Marketing is one of the most important functions of a business. Without marketing a business or organisation simply cannot expand. Marketing is the process of deciding what your customer wants and then supplying it to them. Marketing involves a creating a product that your customer wants, deciding the best price for that product and then promoting the product so that the customer has access to it.

Marketing as a function will have key operations that take place within it’s sectors to ensure it is efficient. These operations are the reason behind the functions success. If the marketing function is running successfully and efficiently, then the Organization should be growing and earning more profit. Some operations that I am going to be talking about are analytical tools that are used to assess how efficient the marketing campaigns are that are in process and how they can be improved. The first operation I am going to be discussing is the process of measuring the effectiveness of your website. The roots of all marketing in many businesses start with a website. The website provides a platform to employ the four P’s (product, price, promotion and place), you can display, decide a price, sell and promote your products all through your online platform. Analytics that are provided via this are as close to gold as you can get. By analysing who is visiting your website, you can build an educated idea on the demographic of your consumers. This is one of the first steps towards knowing what your customer wants. When you have decided that you know what your customer wants, then you can manipulate your product to fit their needs. You can also get an idea based on their demographic profile, of what they may be willing to pay for such a product. The next advantage to measuring the effectiveness of your website is identifying the areas that need improving on, as well as knowing the most efficient way to advertise it. As shown in the image below, this is a traffic sources overview. It gives numerical values, showing where traffic is coming from, how it got there and why. For example, shown below we can see that over 59% of this websites traffic is coming from search engines. From this information an organisation can see that the majority of its consumers find what they want through search engines. Therefore, could decide to begin a google AdWords campaign to increase the number of people that are shown that website as a result of a search.

Google Image Link

These types of campaign bring the result to the consumer more often than the consumer trying to find it manually, in many cases the customer may not have necessarily have directly searched for this. This is known as driving the customer rather than customer driven.

I would suggest that being able to measure the effectiveness of your website is one of the most important analytics tools within marketing. Especially with the rising popularity of online shopping and reading. In theory knowing your how your demographic act online will give you in depth incites to their desires. Theories like this provide direction and structure for businesses, helping them “make sense of the facts”. This the reason I think that Gartner, a popular online marketing firm, found that organisations can spend up to 10% of their entire online advertising budget on just analytics.

The second operation that I will be discussing is a customer survey, I strongly believe that a customer survey is also an extremely important analytical tool used by marketers. After all, if you do not know how your consumers feel about your product and services, then how can you hope to improve on them. Improving on your products and their delivery methods is a key way to spark growth and publicity for an organisation. Customer surveys can be simple and effective, while not costing lots of money. Surveys are usually carried out via direct marketing. For example, emailing, handouts, post etc. A disadvantage of surveys could be that they are not mandatory for a customer to complete, they have a reputation for being frustrating and annoying. Customers may be more inclined to complete them if they have a motive, like being extremely happy or extremely frustrated or upset with their product or service. This could suggest they have the possibility to be bias or simply not accurate. Many companies supply incentives to complete surveys, such as money off your next order. Surveys are one of the only ways to get any idea behind your customers feelings towards an organisation and its product, which is why they have been used for hundreds of years. Other methods of analysing and collecting the thoughts of consumers are less effective on large scales and potentially more bias and inaccurate. Analytics tools within the marketing function are what I believe to be the key to marketing success. They give you a direct insight to how successful current campaigns and advertising is, as well as key points of weakness that may need improvements. Without marketing analytics tools, organisations would find it increasingly harder to grow their businesses. Analytics tools promote more efficient advertising, leading to the goal of higher profits and more sales. Being able to analyse how successful your marketing sector is, is one of the best way to differentiate yourself from your competitors.

References:

Spencer, J. and more, R. (2015) 4 marketing Analytics tools that are shaping the industry. Available at: https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/241534 (Accessed: 15 November 2016). In-text citations: (Spencer and more, 2015)

CMSKNOWare™ (2014) KNOWare content management system. Available at: http://www.knowarecms.com/index.php?id=14 (Accessed: 15 November 2016). In-text citations: (CMS, 2014)

Saren, M., Maclaran, P., Elliott, R., Goulding, C. and Shankar, A. (2007) Critical marketing: Defining the field. Amsterdam: Elsevier / Butterworth-Heinemann. In-text citations: (Saren et al., 2007)

Baker, M.J. and Saren, M. (eds.) (2010) Marketing theory: A student text. 2nd edn. London: SAGE Publications. In-text citations: (Baker and Saren, 2010)

Key findings from U.S. Digital marketing spending survey, 2013 (2013) Available at: http://www.gartner.com/technology/research/digital-marketing/digital-marketing-spend-report.jsp (Accessed: 15 November 2016). In-text citations: (Key findings from U.S. Digital marketing spending survey, 2013, 2013)