to find valuable customers more easily.
Marketing analytics and big data companies deal with large-scale research, demographics, and information. Therefore, they are the perfect entities to compile all of that oh-so-important data and formulate a comprehensive marketing strategy.
For example, while one brand may have a basic understanding of their in-house content marketing (what topics do well, when do post), a great marketing and big data company can dig deeper into consumer patterns and draw informed conclusions about their behavior. These actions will then influence long-term large-scale campaigns with more robust objectives for the business without detracting from the still-important (but smaller-scale) day-to-day initiatives.
Securing online sales is more than attracting customers to your site -- brands need to keep them engaged and invested in the brand. Luckily, comprehensive marketing agencies enable brands to make that a reality.
Big data is particularly important in engaging consumers and inspiring them to remain loyal to your brand -- especially in communication initiative such as email marketing. The information that big data agencies can source will help brands personalize content and contact consumers when they are most likely to open, read, click or purchase while empowering the customers to feel like they are in control.
Unsurprisingly, the best marketing analytics and big data companies gather data and analyze results. However, they have access to top professionals and state-of-the-art resources to ensure they are gathering the most valuable information available.
After they have procured relevant information, great marketing agencies can then use the information to adjust strategies and campaigns and better target consumers. They can also send comprehensive reports to their clients, ensuring brands are just as in-the-know as the agency.
Questions To Ask Top Marketing Analytics & Big Data Companies
The exact professionals who will be working on your project are just as important as the agency you choose -- if not, more so. Luckily, top marketing companies have access to the best talent. Ask the questions below to determine if you’re comfortable with each team member working on your brand -- and don’t be afraid to ask for a replacement if you aren’t sold!
- Who will be working on your project?
- What will their role be? How dedicated to our project are they?
- What is their expertise?
- Have they solved a similar problem or worked with clients in our industry previously?
- Tell us about a successful project. What was your role and what was the outcome?
- Tell us about a project that had less-than-desirable results. What did you learn from that experience and how has that informed your work going forward?
- Where do you find inspiration?
The best marketing analytics and big data companies have access to high-tech resources that can identify and report on important metrics that help businesses grow. The questions below will show you if an agency in question really understands the best programs and whether or not they will be open and forthcoming with your information.
- What are the top marketing analytics and big data tools?
- What tools do you use to audit marketing campaigns performances?
- How does your team stay organized and ahead of deadlines?
- Do you use any programs to communicate or collaborate between departments?
- What programs do you use to develop comprehensive marketing strategies?
- How do you track data and analytics?
Great marketing companies are able to analyze data and transform that information into effective marketing tactics. A hallmark of the best marketing analytics and big data agencies is that they often offer many digital marketing services, and use analytics to transform daily initiatives and create a large-scale strategy that will grow a business.
- What metrics are the most important when creating a marketing strategy and why?
- What do you think our biggest digital marketing strength is? Our biggest weakness?
- How do you plan to transform analytics into strategy?
- Do you plan to alter our daily tactics, large-scale campaigns, or both?
- Who will be creating content?
Top marketing analytics and big data companies have a strong portfolio of work and a consistent roster of clientele. But don’t just take their achievements at their word! Instead, ask them direct questions about their previous work -- and even go to the clients themselves.
- Tell us about your previous work. What results did you achieve?
- What strategies do you credit for that success?
- Who are some clients you have worked with? What campaigns or projects did you manage?
- Are any of those clients repeat customers?
- Would any clients be willing to speak to us regarding their experience working with your agency?
Results & Reporting
At the end of the day, brands enlist the best marketing analytics and big data companies because they have the vast resources, top marketing experts and previous knowledge to achieve goals. They will report on your brand’s performance across all channels -- but ask the questions below to ensure you know when to expect those results.
- What reasonable results can we expect?
- How long do you think it will take to see positive results?
- What metrics do you report in?
- How often will you report on them?
How To Choose The Best Marketing Analytics & Big Data Company
The best marketing analytics and big data agencies have worked with many brands, industries, and business goals. This has given all team members the experience needed to assess a brand and adapt strategic tactics to fit the identity while still achieving growth.
A brand identity is more than a logo -- it also encompasses content, core values, digital presence, and even the way that consumers view a company. Because 91 percent of consumers are more likely to complete a purchase from a brand that seems authentic and honest, companies need to protect their brand fiercely -- especially when outsourcing. Search for an agency that is prepared to adapt to you… not the other way around.
The top marketing analytics and big data agencies have access to the best programs, tools, and resources to adequately track important data on both consumers and campaigns. They can then transform that information into action.
In addition to constantly monitoring analytics and cultivating strong strategies, great marketing agencies have access to the top talent. Their team of experts works together to create content and deliverables for various marketing initiatives to achieve success.
Before you commit to a marketing analytics and big data company, ensure you understand how they gather data, how often they will report to you, and how this information will be communicated to you. Attaining the information to grow your brand is important, but it means next to nothing if a disorganized or unreliable team are the ones who sourced it.
In addition, ask top agencies how they plan to use this information to create a comprehensive omnichannel marketing strategy. Brands need to know how this information informs not only the day to day operations but the large-scale plans of the business. Therefore, you need to determine who your team is, who your point of contact will be, and how the client and agency will collaborate to achieve success based on the analytics uncovered.
An agency’s prior experience is a tell-tale sign of their ability to deliver results -- which, at the end of the day, is the only thing your brand is really looking for. Ask any potential marketing company about successful and unsuccessful projects, what they learned, and which strategies they believe will be the most useful for business growth in the future.
Don’t forget to inquire about clients as well! Great marketing analytics companies typically have long-standing partnerships with clients who are pleased with their work. Ask for current client rosters, specific testimonials or contact information from a few client references so you can gain an unbiased opinion of their work before you commit.
Although it is often the first question on a client’s mind, the cost of services is perhaps one of the least important factors when choosing an agency to partner with. After all, a higher price upfront may result in stronger long-term revenue, making a heftier initial investment worth it.
However, brands should make certain they understand every service they are getting for the price, how often they will be billed, and if they can expect any additional fees. Once you have all your answers and still want to hire an agency, document everything in a contract first.
Top Value Propositions & Differentiating Factors Of The Best Marketing Analytics and Big Data Companies
Analytics is the future. Perhaps more so than any other marketing tactic or channel, data analytics presents the most significant opportunity to impact your business in huge ways. That’s because analytics has the power to deliver business intelligence and insights that will improve operations across the board. The caveat? Big data and analytics are only useful when you’re able to properly mine them. Most companies, it turns out, are not properly equipped to parse the vast amounts of data they collect into actionable insights.
For those companies that realize the tremendous power of data mining but aren’t able to make full use of the tools at their disposal on their own, a partnership with a third party may be the best approach. Big data analytics companies can help businesses with all their data needs -- from consultation and implementation to full-time management. It’s important to make sure you’re partnering with a reputable company, however. Given that big data is such a buzzy topic in today’s marketing landscape, there are plenty of unworthy allies in operation.
To find a quality analytics partner, it’s useful to look at the different ways the best marketing analytics companies position themselves. Below are some key differentiators to keep an eye out for...
Top Marketing Analytics & Big Data Companies Are Flexible
Data needs are inherently changeable. As companies grow or change course, their data and web analytics needs may also grow and evolve. It’s important, therefore, to work with a partner that is flexible enough to offer solutions tailored to each client’s needs. Top marketing analytics and big data companies know that their services need to be scalable, and they’re likely to make this a key element of their positioning. You need to be careful to avoid companies that will try to lock you into one way of doing business -- the relationship will become fraught should you ever need to change course. Always look for a partner whose services are capable of scaling as your business does.
Leading Marketing Analytics & Big Data Agencies Can Communicate
Data and analytics is a highly technical field, but that doesn’t mean that communication with your vendor should be anything less than crystal clear. Top marketing analytics and big data companies are able to communicate technical concepts and challenges to their clients in plain English. What’s more, they value their relationships with clients and make regular communication and reporting a core tenet of how they do business. It should be clear from the beginning who your point of contact is and how often you should expect that person to be in touch. Effective communication is essential to keep analytics projects running smoothly.
Effective Marketing Analytics & Big Data Companies Are Problem Solvers
The entire purpose of big data and analytics is to solve problems. Top marketing analytics and big data companies are able to help you identify which business challenges data can help solve, and then come up with creative solutions to get there. The ability to act as a problem solver is a key attribute of any marketing analyst. The job is about more than merely crunching numbers, it’s about asking the right questions and uncovering actionable insights to facilitate data-driven decision making.
Quality Marketing Analytics & Big Data Firms Offer Training
It’s clear that not everyone is a data expert, and the field of analytics is complicated enough that your internal team will certainly need some training in order to understand how to interpret the data that’s being collected through your analytics software. The best analytics companies take pride in their ability and willingness to train internal teams on how to use the software and dashboards that are deployed. Even if you plan to have your data vendor manage reporting on your behalf, it’s still worthwhile to onboard your team to the platform. Top-notch data companies do a thorough job of onboarding client teams, making sure that everyone has a baseline level of comfort and confidence with the analytics solution. As a client, this protects you from finding yourself at a total loose end should you end your relationship with your vendor.
Exceptional Marketing Analytics & Big Data Companies Are Focused On Growth
Ideally, your analytics partner should be totally aligned to your company’s goals, most of which probably revolve around growth. Top marketing analytics and big data companies are not focused on data for its own sake, rather they’re committed to using data to help their clients grow their businesses through predictive analytics, marketing automation, machine learning, and actionable data. This is a key attribute to look for during your search for a vendor. Look for a partner that will ask a lot of question about what your business goals are, and can use the answers you provide to recommend a custom set of analytics solutions tailored to your needs.
The Best Big Data Analytics Agencies Are Tuned In To Change
Rapid change is a fact of doing business in any digital marketing industry. Top marketing analytics and big data companies have to stay on top of technological changes and advances in order to best serve their clients. That’s why many position themselves as companies that have their finger on the pulse of the industry. Look for a partner that is well-respected in the field, one that demonstrates a high level of thought leadership and community engagements. These are good indicators that the vendor in question stays in step with industry advancements.
Product & Service Offerings Of Top Marketing Analytics & Big Data Companies
Top marketing analytics and big data companies are well-equipped to meet a diverse range of data needs. The core services of marketing analytics companies include:
- Analytics Audit - A comprehensive review of the client’s analytics implementations to date. Documentation of what data is currently being collected and how it’s being utilized. The goal is to identify gaps in collection or analysis to facilitate future improvements.
- Data Consulting - A more flexible arrangement where a data expert or agency will consult on a specific implementation, providing guidance, recommendations, and best practices.
- Analytics Setup - Many agencies will facilitate data collection and analytics implementations to make sure clients are positioned for success. One big problem with big data at most companies is inefficient or haphazard implementations that result in gaps in data and difficulty putting insights to meaningful use. Professional setup helps alleviate this problem.
- Analysis and Reporting - Ongoing analysis and reporting is a key service offering for companies without the skills or time to manage these tasks in-house. The analytics company will both set up custom reports and disseminate information based on the needs of each department.
- Training - For companies who are looking to be somewhat more independent, many companies will offer onboarding and training services to help internal employees get up to speed on using systems and technologies.
How The Best Marketing Analytics & Big Data Firms Market Themselves
It isn’t easy to stand out in the increasingly crowded big data and analytics marketplace. The challenge is made greater because non-technical stakeholders may have difficulties understanding service offerings and key differentiators of analytics companies.
Digital marketing campaigns are the main means of attracting business for many analytics companies. In particular, being present when a relevant search takes place is key to attracting potential customers for analytics companies. That means that paid search (PPC) and search engine optimization are major elements of their marketing initiatives.
Content marketing, which is an important component of any SEO campaign is also a focus. This might include guest columns, blog posts, white papers, webinars, and a variety of offline events, which are subsequently promoted through social media. Email marketing is employed to distribute content through targeted drip campaigns. Digital PR is also used to net positive mentions and media coverage.
Big data and analytics represent the future of marketing. Analytics has the power to completely revolutionize the way businesses operate, improving efficiency and optimizing budgets. But this is only true if the full potential of data and analytics can be harnessed, which is not yet the case for most businesses.
More often than not, an analytics partner is necessary to implement systems and ensure that data is mined to generate useful insights and integrate meaningfully with campaigns. The best analytics companies set themselves apart based on a few key differentiating factors, including:
- Flexibility - Will the company be able to scale their data capabilities to meet the demands of your business should your data needs grow?
- Communication - Despite the technical nature of big data and marketing analytics, will the company be able to communicate effectively with your teams?
- Problem-solving skills - Is the company capable of helping your business identify which problems or challenges data can help solve? Are they creative enough to come up with the solutions necessary?
- Training - What is the company’s process for onboarding? Are they willing to train internal teams to use the systems they implement?
- Growth-focused - Does the company understand your business goals and will they be able to tailor a data and analytics program that contributes meaningfully to achieving those goals?
- Adaptable - Does the company stay on top of changes in the industry? Are they up to date on the latest technological advances? How will they apply improvements to your systems and services when new technologies are introduced?
Top Qualities of the Best Marketing Analytics & Big Data Companies
A key difference between the marketing analytics and big data companies you evaluate will be the usability of their platforms. Top marketing analytics companies fight it out in terms of who has the best features and which platform is the easiest and most convenient to use. Though the data itself is tremendously important, it won’t be of much value to you if your team is unable to interpret it or can’t execute the tasks that are most important to them. Look to partner with a company that offers a solution you think your team will be able to adapt to with as little disruption as possible.
Onboarding & Training
Onboarding a new technology is never a simple task. There are integrations that need to be managed, and employees who need to be trained on using the platform efficiently. This is why it’s important to select a vendor that’s committed to helping you get the most from the platform. Top marketing analytics and big data companies will make training and onboarding a priority, ensuring that your team is able to operate the tools in the platform, but also that they learn the skills necessary to manage things on their own. Look for vendors who have solid training and onboarding processes. These should be clearly outlined in the contract you negotiate with the vendor.
Though your ultimate goal may to bring analytics and big data expertise in-house at your company, if you don’t have that role established already you may be more comfortable starting out with a service provider who can offer a higher level of consulting. Many top marketing analytics and big data companies offer consulting services that can help ensure you’re making the most of the data being collected. It’s important to note that the most significant challenge with big data is not collecting enough data, it’s actually being able to interpret and utilize the vast amounts of data that most companies already have at their disposal. A vendor who offers ongoing consulting services is a wise choice for businesses who need help getting their data initiatives off the ground.
In the world of big data, scalability is a major concern. As your company grows and you begin to gather more data, you’ll need a solution that can grow with you. Top marketing analytics and big data companies will offer solutions that can scale with your business, allowing you to maximize your investment in their platform. Ask about costs upfront so you’re aware of how pricing will shift if your requirements grow -- you don’t want to end up committed to a solution that seems affordable now, but will later become financially untenable.
Demonstrated Track Record
As with any other vendor, top marketing analytics and big data companies should have a demonstrated track record of success. They should be willing to share case studies which show how their platform has improved the client’s bottom line using a variety of different analytics solutions (predictive analytics, for example). Always ask for references so you can hear directly from clients about what their experience of the vendor has been.