As digital technologies mature, marketing’s contribution to enterprise profitability and growth is greater than ever before. Marketers can now develop highly targeted campaigns, automate responses, and collect humongous amounts of customer data. But are they effectively using all this data to optimize their techniques and boost ROI? According to the Experian Data Quality 2017 report, only 44% of businesses trust their data enough to base important business decisions on it. More than 52% of businesses still rely on educated guesses or gut feelings.

What keeps marketers from leveraging data efficiently?

Modern marketers are facing a big data quandary. Despite having a treasure trove of customer data at their disposal, 43% of marketers say they lack the tools and ability to convert that data into real-time actionable insights. The inability to move past a channel-focused mindset is yet another key challenge that marketers face in applying data insights across the customer life-cycle.  Only 7% of marketers say they are effectively able to run real-time, data-driven marketing initiatives across both physical and digital touch-points.  More than 59% of marketers struggle to integrate their multiple disparate data sources, while 61% are unable to effectively handle the complexity of omni-channel touch points.  At a time when customers expect real-time response and relevant targeting, marketers are forced to juggle between complex reports and analytical tools to arrive at the next best action.

How data science bridges the gap between marketers and insights?

Data science keeps marketers from drowning in the data deluge. How? The primary job of data scientists is to connect insights to marketing challenges and results. Good data scientists not only have in-depth command over analytics but also the much-needed storytelling capability to crystallize and quantify insights at a granular level. In essence, data science has the ability to guide marketing departments in all key areas – identification of the right data, its sources, collection, aggregation, and interpretation.

Here’s how marketers can leverage data science to reap superior ROI:

  • Create customer personas: Advanced data analytics can help marketers leverage historical, current, and social media data to build accurate customer personas, conduct sentiment analysis through social listening, and enable dynamic profiling of target audience. They can then test and measure different marketing approaches for various user groups to identify the right approach and continuously optimise it through ongoing analysis.
  • Enable an omni-channel customer experience: By integrating various data sources into a central cloud-hosted repository, marketers can ensure that up-to-date customer information is available across touch points and organisational departments. This paves the way for delivering a seamless, hassle-free customer experience that is fundamental to business success today.
  • Drive innovation: Data scientists can also help marketers interpret the same problem in different ways, thereby proving to be a valuable ally in finding innovative solutions to long-time marketing challenges such as customer churn and engagement.

Data science is tied inextricably to marketing excellence

No business can mend what it cannot measure. While this holds true for all disciplines, its significance to marketing is further amplified because of the new demands placed on the function. As the role of modern marketers increasingly expands to include business strategy, customer success, and operational execution, it’s clear that data science will be the linchpin of marketing excellence.

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