How to use visual analytics to optimise your retargeting strategy

Visual analytics, the ability to visually analyse data with software that allows you to ask and answer endless questions, helps marketers to decode the complex world of consumer retargeting. It allows them to understand who their customers are and why they behave the way they do. With data visualisation technology, consumer behaviour can be tracked in real time and analysed to predict future trends, allowing companies to keep their retargeting strategies relevant and up to date.

Saving time, money and improving productivity, visual data analysis is an advantage to businesses, yet massively underutilised. According to Gartner, currently 91% of organisations worldwide have not yet reached a “transformational” level of maturity in data analytics, despite this area being a top priority for CIOs in recent years.

Here are five top tips on how to use visual analytics to better understand your customers:

Use visual analytics to ask questions of your data from multiple sources

Consulted separately, the different sources of data collection (social networks, websites, search engines) can be overwhelming and give only a partial view of consumer behaviour. However, if cross-checked and categorised by the type of customer action, whether this be a click, a comment, or an abandoned purchase, the data will provide a far broader view of customer behaviour. Looking at data in this way can help uncover previously missed problems with offers or even a customer’s relationship with the company. Once the problem is identified, the company can rectify the issue and plan targeted actions towards the appropriate consumer, in the right place and at the right time.

Presenting data visually can help facilitate decision making

It is not always easy for people to understand information provided through raw chart data, where numbers are presented with little or no formatting. Effective data presentation skills should be accessible to everyone; taking into account cognitive functions, such as how we react to visual information, the environment in which the data will be digested, the audience we are speaking to and the ability of the viewer to understand the data. Organised in this way, data can be analysed and interpreted by everyone, making it far easier to identify problems and share business decisions collectively as a team.

Plan ahead through data analysis

The potential of visual analytics doesn’t stop at analysing past consumer behaviour. Perhaps its greatest value is looking to the future and helping companies predict the success of a potential campaign or how customers may react to it. Through visual analytics, companies can identify common patterns of consumer behaviour and test intended actions against them to anticipate the reaction before the campaign has even launched.

Create detailed and valuable customer profiles

The number and types of media platforms has multiplied the possible channels of interaction between companies and consumers. Whilst the diversity of channels is encouraging and presents unique opportunities to engage with consumers, it can also be a challenge. Retargeting will only be effective if it is adapted to the application or site where the customer is interacting. Establishing accurate buyer profiles is crucial and allows companies to identify and connect with an array of customers, from the most frequent and responsive to the more casual and reactive. Visual analysis makes it possible to develop these profiles with great precision. Once established, marketers are enabled with the accuracy they need to share relevant adverts with the appropriate people, on the right channel.

Reliable data makes for the best results

The best visual data analysis relies heavily on accurate data. Reliable data depends on the implementation of several best practices upstream such as including the right tracking elements in a company’s URLs. By doing this, companies ensure each campaign is linked to the leads it has generated, showing the impact of specific marketing activities and increasing the accuracy of retargeting strategies.

By regularly conducting analysis of consumer data, marketers enter a virtuous circle. More concrete leads garnered from accurate, accessible data can simplify the work of sales departments and help confirm customer databases are up to date, responsive and relevant.

Companies are gradually recognising the benefits. Allrecipes, the world’s largest digital food brand, has invested in visual analytics to understand every stage of their customer’s journey. From creating customer dashboards to getting real time updates on the level of engagement with their content, visual analysis allows them to spot and stay on top of food trends and consumer behaviours. In a world where data is an increasingly valuable resource, intelligent analysis is paving the way for today’s modern marketers.

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