I recently attended a CMO Council dinner event in Canada comprised of 30 CMOs and senior marketing execs, and the discussion revolved around data and analytics. This is dramatically different from how such events would have gone even just a few years ago, when a gathering of senior marketers wouldn’t have touched the topic of analytics.
However, as analyst firm Hurwitz and Associates confirms in its Velocity report on predictive analytics, CMOs today understand that marketing is now driven by technology. Every strategy and plan is measured in some way to see if it delivers the desired results. This report on the growth of predictive analytics couldn’t have been timelier. Hurwitz accurately reveals companies are trying to understand their own data to create new revenue streams and are looking for available technologies to capitalize on this opportunity.
The report also mentions four significant trends that align very well with Pitney Bowes’ overall vision for the future of analytics.
- There is the rise of Big Data driving the need for a new style of analytics
- Analytical Access enables business people to see and use the data
- The need for easy deployment of models to enable customers to use the results from analytics
- Model Management to enable companies to see if their analytic results need to be automatically upgraded for optimization.
Making Analytics Easy
In my opinion, the Internet and the emergence of Big Data has helped to drive increased awareness of the value of data. While historically it has been difficult for some companies to collect all the data they need, as more businesses have gone online, data has become more available. This has created a perfect storm of old-world technology and new-world data where huge volumes need to be mined for customer communications, but the current standard tools were never designed to handle. Because existing tools require specialized user skills, finding enough people to deliver the insights is becoming the number one challenge for businesses, and the market needs new tools to solve this new problem.
Hurwitz and Associates Velocity gave Pitney Bowes a “Victor” ranking for its vision and ability to prepare companies to tackle analytics in the future. We are honored to receive such high praise, and are encouraged to see this confirmation of our strategy in the analytics market.
Take for example our new Portrait Explorer software tool, which has a revoluntionary easy-to-use interface for businesses to quickly and accurately get insights about their customers from their new sources of massive amounts of data. Our design ethic for the new solution is very similar to the changes we’ve seen in the last 10 years in the photography industry. The advent of the digital camera has enabled people to keep many thousands of pictures (I currently have 11,336 on my iPhone), and this led to the development of new software to easily manage and view images – organize albums, place pictures on maps, do automatic face recognition, etc. Hurwitz and Associates recognizes that Pitney Bowes Software products can make managing and finding valuable insights in enormous amount of data almost as easy as organizing and looking through your digital photo album.
We agree with Hurwitz and Associates that analytics is a key component to communicating with customers in the right way across multiple channels. However, analytics alone is completely useless unless that information is used to benefit customers. That’s why being able to package information and communicate it the right way for each individual customer is the heart of what Pitney Bowes is all about.
** Picture from Equature