A centralized analytics team helps not only to break down organizational silos but is also instrumental in identifying and analyzing customer behaviors and trends across channels. Such team models permit visibility into insights that can be used to share data and knowledge across existing channels and teams for enabling a meaningful customer journey.

Most organizations are operating in silos with owned media and paid media teams having a bare minimum or no collaboration. Mostly, such existing partnerships are limited to audience definitions and lists shared across channels. The limited knowledge sharing across channels at the customer level creates a  gap in customer-centricity. It can be filled by engaging a centralized analytics group that is dedicated to shares resources across channels and act as a conduit to the various teams.

As marketers are moving toward data-driven decisions to determine and analyze the investment in a channel, they are becoming increasingly interested in comprehending the impact of a tactic or channel in the customer journey. Building a multi-channel attribution model is complex, as partners like Google and Facebook are erecting data walls. The additional challenges arise in collecting clean digital data and measuring interactions with offline channels, such as print and direct mail. Marketers are moving towards hold-out tests at the channel level to understand incrementality. Providing the analytics team visibility to individual tactics across media channels can enable an unbiased selection of relevant audiences. The analytics team also creates a universal control group where the audience is not exposed to any media and can be used for studies.

The most significant benefit of having a centralized analytics team is the enhanced visibility into learnings from insights and data that is shared across teams and applied across media channels to enable a meaningful customer journey. Email content engagement data is leveraged by media and site teams for site experiences or personalized ads. Creatives driving higher engagement for an audience segment in one channel can be applied to another.

Using analytics to understand each team member’s role in driving the entire customer journey ensures a mindset shift from a channel-centric to a customer-centric execution approach. Firms can design strategies and tactics, focusing on the overall customer experience working towards a common strategy and vision to help execute a holistic marketing strategy. The biggest hurdle in customer-centric transformation lies in the organization’s culture, and a lack of collaboration across the teams touching the customer journey. The analytics team can be trained to facilitate this type of relationship, identifying use cases to show initial success, which is essential for broader adoption and socialization within the organization. The organizational leadership team needs to drive this transformation. The leadership team needs to propel this change, and the analytics team can be a key enabler in making it happen.

The important thing is to ensure the resources in the analytics group are cross-trained in multiple channels and media disciplines. This way, firms can analyze and understand the data and facilitate the right conversations with individual channel teams. The analytics team needs to focus their efforts on a customer standpoint, but at the same time, understand the nuances in each channel. This involves allowing the team to gain expertise across multiple disciplines like media, CRM, and site, and customer experience overall. Once they gain a fair understanding of all the regulations, they can choose to excel in these disciplines.

Thus, though setting up and training the analytics team is a time-taking task, it will yield significant returns in the long run for any organization.