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Forecasting is a key part of the process for creating marketing plans, both for annual investment and for individual campaigns. Creating more accurate forecasts of the returns from digital marketing is now essential given the growth in investment in digital marketing. Digital accounts for an ever-increasing proportion of spend and the results delivered from marketing activities.
It is important then, for the modern marketer, to learn how to use data and analytical tools to generate forecasts with sufficient rigour. In our new guide, we cover techniques for forecasting that can help improve the accuracy the basis of marketing strategies, plans and budget allocation.
Digital media give us excellent competitor benchmarking sources for digital media such as the number of people searching, visiting websites or sharing on social media, so it’s useful to exploit these tools so that we can compare our performance with other businesses in our sectors to check that we are exploiting the online opportunity. For example, planners need to review consumer adoption of new technologies such as smartphones and wearables relative to the diffusion of innovation model to see how their adoption will impact online sales and offlines sales influenced by online browsing and comparison - what Google calls the ROPO forecasting approach.
Data has revolutionised marketing. Never before has Marketing been so measurable or accountable. From a niche activity in research departments of large organisations, Marketing Analytics have moved into the mainstream. Measuring marketing performance is increasingly recognised as key to marketing success.
In contrast to the Sales function, marketing has to take a much longer term view. Sales is driven by in-the-moment demands of the Prospect or Lead. In contrast, Marketing is shaped by longer-term trends. Trends that, if not identified, can at best, impact on the performance of a marketing campaign. And at worst, damage the competitiveness or even viability of the business.
In an ideal world, your organisation should have a culture that respects data and analytics. Unfortunately, few organisations are structured this way. This is a shame. Because the benefits of developing a data-driven marketing culture are substantial, including:
Continual change forces organisations to look forward and plan more frequently. Marketing analytics used to be an exercise in looking in a rear-view mirror. It is now an exercise in crystal-ball gazing. Our new forecasting guide will show you how to create and use marketing forecasts in a structured and organised way.
By Andrew Lloyd Gordon
Andrew Lloyd Gordon is a Digital Marketing Speaker, Trainer, Consultant and Google Squared Online Tutor. After studying for an MA at Warwick Business School, Andrew started his digital marketing career in 1997, when he helped launch and promote jobs.ac.uk. After 4 years at jobs.ac.uk, Andrew eventually went onto become MD of the business after turning it into the leading jobs board for Higher Education in the UK and across the world. At the height of the dot com boom, Andrew was headhunted to help launch a number of high-profile start-ups. You can follow him on Twitter or Connect on LinkedIn.
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