Data analytics: value ad in 'real time'

MUMBAI: Data analytics, the "frontier field" tool of the communications business has entered the "real time" solutions domain.

This was one point that came through strongly during presentations made at a seminar hosted by Group M's ATG in association with the Business World magazine yesterday (26 November) in Mumbai. A number of distinguished speakers highlighted the uses of data analytics and its relevance in today's age.



The seminar essentially addressed two basic questions - How does one maximise the return on investment on marketing spends? And the measurement of impact of marketing and advertising initiatives.

Talking about a marketing model, the benefits that were thrown up were the measurement of sales sensitiveness to marketing inputs. Two, the impact of communication and creative efficiency, hence ensuring optimum media weight. Three, media implications on competitive promotion gains.

Other insights that were revealed were:

1) Television impact was more on awareness of the brand than brand image.

2) Brand image on the other hand played a crucial role in boosting sales.

3) Advertising beyond a point may turn out to be non-productive or even negative for the brand.

Other key points in note were that analysis needs to constantly updated with latest data and technology.

Ramesh Srinivas consultant IBM Global services focussed on how to look at data at real time and sense what is going on in the current.

He pointed out that with the given technology and data, it was possible today to sense and respond to customers in real time. It was also possible to look at events occurring in the present and enhance the experience of the customer.

Coming to the explanation of data analytics, Srinivas pointed out that it was essentially a process of aggregation, analysis, filtration, customisation and distribution of information across the value chain.

More and more companies are beginning to understand the significance of data analytics and are replacing their inventory with information. Sales although is an indicator of measuring impact of marketing and advertising effort, it is a lagging one. Analytics on the other hand gives a fair idea of perceptions and impact of a particular launch or event.



While the above may be true, one of the most difficult tasks at hand is integration of data. Hence, the key being bringing relevant data closer to the person who needs it.

Ogilvy's CEO India and South Asia John Goodman talked about the co-relation of big ideas and facts, knowledge and creativity. Showcasing the work that OgilvyOne has done to cater to a number of clients Goodman pointed out that analytics today was a huge tool to solve problems across the marketing spectrum.

Also Goodman pointed out a vivid distinction between raw data and information/knowledge, as that is an issue the industry is still grappling with.



Tata AIG Life vice president marketing Rohit Mull pointed out life insurance has seen a sea change in the last three years. From a monopoly situation to over 13 players, the insurance sector has seen increased customer awareness and a more demanding service. Although, this sector has seen increased competition, there is no adequate data available.

Interestingly, the insurance sector also sees large levels of turnover, the percentage of marketing spends compared to its bottomline is minuscule.

Mull pointed out that with the use of analytics, the impact of measuring direct impact on sale was possible. This also moved the marketing budget from a fixed cost to a variable one. Also, ownership of task and delivery from all partners including the creative agency, AOR and media vehicles could take place.

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