Agile action: Predictive analytics in marketing

Audience engagement tools turn data into insights

In today’s environment, marketers must understand and engage their audiences to drive authentic conversations and generate results. Deloitte leader, Stacy Kemp shares some of her insights into the role companies play in making a strong impact.

Excelling at audience engagement

Brands that excel at audience engagement use a few common tactics to drive authentic conversations today. They deploy advanced analytics tools that turn patterns within data into actionable insights. They build marketing teams that excel at creative strategy—while simultaneously understanding and addressing needs across the business, such as finance. These companies also place a premium on relationships—by galvanizing internal teams and external, creative resources around mutual objectives.

One of the most efficient ways companies can listen and respond to digital conversations today is through predictive analytics. It’s a fast-growing area of interest: In Deloitte’s February 2020 CMO survey, respondents reported a 11 percent increase in the implementation of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning within their marketing toolkits compared to the previous year. While it might seem daunting to know where to begin—there are thousands of digital marketing solutions in use today, it’s possible to take a narrower view. For instance, if your goal is deciding which product might dominate social chatter, a well-designed AI solution can help predict which topics and threads are likely to define discussions.


A focus on talent

Talent is another focus of agile transformations. Marketing professionals have always been good at deciding how and when to get involved in relevant cultural conversations. But the composition of team skillsets and professional backgrounds is shifting. For instance, one-way companies are rethinking their teams is by recruiting marketers who can weave insights from multiple disciplines into a single narrative thread. So, when analyzing a current trend, rather than drawing on one domain such as math or politics, a marketing practitioner who can interpret the interconnected conditions behind a movement can offer deeper value to the customer.

“These are the people that can see connections, interpret the data we get from advanced technology and analytics, and then help us tell stories,” says Stacy Kemp, principal, Marketing & Customer Strategy, Deloitte Consulting LLP.

As the nature of audience conversations change, so have the relationships between internal marketers and creative partners outside the firm. Kemp says this requires permeability between the brand and the external agency.

All creative talent doesn’t necessarily want to go work for the brand, Kemp says. Companies have to find ways for their internal talent, the internal agencies, and external partners and consultancies to work together.

In this blended environment, marketing leaders have to draw on powers of persuasion. “You have to have management skills, you have to have financial skills, and you have to have relationship and negotiation skills,” Kemp says. “And someone has to manage those relationships.”

Ultimately, building a marketing organization that’s able to be present where conversations are happening also means taking a hard look at business practices.

How do you change the way you're structured, the way work flows through the organization, and the metrics you use to incentivize behaviors and people to work together? Kemp says.

“Instead of creating a space for a brand conversation and inviting customers to join, go be where they are,” Kemp says. “Use your talent, technology, and relationships to listen and respond.”

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