Going Beyond Canned Insights: Using Interactive Behavioral Analytics to Understand your Audience

28. September 2017.

Aditya Vempaty, V​P​ of Marketing at Interana, explains how modern marketers can achieve new levels of audience engagement using interactive behavioral analytics

As marketers, we are often rewarded for our creative thinking to differentiate the brands we represent. No one can forget Nike’s Just Do It campaign. Or the Cali Milk Processor Board’s Got Milk? campaign. However, as data becomes increasingly important to a successful marketing strategy, many data tools leave little room for creativity in exploring data and asking imperfect questions to get new insights. As a result, many marketers feel the need to temper creativity and become more left-brain driven – essentially becoming data scientists and operating within rigid pre-defined models that result in canned insights.

Enter behavioral analytics

Interactive behavioral analytics––which we define as an organization-wide capability to interactively explore real behavior on digital services like searches on an internet browser or swipes on a dating app––allows marketers to unlock untapped value in their data by giving them the power to flexibly explore questions without coding or data science expertise. With the ability to ask questions about data in an iterative fashion, marketers can identify creative, data-informed ways to engage with prospects and key audiences.

Why Interactive Behavioral Analytics is Not Your Run-of-the-Mill Analytics Offering

Though behavioral analytics solutions are often confused with existing analytics offerings like mobile and web clickstream reporting tools, there are a number of distinguishing features that separate behavioral analytics from other categories of data and intelligence software.

What if you could give everyone, at every level in your company access to data analytics? This is a major differentiator of interactive behavioral analytics solutions. Data can be directly accessed by anyone across nearly every function within a digital business––regardless of technical abilities. This differs from traditional business intelligence offerings that tout “data democratization.” More often than not, these BI solutions still lean heavily on data teams to create new models, and are also limited to very simple metrics, leaving no room for sophisticated behavioral analysis. Interactive behavioral analytics tools on the other hand eliminate the need for a team of data experts. Instead, analysis can be done by those closest to the data, enhancing the quality and value of insights.

Behavioral analytics is also driven by curiosity and provides an interactive experience. No longer are users forced to think up the “perfect” question and submit a ticket to the data team. Instead, users are empowered to be creative and ask a stream of thoughtful, “imperfect” questions in rapid succession. They have the flexibility to adjust the direction of their queries as they go along and immediately follow up on any interesting insights to probe deeper. This iterative exploration of data goes beyond the canned metrics provided by existing offerings and delivers richer value that’s more tailored to users’ needs.

Behavioral analytics can be applied to any kind of behavior on any kind of digital service , not just consumers accessing simple mobile and web apps. This accounts for emerging technologies such as IoT devices or bots that often interact with digital services.

Using Behavioral Analytics to Transform Your Marketing Execution

Marketers in every industry––from logistics to banking to consumer-packaged goods––can benefit from behavioral analytics. With the ability to interactively explore data in an iterative fashion, marketers can leverage more sophisticated analytics that scale alongside evolving digital businesses.

Using behavioral analytics, marketers can monitor conversion, engagement and churn in ways that are tailored to the specifics of their businesses; segment users on the fly based on common behaviors; assign values to users, accounts, campaigns and lead sources based on their subsequent activity; and understand the engagement levels of users with different content partners.

Behavioral analytics frees non-technical marketers from overburdened data teams that aren’t able to extract insights quickly enough to keep up with conversion metrics. They can now better understand the behavioral nuances of their target audiences, what works and what doesn’t, and create tailored content that better resonates with potential buyers.

Behavioral Analytics in Action

The marketing teams at Tinder use interactive behavioral analytics to understand the company’s campaigns and partnerships at a deeper level. For example, when Tinder integrated with Instagram and allowed users to link Instagram photos to their Tinder profiles, the Tinder marketing team discovered an increase in user activity and engagement over time through behavioral analytics.

Behavioral analytics is also the sole analytics tool used to measure the impact of hefty marketing campaigns – like the one that surrounded the launch of Tinder’s Super Like feature a couple years ago. The company is able to use behavioral analytics to measure the performance of his campaigns and gain insights into what’s working in record time – a task that has traditionally been difficult to do so with other analytics solutions.

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