Analytics Today and Tomorrow: Reflections on DataCon 2016
A few days ago I had the pleasure of spending the day in a place I’d never have expected to be found: a conference on analytics. Not even specifically marketing analytics — the whole big ball o’ wax that is data. And it was fascinating.
At the inaugural DataCon event here in Houston, analytics experts from industries as diverse as healthcare (MD Anderson Cancer Center), sports (Houston Rockets) and even space exploration (NASA) shared their insights on why data is no longer a “nice to have” and how it’s being incorporated in some surprising business processes.
So, what the heck does it have to do with content marketing. A lot.
I’ve always been a believer in measuring and tracking analytics — Resonance has been doing that for our clients ever since we set up shop in 2010 — but lately it’s become clear that we content marketers need to up our game in this area. We need to use the analytical tools available to us to make more intelligent decisions about what, how, when, and where we publish, so that we can achieve our why.
So with that, let me share some key takeaways from DataCon and how they can apply to the non-data-nerds of the content marketing world:
- Natural language processing (NLP) is changing everything. The event kicked off with keynote George Danner, President of Business Laboratory and author of Profit from Science, showing us how Amazon’s Echo (Alexa) can be programmed to access, report, and reformulate analytics. As I watched his demonstration, I got the distinct feeling that this is just the beginning of the NLP revolution.
Content marketing takeaway: When we report our data to the C-suite, we need to present it using their language — actual language, not analytics jargon. When you formulate your reports, think about how your executives would ask for this data verbally … because one day, they will be.
- Automation is coming. Advances in technology are rapidly making manual data-crunching obsolete. What automation cannot do is translate the data into intelligent business decisions, which is where we humans come in.
Content marketing takeaway: If you’ve shied away from learning about analytics because of all the math involved, you can relax. We can let apps do the number-crunching while we focus on decision making … but we still need to know how those analytics work so that we can interpret and leverage the results.
- Five years from now, we won’t be talking about “data science.” Analytics is working its way into organizations across industries, across every business process and at every level. The days of waving it off with “oh, the data guys know about all that stuff” are gone.
Content Marketing Takeaway: If you haven’t yet educated yourself on the analytics of content marketing — even if you have a designated “data guy/gal” on your team — now is the time to fill that knowledge gap.
We’ll be talking more about analytics as the month goes on, but for now I want to hear from you: As we plan for 2017, how are analytics becoming more ingrained in your content marketing strategy?
Speaking of strategy, are you stuck on yours? I’ve set aside five slots for “mini coaching” phone sessions this week — click here to request a slot and let’s talk through your biggest challenges.
Remember to snag your copy of The Content Marketing Coach: Everything You Need to Get in the Game … and WIN! — now available on Amazon!
- Find out how to connect and convert with content marketing.
- Learn to cut through the clutter with intelligent content that resonates with your specific target audience.
- Get the secrets for turning followers into customers … and customers into evangelists.
About the Author
A self-described geek who can recite entire episodes of South Park by heart, Rachel Parker has had a passion for content ever since she was old enough to hold a crayon (purple, please).
As Founder and CEO of Resonance, Rachel helps businesses publish content that connects with their audience … and converts those followers into customers. She’s also the host of the Content Marketing Podcast and author of the book The Content Marketing Coach: Everything You Need to Get in the Game … and WIN!
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