Data science is the fundamental area of marketing and broader business intelligence that your business is likely to be missing out on, and it’s time to fill that gap. Almost all marketing activity and insight are driven by big data (yes, gut feel is a thing of the past), however, you are only just scratching the surface if you are not actively investing in data science as a service or role within your organisation.
3 Reasons You Need Data Science
There are three primary factors which you should prioritise in order to allocate the budget and justify any new investment in data science and these fall into:
- Bringing New Opportunity into Light
- Problem-Solving with Data Driven Insight
- Scaling Everything Up #EnableHyperdrive
The focus of this post is to explore these in more detail and highlight how data science may be the key ingredient for your future business marketing.
#1 – Bringing New Opportunity into Light
Regardless of everything else that effective data science expertise can bring to your business and directly, your business marketing efforts, is the fact that without data science you are missing out on new opportunities to maximise every single day/week/month. Each day new data is there through freely available and changing (by the hour) datasets including; Google Analytics, Google Search Console and Google Trends plus, there are many paid for data analytical tools available too including; SEMRush, Moz tools and many more.
The main challenge that comes with big data is not the access to the data, but the ability to gather meaning from the data.
Practically a key barrier with big data is allocating the time and expertise required to stay on top of the data, which is almost impossible without dedicated expertise and the prioritisation of data science within your business culture. The types of actionable insight that data science can bring to your business include:
- Repeat marketing actions tied to historical performance
- Data-driven prescribed actions based on new/changing information sets
- Topical opportunities to act on now
- Seasonal nuances and trends to plan for
- Process driven next actions not feasible for human completion
- Re-combining of data sets for new insights without the manual data work
The above being a starting point of the myriad of opportunity that data science can bring to the fore.
#2 – Problem-Solving with Data Driven Insight
I mentioned at the start of this post that ‘gut feel’ is a thing of the past – in fact it’s not, but it should be.
Data science is the solution to remove all of the unknowns from your business investment, marketing expenditure, and future plans (including forecasting and prioritising new marketing resource, expertise, and experiments).
As a business you will have many questions that can help you focus your marketing activities on areas likely to deliver the most value. These questions and many more can be solved and turned into action plans with the use of data science expertise. Data Science in Action… As an example of this, data science combined with machine learning and intelligent algorithms can tell you the strengths and weaknesses of your website based on various content purposes and user intent areas to provide insight on the external threats when matching this against your online competition. You can see this in action below (source: Vertical Leap, ‘The importance of data science for today’s marketer‘): By using data models like the above you are able to identify and target groups of queries and specific key terms based on metrics like ‘traffic potential’ and ‘revenue potential’. The goal here is bringing to light well-hidden and untapped opportunity so that they can be acted on and contribute towards your business objectives.
#3 – Scaling Everything Up #EnableHyperdrive
The largest restraint that marketing teams have in-house or within agencies is the amount of time and resource available to deliver data insights and expertise.
Most marketing experts are bogged down with the mundane data collection, processing, de-duplication, re-combining of data sets, and numerous Excel actions which prevent them to even get to a stage where they can focus on the opportunity and insight driven actions that matter the most.
Data led businesses which have dedicated data science specialisms are able to free up the human expertise and turn the historical 80/20 rule on its head (historically being; 80% of the time wading through data and 20% of the expert time deriving insights and next actions). What this means to business is that the time you are paying for is the expertise, insight and specific actions that can make the difference to your bottom line, instead of all the data mining actions which can become a barrier to success rather than the foundation for success. For marketing and digital teams this frees up your experts to focus on the actions that require their attention the most (instead of 20% of the time), which can be critical for retaining key experts in-house, as well as delivering much greater return from the investment in staff and expertise when outsourcing.
Data science can seem like a daunting prospect if it is an area of marketing and business insight which you are not overly familiar with yet. For your business, it could be the game changer you are looking for when it comes to delivering a competitive advantage over your competitors – but this won’t be the case for long as many businesses are investing in this as a priority, or plan to in the months to come. Data science can bring your business fresh opportunities to target for growth and revenue goals, remove many of the question marks you may have about strategy and tactics to deploy which are currently hidden within your data, and enable you to scale up your marketing activities to deliver more bang for your buck.