Man uses mobile device, liking and loving a brand's posts on social media
Man uses mobile device, liking and loving a brand's posts on social media

Why Data Analytics Should Be the Core of Your Digital Marketing Strategy

Since this blog was initially published, the curriculum has been updated to be even more relevant to the modern marketer. As of Fall 2022, Emerson College is proud to offer our reimagined Master of Arts in Marketing, previously known as the Master’s of Digital Marketing and Data Analytics (DMDA).


Data analytics has taken the marketplace by storm in the past several years. Entrepreneur magazine goes so far as to say that data is “the world’s most important resource today.”  They’re not the only ones. Forbes posits that “your company’s data may be worth more than your company.”

Despite the growing cultural understanding of how valuable data is, many companies lack the infrastructure and talent required to analyze and leverage data as usefully as they could. Without the right professionals and systems in place, organizations miss out on historical and real-time insights that can help them understand everything from the global marketplace to the habits of their unique customers. The information doesn’t just increase the company’s institutional knowledge; it empowers their teams to make decisions that will increase effectiveness and profits.

What Is Data Analytics in Marketing?

Digital marketing analytics empowers retailers and other corporations to gain keen insights into the needs and desires of their target consumers. Individuals with digital marketing and data analytics degrees can better understand and anticipate audience motivations, build campaigns based on key trends, and approach brand storytelling as both an art and science. 

While COVID-19 had a devastating impact on many marketplace sectors, it also catalyzed growth and change in others. Deeper integration of data analytics into digital marketing is one such example. As retailers and service providers were forced to close their brick-and-mortar doors to attract customers online, the value of data analytics in marketing skyrocketed.

Undoubtedly, eCommerce channel traffic has shifted. Dimos Papadopoulos, Marketing Analytics Assistant Manager with Adidas, believes that companies were not agile enough for this dramatic shift. Companies around the globe began to "unlock potential strategic insights" through data to connect better with customers. Benefits from data analytics include: 

  • heightened productivity

  • fast and effective decisions

  • increased profits

Finances Online found that companies benefit from analytics in several meaningful ways. The top three are “improved efficiency and productivity, “faster, more effective decision-making,” and a tie between “better financial performance” and ‘competitive advantage.” Data analytics in marketing isn’t just the latest trend — it’s a tested strategy that leverages knowledge of consumer needs and marketplace trends.

Digital Marketing Manager reviews data analytics report with his team

Reasons Why Data Analytics Is Important

Nearly all company leaders will state that data is vital for business success. However, they often struggle to implement the systems required to analyze their company’s data and put it to use. For example, Forbes noted that marketing training hub SmartInsights “found that 44% of companies are engaging in digital marketing but don't have a solid digital marketing strategy.” Similarly, a Deloitte study found that “aren’t comfortable accessing or using data from their tools and resources.” 

Hence the great value of data analytics and the high demand for the data analyst. The World Economic Forum projects that “by 2022, 85% of companies will have adopted big data and analytics technologies.” They also found that 96% of companies were “definitely planning or likely to plan to hire new permanent staff with relevant skills to fill future big data analytics related roles."

Devising and implementing a data analytics strategy can benefit a company in measurable, sustainable ways such as: 

  • Stronger decision-making: predictive analytics provide company leaders with key information like the best targets for campaigns and how to optimize the allocation of marketing spend across media and channels

  • Higher ROI: Marketing Evolution found that companies receive a return on investment that’s 5-8x their campaign spend when they employ a data-driven marketing approach that leverages personalization.

  • Understanding consumer behavior to better deliver a message: cutting-edge technology in data analysis sectors like social media and voice of the customer (VOC) empower companies to improve their customer experiences and cultivate greater brand loyalty.

  • Creating and managing a strategic plan: through strategies that merge marketing skills and data analysis, leaders can harness the power of customer segmentation techniques and execute high-yield campaigns that concretize a broader corporate vision.

  • Efficient problem solving: stop asking “why isn’t this working?” When data analysis is woven together with a company’s overall strategy, ineffective marketing approaches or needlessly costly projects can be identified and addressed quickly.

When properly understood and utilized, data analytics helps digital marketers with the knowledge they need to connect the art and science of marketing. The result? More effective campaigns, a higher return on investments, and greater company sustainability.

The Future of Data Analytics

As data analytics technology rapidly accelerates and digital media ad spends are projected to increase at a greater rate than traditional media, the future for data analytics marketing professionals is looking bright. While experts in traditional media may be challenged by keeping up with the emphasis on marketing analytics strategy, professionals who have been trained in digital marketing analytics will be ready to leverage data, creativity, and business skills in the modern workplace. 

SEO Will Become More Involved and More Powerful

Take search engine optimization (SEO), for example. Digital marketing expert Bruce Clay predicts that the future of SEO will be more involved, technical, and focused on “architecture from the site to page level” than ever before. This provides marketing professionals with data analytics skills with a great opportunity to play key roles in companies and organizations that are eager to attract and retain customers through engaging websites. In the forthcoming digital marketing landscape, the number of metrics and data points will become increasingly exponential, rendering the role of the marketer with expertise in data analytics a vital company asset.

Wil Reynolds of SEER Interactive watched real-time consumer data flood in during the pandemic. The digital consumer’s behavior was changing before his eyes, but finding ways to gather and categorize all of this new data to leverage it for SEO purposes was challenging. Reynolds and others have their sights set on continuously optimizing the customer journey. 

That leads us to our next projection: the importance of analytics approaches that collect and synthesize data in comprehensive ways.

Data Points Will Increasingly Be Woven into Data Fabric

Data fabric, both an architecture and the services within that architecture, analyze data pipelines and increases their efficiency through reduced integration, deployment, and maintenance time. Gartner, the leading research and advisory company, cites the increasing use of data fabric as one of its Top 10 Data and Analytics Technology Trends for 2021.

The Gartner report states that using data fabric can ”help address higher levels of diversity, distribution, scale and complexity in their organizations’ data assets.” Rather than dealing with disparate data sets and trying to connect the dots between data, digital marketing analytics professionals can quickly understand their data and leverage their findings into effective campaigns, customer attraction and retention, and overall strategies.

Team of digital marketers work on computer, analyzing analytics report

A Data-Informed Culture Will Transform into a Data-Driven Culture

A recent report from Salesforce entitled “Marketing Intelligence Report: Data and Analytics Trends to Drive Future Growth” found that 52% of marketers feel that their analytics infrastructure is average or poor. 43% of marketers spend a quarter of their work month or more managing data sets and 67% aren’t fully confident in their data’s accuracy. 

BuiltIn highlights several technology companies whose platforms address these problems, for example:

  • Civis Analytics uses a proprietary algorithm to unify data

  • Tableau empowers users to understand their data through ”visualization, analysis and sharing across devices”

  • Datameer features a cloud-based hybrid platform that can build pipelines from any data source

The years ahead brim with opportunities for marketers and company leaders to better understand their data and manage it more effectively and integrate data as a motivating and driving force throughout their organization and responsibilities. Marketers are gaining more support from executive leaders and growing in their capacity to collect and interpret data. The sky's the limit for digital marketers who embrace data analytics with confidence, company leadership support, and customer needs in mind.

Find Your Data-Driven Career at Emerson College

Maybe you already craft messages and tell brand stories as a marketer. Or, perhaps you want to step into a new career and digital frontier. Whatever your background, if data piques your interest, now is the time to consider that the latest innovations in data analytics and digital consumer insights may be just the thing for you. 

With a master’s degree in Digital Marketing and Data Analytics (DMDA) from Emerson College, you will prepare for high-demand marketing roles that combine digital marketing practices and analytics knowledge. The program includes built-in certifications in Google Analytics and Hootsuite, which can help you stand out as an experienced and influential marketing force. Build your network of fellow data-minded professionals as you connect with classmates and faculty members during your 100% online DMDA program. 

Step into the future of the digital marketing world with confidence. Speak with an Emerson Admission Counselor to discover how you can take the next step in your career.