One thing is certain: It’s not easy to create a high-quality commercial analytics strategy from the get-go. However, you shouldn’t let a few missteps prevent you from enjoying everything commercial analytics has to offer. Keep reading for an overview of what commercial analytics is and uncover how to best use it.
What is Commercial Analytics?
At its core, commercial analytics is about using data to better run your business. It has many uses, such as identifying new business opportunities and finding the best way to capitalize on them, managing organizational risk, and optimizing product development.
Commercial analytics is beneficial for many aspects of a business. With that said, it is most frequently utilized by marketing and sales teams as it allows them to understand complex concepts regarding consumers and markets.
The Benefits of Commercial Analytics
Organizations that use commercial analytics are 1.5 times more likely to achieve above-average growth rates when compared to businesses without these processes in place. This is because commercial analytics helps organizations make the most of every dollar in a few important ways. Here are three examples:
- KPI optimization – Commercial analytics solutions can help outline what you need to do to meet a certain KPI, and even help you with multi-KPI optimization. This includes suggestions for audience targeting, media buying, and spend allocation.
- Understanding the customer journey – With commercial analytics, you can understand how many qualified customers are active in a certain area, which touchpoints they tend to engage with, and what drives them to take a specific action.
- Budgeting – You can even optimize a certain department’s budget with commercial analytics. For example, marketers could calculate the optimal effective frequency for a certain audience, then provide a clear budget request for managers and leadership.
This is only a sample of what commercial analytics has to offer. With the right technology and data science skills, the potential of commercial analytics is limited only by your imagination.
How to Succeed with Commercial Analytics
Now that we’ve covered the basics of commercial analytics, let’s uncover how businesses can start building an effective strategy. Make sure you take these five steps:
1. Align on goals and expectations
First, establish why your team(s) wants to invest in commercial analytics. Do they hope to accomplish a specific goal in the future? Is there a pressing business need that analytics can solve? Which teams are interested in the concept?
Then, think of any other stakeholders who may have an interest in commercial analytics. This includes stakeholders who would directly benefit from it in addition to stakeholders who play a hand in implementing and maintaining parts of the project. For example, marketing and sales may be interested in using commercial analytics for strategic reasons. On the other hand, IT and legal teams may want to ensure that there are no unintended consequences of investing in commercial analytics.
If a certain team or employee seems particularly interested in commercial analytics, keep in close contact with them throughout the entire project. The longer you can keep stakeholders invested, the easier it will be to justify a continued investment in the labor, technology, and processes needed to support the initiative.
2. Think long-term from square one
Commercial analytics has a lot of potential use cases – it’s important to account for every way you plan to use commercial analytics, then outline key outcomes and how you intend to achieve those outcomes.
Think back to your conversation with stakeholders to determine where to focus your long-term planning. For example, the marketing team may want to use commercial analytics to determine a product pricing strategy and determine which customers would prefer that product. Meanwhile, the sales team may want to know if a certain customer is ready for outreach.
At that point, outline what you need to use commercial analytics for your intended purpose. For example, the marketing team will need to ensure they have plenty of product, pricing, consumer, and market-level data. Then, they will also need a marketing performance measurement solution to help turn that data into actionable insights. From there, they’ll need the analytical skills to assess the accuracy of those insights. Finally, they’ll need to communicate how commercial analytics bolstered their strategy when the campaign is about to come to a close.
3. Fine tune data quality processes
Data is the bedrock of any analytics strategy. It’s also one of the most challenging parts of an effective commercial analytics strategy. Before you get started, assess your data quality using the following dimensions:
- Completeness and comprehensiveness
- Proper formatting
- Validity and integrity
Some smaller organizations can clean and vet their data manually for basic analysis, but it’s important to have scalable data quality processes before you invest in commercial analytics.
4. Assess your team’s analytical skills
Before you move any further, look for any potential knowledge gaps in your organization. For example: Does your organization have a department dedicated to data and analytics? Do we have any specialists on the team requesting commercial analytics? What skills does our team already have, and what can we reasonably teach them?
Once you understand the skill set of your current team, then you can start finding technology that plays to your strengths and mitigates your weaknesses.
5. Invest in technology that fits your needs
Once you have a good idea of how proficient your team is in analytics, you can choose marketing technology that’s appropriate for their skill level. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution for everyone, so ask yourself the following questions before you invest in a solution:
- Which teams need commercial analytics?
- How much data or other information do I have to offer the solution?
- Do I have the inhouse talent I need to support a solution, or will I need help?
- Do we work internationally, or in a national/regional area?
- What is my desired time-to-result?
Each of these factors are crucial to choosing the right technology. Additionally, share your current goals and long-term strategy with the sales team on the call, and ask how their solution can help meet your goals. Only partner with a provider who is confident they can provide the capabilities you need to succeed.
Commercial analytics can help marketers outperform competitors by connecting marketing tactics to growth. However, having the right data, technology, and expertise is what separates organizations with strong commercial analytics processes from the rest of the pack. For that reason, there’s plenty of complex, subjective factors to consider before you start truly investing in commercial analytics.
If you’d like to learn more about how commercial analytics can help your organization, Marketing Evolution is here to help. Schedule a demo with one of our product experts today.