Smart marketers realize that success relies not only on great creative and solid execution, but also on the ability to measure the effectiveness of a campaign and improve based on that information.

But exactly how best to do that can be a point of contention.

It’s one thing to want powerful analytics capabilities, but another to actually create them, put them into play and use them optimally. What creates an optimal analytics platform? Is it best developed in-house or outsourced? Built from scratch or bought prepackaged?

At Intouch, our answer is often “it depends.” We push existing analytic reporting tools to their limits and create our own customizations. At the same time, we’ve found it important to keep things clean and simple by instituting as much automation, flexibility and ease-of-assembly as possible.

It’s on us to capture a lot of information and get out of it exactly what’s important. Marketers need to be able to access their data and analysis in a timely, flexible and easy way.

Start at the beginning

As with any other part of the marketing mix, an optimal analytics plan begins with a thorough discussion of the brand’s goals and priorities and ends with an elegantly simple deliverable.

It sounds obvious, but it’s surprising how often analytics is attempted with overly simplistic, cut-and-paste solutions. It’s extremely important to work not from the end, asking what data tools are on hand and how we can we use them,– but rather from the start, asking what’s important for this brand, this campaign and this patient.

Know which data matters
It’s more than counting visits to or time spent on a site. A lot of thought needs to go into selecting smart ways to look at data. For instance:

  • Focus on key visitors: identify which visitors make up your precise target
  • See more than just numbers: understand that trends in data tell more than raw numbers
  • Understand attribution: track how a specific individual relates to an online property
  • Remain sensitive: never lose track of the balance between precision tracking and all of the regulations and guidelines that keep patient information safe
  • Present the story: know how to create summaries and presentations that tell the story you’ve discovered in the data
  • Segment data appropriately: create segments flexible enough for various marketing audiences
  • View analytics beyond “tracked” or “not tracked”: as much as we can, track purposefully

Create new solutions every day
Intouch’s large, dedicated, in-house analytics team believes that it’s necessary to   make the most of all available tools. We use from-scratch tools and frameworks developed entirely in-house, as well as publicly available ones that we adapt to create flexible, custom solutions for each of our clients. Many platforms are available, and we use a lot of them, but we’ve found that, to answer our clients’ needs with the greatest precision, our needs often exceed existing platforms’ limitations.

This is because solutions must evolve and adjust; they are not necessarily the same for each campaign, brand or client. Data is becoming more accessible, and it’s important to plan how to use and segment it for different users.

Technology simply moves too fast to rely on old solutions. If we have an idea now, it’s never too soon to start planning for it and acting on it.

The future of analytics

Analytics capabilities are growing every day. We’re becoming more adept with precision analysis, with massive data sets, and with ever-new ways to review and combine information. And the delivery and visualization of all that data is becoming more elegant.

As the field continues to improve, the ability to understand the customer journey will improve. It is no longer just a question of understanding how a patient or professional interacts with a website. It’s what they do with all of their devices, from laptop to phone to tablet, across all possible touchpoints. How do their medical appointments coincide with their digital behavior? Moreover, what do they do in the real world? How and when and to what end does a patient interact with their healthcare professional?

The future of analytics will be to gather ever more data streams to make insights that much smarter. This type of knowledge is rife with privacy implications, of course, but as capabilities increase, the ability to anonymize while synthesizing will make it possible to understand our customers better than ever before.

With this understanding, we can help our clients deliver value for patients and professionals and make a difference in their lives.