Back to Basics: Destination Thinking in Marketing Analytics

Global Marketing Analytics Blog

The promising potential of data analytics turns businesses seductive, and most of them develop ‘source thinking’ to initiate the analysis process. Consequently, such businesses end up scrambling after exabytes. In practical terms, businesses have sought to collect limitless data without exploring the end goal. Building an enterprise data warehouse would not suffice the objective of achieving data-driven decisions. Sooner or later, businesses will understand the significance of research to deeply synthesize their problem statement, and work on setting an objective before diving in the data lake. Destination thinking is the key to guiding the data analytics process.

We discuss the importance of destination thinking in marketing and consumer analytics, which goes beyond expressing broad goals. On the whole, ‘destination thinking’ is a research tool to evade the trap of data analytics paralysis. Here is how it works across marketing analytics.

Destination thinking in marketing analytics

There is no question that the collection of data would give businesses significant decision-making firepower. Yet while analytics has boosted growth and marketing return on investment, organizations seem stuck and paralyzed in data lakes. This blindfolded approach to collecting data would only devolve into data lakes that create complexities in marketing campaigns. In fact, businesses have realized that decisive insights come from merely 35-40% of data that they collect. Surprisingly, businesses with clear objective statements have leaped ahead of their competitors with groundbreaking marketing decisions. And the truth is even surprising – such businesses have actually spearheaded their marketing campaigns with highly refined data that constitute an even lesser 20-25% of the entire collection.

In our experience, businesses must adopt destination thinking to understand the significance and relevance of every data set. The process must start with a clear statement of marketing impact the company wants to achieve with data analytics. It might sound like just an immediate beginning of the analytics process. In reality, this is the key to defining the priority of metrics, which in turn helps defang ambiguity.

New evidence for developing destination thinking

Here’s one example. An automotive industry player digitized its customer data extraction process by setting up various online channels and robust analytics tools. As massive streams of data started flowing in, the company saw potential in marketing to the audience. After the first quarter of its marketing efforts, the company realized that its campaigns have only been able to attract experiential reviews of its customers. And the awful scenarios were actually on the support side of the company, which was eventually leading to a calamitous online reputation.

This entire catastrophe was a result of the lack of destination thinking, as the company didn’t know that its marketing campaigns were targeting audience sets that were flowing in to review glitches in its newly released car model. However, the same data would have been immeasurably insightful if the company had set a product innovation target. To demonstrate, the company’s campaigns should have been released in the form of customer surveys to collect accurate recommendation data. At least, with a target set, the company could have decided on the relevance of the collected data for marketing.

The megatrends of marketing analytics are powered by sophisticated insights. These insights are meaningful data sets that are logically derived keeping the objective in mind. With a well-defined purpose of analyzing data, a business would be capable of efficiently carrying out extract-transform-execute marketing campaigns. Moreover, data cleansing and householding would be precisely dealt out based on heuristics for matching the targeted audience. Businesses adopting destination thinking will capture an immediate opportunity in marketing-mix optimization, campaign effectiveness, and pricing strategies. Basically, marketers must collaborate with marketing researchers, data scientists, and analysts to challenge assumptions, and fine-tune the hypotheses math. Ultimately, businesses must cultivate translational talents who not only understand analytics but also speak the language of business.

Is your marketing analytics report muddling up?

The flare-up around marketing analytics has turned into the latest salvo in data analytics, which has resulted in muddled marketing reports. Diverse channels and metrics have added to the complexities of analytics reports. For instance, a marketer congregates massive amounts of social media and website analytics data to showcase the best performing content and pages. Will such data facilitate better decisions? Can the marketer use such segmented data to strategize campaigns? Until the marketer knows where the potential customers are being led to, it would be tough to pave the path. This source thinking is not usurped for meeting customer demands through marketing campaigns. Marketers must adopt destination thinking as a strategic approach to design an apt customer decision journey. Additionally, a deeper understanding of the end goal would help marketers prioritize various metrics, thus facilitating a neat and accurately framed marketing analytics report.

The pressure on marketers to demonstrate Return on Marketing Investment (RoMI) from a diverse portfolio of campaigns is increasing. Data and analytics tools are easily available for marketers to make smarter decisions. We believe that destination thinking is the key to uncovering actionable insights and strategizing contextual marketing campaigns. Businesses can’t afford to straggle, and the time to decide their destiny is now.

Devi Prasad Swain
Devi Prasad Swain
About the Author

Devi is at the forefront of media and digital advertising as an Associate Content Specialist at SG Analytics. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Electronics and Communication Engineering from the Gandhi Institute for Technological Advancement.