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How to bridge the analytics gap

How to bridge the analytics gap

By Ally Scott, Business Development Manager, Alchemetrics

Data industry operatives are all aware of the power of analytics in unlocking the insight held in customer data.  Unfortunately many of us are also all too aware of the number of marketers who fail to unlock this insight because of a lack of skills and knowledge when undertaking data management.

The problem with this are twofold: we as data solutions providers have our offerings shunned because of a lack of understanding, and marketers are missing out on valuable customer information which can be used to inform strategic decisions.

The responsibility to rectify this problem doesn’t lie with marketers but rather with us, solutions providers.  It could take a lifetime of experience to be able to comprehend every level of insight available from analytics, and how to practically employ this information.

So is it realistic to expect marketers to be able to take all of this on and apply it to their business just like that?  One could even argue that it simply isn’t their job.  They require the insight provided; they have no need or desire to get their hands dirty themselves.

So what’s the solution? In my view, this rests with the solutions providers; by making software available that is easier to understand, thus making insight accessible to marketers, instead of distancing them with jargon and complex systems.

The data industry is very good at talking at great length as to the complexities and nuances of our work, and rightly so, but we don’t want to do this to our detriment by making our solutions appear too complex to marketers.

As an industry, we must commit to making the skills and techniques we’ve developed as comprehensible as possible; only then can marketers understand and embrace the possibilities database marketing can deliver.  By doing this we will, by default, create a desire to invest in the solutions we offer.

Opening up the potential of database marketing to a wider audience and not just experts would not only enable those already investing in it to see greater returns and results, but will entice greater numbers of SMEs  to engage with their customers in this way, perhaps for the first time.

Especially at a time when so many businesses are struggling in the economic climate arming them with a cost effective way to get to their customers is something that we should be proud of.

To do this is that we need to demystify what we as an industry do in order that marketers embrace the solutions that we can provide.  This doesn’t mean giving away expertise but rather facilitating analytics and enabling companies to use insight to their advantage.

By doing this, we will encourage marketers to engage in analytics rather than alienate them by highlighting their lack of skills.

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