What can a truly stellar marketing analytics program achieve? And how do you build a stellar marketing measurement program? Those are the two key questions addressed in the ANA Magazine’s recent coverage of the Marketing Analytics Leadership Awards (MALA), presented by MarketShare.

The story on the 2014 honorees has some highly valuable insights on what the best in marketing analytics can accomplish—and how to build a stellar analytics program. Some highlights below:

5 Steps to Optimal Marketing Analytics

How do you make great analytics happen? Justin Croft, Manager, Brand Platforms & Analytics at C Spire—a privately held wireless communications company and the MALA award winner—offered this “top five” suggestions for setting up a top-notch marketing analytics program:

  1. Have a clear goal in mind.
  2. Plan how you are going to measure the outcome. If you can’t measure the outcome, you need to ask yourself if you should be doing this at all.
  3. Focus on integration. It’s not enough to have a predictive model; you need a plan for how it will be integrated operationally to drive consumer behavior and business outcomes.
  4. Be realistic in your expectations: Analytics is not a cure-all or a panacea. Analytics typically returns a value-add on the order of 5 to 15 percent. If you’re expecting the improvement to fall closer to 5% than 15%, make sure you start with a problem big enough that the 5 percent is going to matter.
  5. Prepare to be cross-functional. Analytics can only reach its full potential when it is applied across groups and departments, not just within marketing.

What can marketing analytics accomplish?

But what, exactly, can programs like the ones Croft describes really achieve? To get a sense of that, consider just some of the accomplishments of the award honorees, as described in the ANA piece:

Business communications services provider Citrix, MALA finalist “Within six months [of launching its marketing analytics program, Citrix] saw a 5 percent lift in sales and a 465 percent return on its investment. Analytics is now a mission-critical group that delivers positive top-and bottom-line impact.”

C-Spire, a privately held wireless communications company and the MALA award winner: “C Spire was able to deliver the equivalent of an additional 3 percent of sales with no additional distribution costs or employees. The analytics program also has improved the effectiveness of customer retention campaigns by 50%, and it is driving millions of dollars in incremental margin annually.”

Global semiconductor manufacturer Intel, MALA finalist Intel’s analytics program, MROI @ Intel, “guides Intel’s marketing team to optimal allocations of their investments, resulting in 1 to 3 percent increases in sales contribution from marketing….Increasing marketing investment in 2013 generated more than $100 million in incremental revenues”

The "net net"? MarketShare Co-Founder and CEO, Wes Nichols, sums up the opportunities well: “Marketing these days must be definitively and unambiguously linked to P&L….By definitively linking their activities to P&L, CMOs are not only creating significant business impact for their companies, they are also elevating their credibility within the organization.”

Watch this space for more news about the ANA’s recognition of top-notch marketing analytics, and the bold new ways CMO’s are tying their cart to P&L.

In the meantime, read the full ANA Magazine article about MALA here.

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