After completing 48 courses in college, it’s still obvious to me which courses were the most influential and interesting.  One of these courses, which I took my last semester of my senior year, was in Marketing Analytics.  The material was not only interesting and intriguing but had direct application to the real world.  One of the most interesting lectures we had in this class was near the end of the course when we discussed how an increasing number of companies are focusing more on marketing analytics.  As the world becomes more and more fast paced, it appears obvious that everyone is looking forward and predicting and planning more frequently. We live in a world with an abundance of technological advances, updates, and fierce competition.  Therefore, it has become even more important for companies to be forward-looking and stay two steps ahead of the competition at all times.  So where is the future of marketing analytics going?

Forward-looking organizations are increasingly adopting mass customization, which addresses the question of how an organization can make a product or service stand out to consumers by leveraging customization in a simplified manner that reduces cost.  If you as a business owner could give your sales department the perfect product or service which customers seek, referrals would increase and sales would improve.

Customers want options.  The concept of mass customization adopted by the likes of Nike Id and iGoogle, (think customized recommendations when you’re surfing the web) is quickly giving companies a competitive edge.  Have you ever thought about how many ways Starbucks serves coffee? It’s no longer a question of a decaffeinated or regular cup of Joe.  Starbucks serves four sizes of coffee with options for decaf or regular, hot, iced or blended, additional shots of espresso, milk, non-fat, low-fat, soy, vanilla, caramel, peppermint; and the list goes on.

Become a forward-looking company by finding a new way to acquire leads and gain customers.  Look at market segments, cluster analysis, and run all the normal analytics, but come to a new conclusion:  One product can’t simultaneously please everyone, but sometimes the simplest changes can. Look at the segments you never have before and think about what you can change to reach out to them too.  Imagine the impact of a concept so relatively simple.

When you start to find ways to customize what you do, you’ll find out the possibilities are endless.

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