End of Year Round Up

Per4manceinsight | Data. Insight. Action.

As 2018 draws to a close, here at Per4mance Insight we’re cosying up with what’s left of our Christmas selection box and reflecting on what this year has taught us. 2018 is the year Teresa May taught us that being the Prime Minister definitely doesn’t mean that you can dance (or that you can effectively spearhead Brexit negotiations). Gareth Southgate’s impressive England squad taught us that despite a sterling World Cup effort, football still isn’t coming home anytime soon. We also learnt that being an American divorcee is no longer a barrier to entry for becoming part of the Royal Family, as 1.9 billion of us tuned in to watch Meghan Markle marry Prince Harry back in May. But 2018 has also been a pretty progressive year for data analytics, teaching us many things that we can reflect on and take into the New Year, helping to drive our businesses forward in 2019.

One of the real talking points of 2018 has been the way artificial intelligence and machine learning continue to enhance the technical possibilities of data analysis. More and more companies are benefiting from the impact of both AI and ML – according to Forbes, 84% of marketing organisations implemented or expanded their use of AI and machine learning in 2018. Not only do these technological advancements make analysis more efficient and accurate, but vastly improve the customer experience, and these improvements in customer service often lead to tangible financial results. According to Capgemini, 3 in 4 organisations who implemented AI and machine learning saw an increase in sales of new products and services by more than 10%, making it clear that there is real return to be had in time invested in implementation. However, we still believe that in practice, few businesses are currently tapping into these advancements to their full extent. But with increased understanding on how they can improve both processes and profits, we predict that 2019 will be the year AI and ML are fully embraced by the marketing community.

This year we’ve also been pleased to see that businesses are making more data informed decisions and taking part in more training to become self-sufficient with their data on a day to day basis. This is a trend that has been developing over the last few years – a 2017 industry report by Training Magazine found that companies in the U.S. spend $90.6 billion on marketing analytics training, a 32.5% increase from 2016 – and we have no doubt that figure will be even higher for 2018. Whilst it’s great to see such investment going into making teams feel confident when it comes to their data, it’s important that this knowledge is shared between teams. The world of data is large and complex, so it can be tempting to get the blinkers on and only learn about the techniques that are used in your area of the business. However, in doing this, companies are limiting the impact these learnings can have on their business as a whole.

This kind of siloed approach can also be seen when looking at the sharing (or lack thereof) of insights drawn from data. All too often, teams only look at the data related to the area of the customer experience that they are responsible for, rather than how customers are interacting with them as an overall brand. You may see the website team only investigate how people use the website, not how the website drives visits to the shop on the high street or those specialising in acquisition aren’t collaborating with the people focusing on retention. However, the whole point of data is to connect the dots, and that means connecting teams. We hope to see less siloed learning and working in 2019 and more open lines of communication between different departments – when businesses start looking at their data and the resulting insights holistically, that’s when they will see real transformation (read: increase in profits!)

2018 is also the year we’ve seen an improvement in how teams are understanding the details of what’s going in their sphere of influence and using the findings to plan and refine their own strategies on an ongoing basis. This includes how brands are looking at the contribution their onsite content is making to certain desired behaviours – be that sales and conversions or something as simple as downloading a brochure. The CMI’s digital content marketing stats show that 72% of marketers say content marketing increases engagement, so it’s exciting to see so many businesses taking their content strategy seriously. As we head in to 2019 we hope to see even more businesses invest in their content, and work to understand how both new and existing customers are using this information to inform their decision making or keep in touch with the brand. To truly reap the rewards of their content, it’s essential that businesses aren’t only looking at the insights on an individual site visit basis, but how potential customers are interacting with the content over multiple visits and what content is more likely to encourage someone to return again and again and eventually convert. This understanding makes brands much more likely to give customers what they want when they want it, whatever product or service they’re offering.

We can’t wait to see how these trends develop in 2019 and what exciting developments await us in the New Year!


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We’ve developed a great partnership with Per4mance Insight while working together on a number of A/B tests and site changes. Emma’s become integral to the process, helping with tracking, monitoring tests while they’re ongoing and producing post deployment impact reports. She’s now very much one of the team.

Alex Liaume, Senior Product Manager at Newsflare