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Let's Implement “Data-based Decision Making”

July 11, 2014

Hiroaki Taguchi
Head of Social Media Marketing / Analytics

Digital Marketing at Present

Recently several digital marketing-related buzzwords that have been attracting attention include; O2O (online-to-offline), omni-channel, LTV (lifetime value), big data, and data management platforms (DMPs). Regarding DMPs, they have a scope which spans both online and offline to record in-depth data on customer attributes, behavior and interests. Implementing such a platform permits the leveraging of data to optimize decision making with regard to areas such as policy, cost-benefit analysis and budget allocation. To ensure future business success both “data-driven marketing” and “data-driven decision-making” are essential.

It is often said that in Japan there has been little emphasis on data-based decision-making, with much emphasis instead being placed on intuition, experience and courage. However, moving forward, not only will intuition, experience and courage remain important but it will be essential that they are coordinated with data-based decision-making. Therefore, in order to support and facilitate changing consumer behavior, online and offline information needs to be bound together through data management platforms.

DMPs will become important in driving digital marketing forward in the future; however an exceedingly large amount of work is required to build such a platform - including the establishment of company-wide customer ID systems. Creation of a DMP requires a substantial budget; moreover system development will also take a considerable amount of time.

Leverage Everyday Data with an A/B Test

In all business activities, invariably "cost-effectiveness" is sought. Therefore, it is essential to have a clear understanding of data regarding policies and their outcomes. A policy cannot be effectively evaluated if the outcome is unknown as a number; furthermore subsequent policies cannot be effectively planned on the basis of the results obtained.

So data is needed, but are large scale initiatives such as DMP construction appropriate for the first step? I believe that in reality this form of action is rather too major and that, as mentioned above, considerable time is required to setup and configure the platform. Therefore, quickly implemented “small data-driven improvement cycles” which can operate together with both medium-term and long-term measures, such as DMPs, are recommended. While a focus on medium and long-term future investment is important, an A/B test PDCA cycle should be developed to produce data-driven marketing accomplishments over the short-term. Rather than focus on one particular method, it is important to give weight to both of these aspects.

I highly recommend A/B testing to customers who have not yet done so. For example, the performing of an A/B test will answer the below queries with dependable results.

By implementing the test as part of a regularly performed PDCA cycle process, it is possible to elevate both page and site performance. Therefore, with A/B test implementation, it is possible to gain optimum results in the most efficient and budget conscious manner.

A variety of tools are available for implementing an A/B test, however Google Analytics' test is comparatively straightforward to implement and it delivers real improvement measures. Mitsue-Links is a Google Analytics Certified Partner and to the many clients that are using Google Analytics, we recommend that you take advantage of Google Analytics' “web test” function.

Use of Google Analytics' Web Test tool does not involve the formalizing of an additional contract nor is payment required for use of the test tool, therefore testing can begin when ready with subsequent improvement measures implemented based on the results. We recently launched a service named “Google Analytics A/B Test Support” - we can offer this service individually or as part of a multi-faceted support package.

For those that wish to perform an A/B test, our strength lies in all aspects of test planning, test implementation, and result reporting. Furthermore, as a contract is not necessary for the utilisation of the test tool, a threshold to implementation has been removed and tests can soon be commenced. Additionally, there is little financial burden.

For your first-step in “data-driven decision-making”, Mitsue-Links provides total support through our “Google Analytics A/B Test Support” service.

For more information, please to contact us.