Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Analytics Key for E-Marketers

As a self-proclaimed data geek, I always get a kick about learning about unexploited opportunities to reap the benefits of data-mining. I salivate about the potential to make an impact using tools that haven't been used before. I truly do get excited when I see an opportunity to generate new sales simply by obtaining a better understanding of customers' wants and needs.

Take a look at this article from DM News: E-commerce should stress analytics: eTail 2008.

The article provides a recap of a recent presentation at the eTail conference in Washington. It talks about the opportunities for e-commerce firms to start to benefit from the knowledge embedded in the customer data they collect online.
He (speaker Sheldon Gilbert, founder and CEO of Proclivity Systems) said many e-commerce companies only “look at the cash register;” only what a customer is buying. To fully optimize marketing efforts, he added, companies have to dig deeper into predictive modeling, and take into account factors such as seasonal shopping cycles, consumer buying and browsing patterns, and gauging the value of certain “action words” such as the word “organic.”
Actually, some of what the speaker highlighted seemed fairly 'no-brainer' to me. Check out this point, where he talks about how to identify cross-sell opportunities:

He also said that companies should mine their databases to learn what customers of one particular product are also buying. For example, if 79% of customers that bought denim products and shoes from a retailer overlap, then the company needs to determine how to send the proper offer to those customers based on that data.

“The data will tell you what to offer,” he said. “Human behavior is fairly predictive.”

If this article is correct in stating that many e-commerce firms have not yet employed data mining tactics to improve customer strategy, than this is a huge opportunity for direct marketers. E-commerce needs analytical folks who are schooled in data analysis and modeling techniques--people who've had practical experience turning customer behavior into programs that make money.

And, guess what? As a direct marketer with a focus on analytics, I'm ready to help!

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