Here’s Why Every Marketer Should Use Analytics

Baseball stat scoreboard
While baseball has always been a statistical game, the role statistical analysis has played in Major League Baseball (MLB) has increased astronomically in the years since the release of the 2003 book "Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game." Authored by Michael Lewis, the book detailed how Oakland Athletics executive Billy Beane relied on extensive analytics to beat the status quo and build a winning team on a limited budget.

But statistical analysis isn't reserved for the ballpark. Technological advancements over the years have made it easy to gather and analyze mass amounts of data on consumer behavior, leading to data-driven corporate decisions around the world. With the amount of data available to marketers today, we started thinking about what marketing professionals could learn from the analytics boom in baseball.

Let's take a look at how you can use analytics to get more out of less with your marketing.

Pinpoint Where You Need Improvement

Six-time All Star and 2010 Most Valuable Player (MVP) Joey Votto uses advanced analytics unlike any other player in baseball. Like many baseball players, he uses extensive data to evaluate areas of his game that need improvement. However, Votto takes it to the next level by breaking the data down to granular details, like finding what part of the strike zone he struggles to hit the ball in. As a result, he became an improved hitter and ultimately the National League MVP.

As we learn from Votto, analytics can be extremely useful when evaluating success. In your case, analytics can be applied to measuring your marketing campaigns. There are many metrics available for marketers to use to determine which areas of their campaigns need improvement.

For example, with digital marketing you can use metrics such as click through rate (CTR) and conversion rate to evaluate the success of campaigns. What you may not know is that you can also assign unique toll-free numbers (TFNs) to each outlet and track the inbound calls to each one to identify where your sales and revenue come from. Based on the data, you can focus your efforts on the most profitable ads and drop the ones that aren't effective.

Take Advantage of Advanced Technologies

Like we mentioned previously, technology has made collecting data easier with each passing year. In the MLB, the use of a technology called Statcast — a series of high-resolution cameras with radar equipment — has been introduced to the game to measure everything from the spin of a pitched curveball to the angle of a batted ball. That data can be used to identify the probability of an outfielder catching a ball, among other statistics.

Similarly, there are tools in marketing that are capable of tracking the granular data you need to make decisions about which direction you should take your campaign. One example is an online analytics tool that links site visitors' clicks back to the exact search term typed in — just like measuring the angle of a batted ball. This can help you optimize your website based on the keywords that people actually search. With such detailed insight, you can change keywords and update your paid digital ads to improve ROI.

Marketing automation is also something that could aid your marketing efforts. Automation software allows you to automate tasks, such as sending large amounts of tailored emails. This frees up time for employees to optimize your other marketing efforts.

Determine Your Target Market

Analytics play an important role in a baseball team's scouting department while coaches search for hidden talent. Just like in "Moneyball," scouts have to use data to determine which players they should target and which should be avoided — all while making smart financial decision for the team.

Marketing departments have their own form of "scouting" in a way.

Determining your target market and market segmentation are two huge components of marketing, and customer data can help with the processes. Upon completion of a market segment analysis, the data you collect will help you personalize a message for each market segment.

If the analytics point to your younger audience only viewing ads on social media, then you might consider tailoring the ads on social media to cater to that young audience, maximizing the effect of your campaign.

Many marketing departments could learn a thing or two from "Moneyball" and stop breaking the bank on their campaigns — whether they work or not. Using analytics helps save you money by showing you exactly where improvement is needed, improving your efficiency, and showing you who to target.

Relying on your gut feeling may have worked for you in the past, but in today's world of maximizing return on investment, leaning on analytics has proven the best option.