Data-pocket-knife for marketing decision makers

All marketing decision makers heavily rely on performance metrics and competitive analysis for devising their strategies and tactics. We have increasingly noticed, however, that reposts containing numbers impacting vital decisions are outdated. Very often relevant analyses are performed at best on a quarterly basis, at worst on a yearly basis - which is the equivalent to centuries in the always on world we live in.

Data-pocket-knife for marketing decision makers

To make matters worse, a lot of marketing managers heavily rely on reports performed by external partners, such as media agencies, communication agencies or consultancies. These provide an in-depth understanding of key performance values, and are fundamentals for the development of long term strategic directions. Nevertheless, such data dependency limits marketing manager’s access to most recent information in the moment of need.

The industry solution, which pays into the need of accessing live data, is to equip the marketing department with a cloud based marketing analysis dashboard. If established properly, such a solution can have a significant performance impact and aids real time decision making very well. The fact is, nonetheless, most companies do not yet have a fully performing analysis dashboard and it usually takes quite some time to establish one. In this regard, we decided to provide marketing decision makers with a list of three freely accessible tools they can use wherever and whenever in order to get the latest performance data about their competitors, consumer needs and market trend developments. These tools should in no sense replace a proper market or competitive analysis. Their prime role is to act as a data equivalent of a pocket knife – to provide a quick fix in situations when the data are scarce, but highly needed.

Tool 1: Understanding Competitor’s Impact

Whatever marketing strategy one’s competitor is executing, it will most certainly have an impact on their online channels. SimilarWeb is an online tool that measures just that – a brand’s digital channel performance. Once one has entered the competitor’s website domain into the tool, it provides an overview of its performance for the past six months. As useful as this might be, the tool’s real value is its ability to offer insights about: what visitors looked for when they initially came to the website, where they came from, what they were doing on the website, and where they went afterwards. On a basic level, the tool even provides demographic data about the visitors. Ideally such input gives a good understanding about a brand’s actions and the impact these are having. For instance, if one knows the proportion of the website’s visitors, who went on to an online store or Amazon after they visited it, one can deduce the website’s conversion rate. Putting this into relationship with one’s own metrics, it becomes directly clear if one’s company is over- or under-performing compared to their competition.

Tool: www.similarweb.com

Tool 2: Understanding Consumer Needs

Especially when discussing new business opportunities, or considering fields of innovation, it is important to have a firm understanding about unserved consumer needs. “Answer the Public” clusters people’s Google queries regarding a certain brand, product or topic by the type of questions (read problem) they are having. This is done country based, thus bares market specific implications. By specifying the search term further and diving deeper into a certain need, one quickly gets a firm understanding about the extent of a certain business opportunity.

Tool: www.answerthepublic.com

Tool 3: Understanding Market Trends

Still the best free available data that portray market trends are the ones offered by Google. With its tool Google Trends, which is being constantly developed further, Google offers every marketing decision maker an overview of the developing consumer interests around a certain brand, product or topic. This interest can be further dissected for a certain time period, geographical region or even product category. Hence, the tool depicts past seasonal trends and forecasts of future consumer interests on a macro, as well as micro level. Moreover, it is possible to look into individual key words, and in this way gain understanding about the factors fuelling the trends.

Tool: www.trends.google.com

Often, marketing decision makers have a good intuition regarding where the next business opportunity lies, but lack immediate access to relevant data to verify their hunch. These tools provide a quick fix for when fast decision making is needed, but are faced with a lack of current information. If, however, you are interested in more sophisticated ways to harness real-time information tailored to your company’s goals, do not hesitate to contact us.