Why Customer Analytics Integration Needs To Be The Next Big Thing

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Understanding the thought process of your customers, and more importantly your prospects, is critical for businesses. Unless you know how you reached your prospect and what made them to take a partcicular decision, it is difficult to know whether or not your business is working at its fullest potential. According to a study published by MarketsandMarkets, a Dallas based market research firm, the customer analytics market could be a $4 billion market by 2019. The chief drivers of this growth are likely to be in data management, analytics tools, voice of customer, web analytics and dashboards.

Customer analytics today is primarily the use of web analytical tools that study the visitor clicks and conversions on your website. Tools like event tracking, heatmap analysis and goal tracking are largely used by ecommerce websites to study the impact of various website elements towards the conversion rate. Email marketing providers like GetResponse offer A/B testing tools to study the impact of content and images in an email towards click-throughs and possibly conversion.

While these free and paid tools offer immense value to business owners and marketers, the problem facing them today is defragmentation of customer analytics. Consider a typical email marketing campaign from an ecommerce store announcing the featured products for the month. The marketer today is readily given information on the email content that fetched the highest clicks. On the website-front, they may readily access the conversion rate from these visitors.

But anything beyond this needs wizardry on the part of the marketer. For instance, you may need to tag hyperlinks with custom parameters in order to be able to study the performance of these different A/B tested email content. Extrapolate this to the hundreds of email campaigns, PPC ads and social media marketing that a marketer does and you can easily see why the job of tracking customer analytics can be so overwhelming.

What customer analytics needs today is integration. Thanks to APIs, it is possible to seamlessly and efficiently integrate the customer analytics systems offered by various services and platforms to build a master dashboard that does the job of piecing together information – a job that has to be performed manually by marketers today.

In a whitepaper on the subject, market intelligence company IDC has pointed out that data integration is the top IT concern that is facing organizations with respect to their business analytics initiatives. A number of technology consulting firms including those like IBM and MindTree today offer customer analytics integration services to large enterprises. The need of the hour however is in bringing about this integration to the SMB segment.

2015 could be a pivotal year in this aspect. Over the past decade, customer analytics solutions have largely matured and today provide customers with phenomenal reports for intepretation. The next year could see the integration of analytics from these various platforms into a master channel that could pave the way for the next generation of customer analytics. Looking back at all that businesses have achieved over the past decade, this doesn’t seem to be a far fetched concept and is something that could become mainstream around the same time next year. What do you think?

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