Top Marketing Analytics & Big Data Companies

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Top Value Propositions and Differentiating Factors of the Best Marketing Analytics and Big Data Companies

Overview

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 and 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 and big data companies 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 and 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 and big data companies 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 and 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 companies 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 and service offerings of top marketing analytics and 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 and big data companies 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.

Takeaways:

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

Platform Usability

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 and 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.

Consulting

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. 

Scalability

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.