An effective marketing analytics presentation requires that a professional with the following talent mix prepare it: data shaping and modeling expertise, knowledge of the subject (eg. online video watching) being analyzed, and an ability to tell stories with data. A July 20, 2011 Globe and Mail article talks about how a marketer may use analytics to analyze and target consumers at a micro-level. However, micro-level data analysis must first be transformed into a meaningful presentation with a storyline that senior managers can understand. And this means that an analyst must constantly scan media and remain up-to-date on industry trends because a senior manager must compare internal analytics to industry benchmarks.
Let’s assume, for example, that a web marketing analytics professional will present an analysis of a website’s online video watching segments. He or she requires data shaping expertise that may involve transforming a numeric variable (eg. ‘Monthly Hours Spent Watching Video’ into a categorical one (eg. ‘Frequent Online Video Watcher’ and ‘Infrequent Online Video Watcher’). The analyst must be aware of consumer online video watching behaviour in order to properly define the cut-offs for frequent and infrequent online video watchers. Research such as this may be found by scanning media and trade publications for articles about the topic. An April 28, 2011 National Post story reported that the average Canadian Internet user watches about 17 hours of online movies a month. Likewise, an analyst might find the ‘Global Bandwidth and Application’ graph at the top of this post useful for benchmarking his or her own organization’s mobile data usage growth.
Presenting a segmentation of online video watchers requires only one PowerPoint or Adobe Captivate slide. It might be a chart or graph that displays a frequency count of the ‘Frequent Online Video Watcher’ and ‘Infrequent Online Video Watcher’ segments. A senior manager needs to see more than this, however. He or she must also have a benchmark line, accordingly based on the National Post story, against which to evaluate each segment’s size. It is this benchmark that allows a senior manager to make an informed, data driven decision.
The ability to present analytics results versus a benchmark is an important skill for a marketing analytics professional to have. It is this skill that bridges the gap between the work that is done to shape and model data and the understanding that is required to make analytical decisions.