With the steady march of digital marketing, a number of new marketing roles have emerged. For the uninitiated, this can cause some confusion, so here is our rundown on the main functions of a marketing analyst.
Monitoring and evaluating customer acquisition initiatives – The first area for marketing analysts, as you might expect, is to keep an eye on customer and/or subscriber acquisition and retention. This might include looking at channel conversion, timings, paths and any other form of customer behaviour. It also covers evaluating customer experience across channels, to check for retention.
Carrying out market and competitor research to improve decision-making – Marketing analysts have a key role in competitor and market research, as well as identifying the company’s current position and future goals. They will prepare and present reports for key stakeholders in the company, to support data-driven decision-making and help the company to increase its profits, grow market share and become a leader in the industry.
Improving and developing business intelligence and analytical strategies – Gathering information through research is a good start, but not enough. Companies also need a solid analytical strategy so that they can collect and use the right data over time. Marketing analysts have a key role in helping to build and develop the data collection and analytical structures to improve future reporting and analytical capabilities. They are also likely to be involved in selecting and improving reporting and analytical tools.
Carrying out performance monitoring and forecasting – Marketing analysts are likely to be involved in measuring and monitoring the business performance against goals and budget. This therefore makes analysts key contributors in forecasting. By looking into past performance (customer and profit growth), direction of the company and available budget, the business is able to forecast for marketing strategies and activities, overall budgeting and even product or service strategies.
Predicting and resolving problems, especially linked to recurring events – With their access to large amounts of data, marketing analysts are often well-placed to notice recurring patterns of customer behaviour, including seasonal issues. They are therefore able to predict potential problems, and even offer solutions based on analysis of past events. They are also likely to identify at an early stage whether there is any need for recovery measures to avoid loss of customers and/or profit for the period.
Acting as custodian of marketing “best practices” – As the person responsible for evaluating marketing activity, a marketing analyst is able to identify what works best. In other words, they are likely to be the people who best understand what constitutes ‘best’, or most effective marketing, practice. They also have a role in sharing this information across the company, to ensure that staff are made aware.
Identifying and publicising trends and patterns – Marketing analysts deal with large amounts of data, gathering, measuring, monitoring, analysing and reporting. A part of the role is to look for insights into the business, and particularly trends or stories within the data. Developing these stories through identifying trends gives the business insight into its customers, the industry and also its own operations.
Identifying cross-channel and other marketing opportunities – Just as they are well-placed to identify trends and best practice, marketing analysts may also be able to see opportunities not visible to others. Sight of all the business’s marketing activities may make it easier to identify holistic marketing campaign activities. This is likely to improve the customer experience across channels and touch-points.
Presenting and interpreting data for different stakeholders – Being able to analyse data is a vital skill for marketing analysts. But it is almost equally important that they can present and interpret it for others. Directors and senior executives are likely to need very different information from marketers and sales teams, and marketing analysts need to be able to present and explain the right information in the right form for each set of stakeholders. They may also play an important role in helping business users to develop their own reporting systems and templates.
Ensuring that their own learning and development remains up to date – Data science and analytics is a fast-moving specialty, and marketing analysts need to make a commitment to their own learning and development to stay ahead of the competition. They need to know about new tools and techniques that may be useful to their business, and be able to adopt them at the appropriate point. This may include teaching other analysts and business users about these tools.
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