More marketers implementing sophisticated analytics strategies

While traditional forms of marketing – such as taking out advertising space in local newspapers, sponsoring radio shows and running a commercial on a local television station – may still be a major source of brand awareness, internet marketing has taken on a greater role for companies and marketing departments and understand that more consumers are getting their media online.

As such, internet marketing has gained importance, requiring marketing managers to think of ways to gauge the effectiveness of their campaigns. With the rise in big data, these professionals have found the resource they needed to identify which advertisement techniques are doing well and which may need more work.

According to a survey by eXelate, a data processing company, 54 percent of advertising agencies, 15 percent of marketers and 31 percent of advertising platforms state that the way professionals use big data is becoming more elaborate and technologically advanced.

In addition, custom data has been cited as the best performing data for marketing and advertising managers.

"The fact that custom data was cited as the most effective form of data for both branding and direct response campaigns among marketers, advertiser and platform respondents alike proves the leading role data modeling will play as well as head into the new year and continue to unlock the power of 'Big Data' for digital marketers," Mark Zagorski, CEO of eXelate, said in a press release

Leveraging big data with custom software

With the increase in the amount of data being used by marketing and advertising departments, these managers would be wise to invest in custom database software that can help manage and analyze critical statistics.

By consulting FileMaker developers, businesses can create the custom software needed to ensure they have a marketing department that is abreast on the latest trends and tactics in the industry, as well as keeping a pulse on consumer behaviors.

Google updates Analytics: How companies can use the data to their advantage

As reported by this blog, big data has become a staple in American businesses, regardless of industry. This is due in part to the overall usefulness of the data. One of the very first sectors to grab onto this method of analysis was marketing and advertising, and companies in this industry are often aided in their online endeavors by statistics presented by Google Analytics and other analytical software.

But, Google has expanded its own analytical capabilities with Universal Analytics. This allows companies to submit marketing data they have accrued to Google Analytics to develop a more customized and comprehensive view of the ways consumers interact with their businesses.

“Measurement today is evolving from technology that counts site traffic into a broader system that measures your effectiveness in advertising, sales, product  usage, support and retention,” wrote Manav Mishra, group product manager at Google Analytics, in a blog post. “Ultimately, this sort of integrated measurement can help you deliver the best service, products and experience for your customers.”

Managing a marketing department with database software

Of course, businesses can enjoy a more comprehensive view of their own marketing data through the implementation of software. By consulting FileMaker developers, companies can create custom database software that allows them to track the analytics of advertising and social media campaigns. Furthermore, this software can also be used to upload the artwork for banner advertisements, easing communication between employees that may not know how it will look and keeping marketing teams on the same page.

In addition, marketing and analytics database software can be a great way to make tangible goals for a marketing team. By using the system as a way to present and store analytical figures and progress, managers can set goals for click-rates and conversions, while also displaying the progress of these initiatives. This tactic can help motivate employees while also keeping up with the necessary statistics.

Pharma companies look to social media to ramp up customer engagement

As more consumers begin using social media channels such as Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook, companies are being expected to maintain an active presence on these channels as a way to aid customers with questions and provide useful information on products and updates. While many industries have begun adopting this model, the pharmaceutical industry specifically is now starting to implement this tactic, according to a survey by Best Practices, an industry consulting and advisory service.

According to the study, more than 50 percent of pharma companies expect to use more social networking, online video and other digital mediums to increase brand awareness and communicate with customers.

This technology will be used to help businesses increase the timing and effectiveness of communicating with customers about diseases and developments in the industry.

How technology can be used internally by pharmaceutical companies

While pharmacies are expecting to increase their usage of digital marketing and social media to increase customer communication efforts, using custom database software can help increase their daily management and productivity efforts.

By consulting FileMaker developers, pharmaceutical companies can create management software frameworks and databases that allows supervisors to effectively monitor productivity in major research and development projects. Furthermore, software can be used to help delegate tasks, post documents to be shared with the entire workforce and help offices save on supplies by cutting many extraneous paper products that were necessary when employees had to submit reports and findings by hard copy only.

Furthermore, because these databases can help businesses cut office supply costs, pharmaceutical companies that are using social media as a marketing tool can promote themselves as an eco-friendly or green business due to their efforts in limiting paper consumption.

Changes in healthcare industry may make patient satisfaction software a priority

Of the recent changes in the healthcare system made by the Obama Administration, one has caused the industry’s leaders to reconsider the way they view patient satisfaction.

While most companies find the reward for consumer satisfaction in a loyal customer base, or a good review on a social media website to bring in more traffic, the healthcare industry, instead, will be paid nearly $1 billion by the federal government based on patient satisfaction surveys, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The higher hospitals score on these surveys, the more they will receive as an incentive from the White House. Should they score low, they will lose money. This has forced many healthcare facilities to rethink the way they approach patient satisfaction and the obstacles that are inherently present in a hospital. Some physicians are skeptical.

“You go to Disney for a great vacation experience,” Dr. Rhonda Scott, chief nursing officer at the Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta, told the Journal. “You go to Ruth’s Chris for a great dining experience. Do you think it is a great experience when I tell you that you have stage-four cancer and you may be dead in three months?”

Using database software to maintain patient satisfaction

By consulting FileMaker developers, healthcare administrators can use custom database software to track patient responsibilities and duties. Such capabilities encourage well-run offices, shortening extended waiting times and eliminating frivolous appointments or frustrating patient experiences. Some healthcare facilities have deployed practice management software effectively to organize appointments, send out reminders and coordinate in-office communication.

Ultimately, even if administrators find that certain patients have not been served in the best way possible, a physician can circle back later to do the extra leg work needed to ensure that the patient is satisfied, helping facilities maintain a good score on the government’s surveys. That’s the type of increased visibility available through custom database software.

Latest Mars rover development an example of the power of effective data collection

NASA has led the way in research and development for sciences across many practices, whether it be engineering, biology or chemistry. This is due in part to the organization’s ability to aggregate and synthesize massive amounts of information and research.

NASA recently landed a remotely human-driven rover on Mars called Curiosity. In the time since our last post on the subject, researchers were able to use the rover to take a sample of Martian rock and send its composition data back to Earth, revealing that its chemical makeup is very similar to some rocks here on Earth. This ability to accrue a high level of sophisticated information is a big part of what’s made NASA as successful as it’s been.

Turning research into results

Research is a critical component to any business, regardless of the industry. As information has become more widely available, companies have been able to use data as a way to improve their own management and enhance the knowledge of managers and employees across the board. This is perpetuated by the rising use of big data, which businesses have tapped into to analyze their operations and determine which areas may need to be improved.

In order to effectively manage and spread big data and research, managers should consult FileMaker developers that can create a custom database software capable of housing this important information and sharing it with employees.

By doing so, a marketing company, for example, can share key client details and research from its account managers to its creative directors and copywriters, ensuring that all departments have a comprehensive understanding of the client and their industry.

At the same time, financial professionals can use a sophisticated database as a means to evaluate the latest data on client behaviors and cross-sell opportunities, identifying new ways to expand the business’ growth.

How companies should emulate two bands in the way they share information

With the rise of filesharing technology, many markets have undergone seismic changes in the way they function. One that’s probably experienced the most transformations has been the music industry.

When the popular British band Radiohead released its album “In Rainbows” completely online in 2007, only charging fans an optional donation to download the album, the success of the release brought shockwaves through the industry – millions of downloads at an average of $5 an album.

This influenced many more musicians, including up and comers the xx, who released their new album in a similar way in September 2012. By choosing one particular fan to initially download the album for free and then share it with friends across social networks, the band was able to create a buzz and fanbase before their album was released. They partnered with Microsoft to create a website that tracked the spread of the album across the world. According to the Harvard Business Review, the experiment highlights the tendency of information to be shared.

But, the story of artists such as Radiohead and the xx are just microcosms of how the spread of information can be a vital practice to not only the livelihood of musicians, but also that of businesses everywhere.

Regardless of the industry, being able to use a company-wide, custom application that allows employees to post sales figures, research results, product information and important client details can allow a business to grow and prosper.

When every worker has this information right at their fingertips, it leaves them with no excuses for not knowing what an account’s new art looks like at an advertising agency, what a patient’s insurance number is at a physician’s office or how many hours a junior lawyer at a firm may have spent on a client.

By consulting a FileMaker developer, companies can ensure that their employees have the tools necessary to not only get the job done, but do it as well as they can through the sharing and storage of information.

HR departments at marketing firms challenged to manage employee database with high turnover

In an industry as modern and evolving as marketing and advertising, companies may find that their turnover rate is slightly higher than that of other industries. According to a salary survey by industry staffing agent Major Players, this may be due to junior and middle level employees prioritizing their personal career development and seeking out better positions and opportunities.

This also gives solid reasoning for human resources departments to invest in custom software, as high turnover increases the complexity of their workload.

According to the survey, nearly 30 percent of workers moved to different companies in the last 12 months. Of this percentage, 16 percent were at the same level and 13 percent moved up the ladder. In addition, of those that moved, only half received a pay raise and 37 percent stayed on the plane and 13 percent took a pay cut.

Furthermore, one in 6 permanent professionals received an internal promotion while freelancing rose by 88 percent in the “digital technical jobs” field, showing that the market movement isn’t just between companies but has even involved freelancers and internal adjustments.

“In this market, creatives know they have to fight harder and sometimes make sacrifices to gain that top-level experience and stand out from the crowd,” said Jack Grafton, CEO of Major Players, in a press release. “This, combined with the invention required for sophisticated digital, integrated and social media campaigns is creating an increasingly elastic job market, not just in freelance but in perm as well.”

With such an active job market, human resource departments in these firms should be sure to keep a sharp eye on their employee database systems. By consulting FileMaker developers, these firms can invest in custom software that will allow them to more effectively track personnel movement. This can be especially helpful if one firm prefers to hire more freelancers – which require different paperwork and payments – than permanent positions and vice versa.

Custom software can aid office managers during an expansion

While many employees are taking advantage of rising remote working policies as well as the new bring your own device (BYOD) trend that's allowing companies to save on technical expenses, it's become critical that businesses have an office manager that is capable of effectively leading the epicenter of the company.

Office supply retailer Staples reports that by maintaining an accurate, company-wide phone list, office managers can help employees stay more connected. In addition, keeping track of disappearing office supplies and saving up a "slush fund" to pay for any emergency expenses are all ways to keep an efficient workplace. This can be especially true when an office is planning on expanding or moving, like a handful of businesses in the Chicago area.

According to data released by the Cole Taylor Business Owners Confidence Index, nearly 60 percent of all businesses in Chicago plan on expanding in the next six months. This is due in part to the fact that 52 percent of respondents say they experienced increases in sales volume in the last quarter. Furthermore, the previous year's survey showed that 70 percent of respondents anticipated a rise in raw materials, while that number has dropped to 56 percent this year.

"We are pleased to see local middle-market business leaders are reporting increased sales and that they are making plans to expand their businesses," said Mark Hoppe, president and CEO of Cole Taylor Bank, in a press release. "Both of these indicators offer encouraging signs that the sluggish economy is improving for the middle market but their pessimism regarding the overall state of economy shows that the recovery is far from complete."

During any business expansion, it's critical that office managers maintain an accurate and thorough account of the company's physical space. By consulting FileMaker developers, these executives can create custom software that allows them to keep an eye on daily expenses, track assets and even manage that necessary slush fund.

Big data: Good for government and small businesses

While viewers watching last night's presidential debate may have focused on the way each candidate presented themselves and their points of view, the candidates also brought up some points on how they plan to aid small business owners in a recovering economy.

Both candidates discussed measures such as tax cuts and investments in Main Street, but a recent press release from SAP and the Big Data Commission says that the use of big data by both the government and small businesses alike can aid in turning around the American economy by creating more productive organizations.

"Imagine a world where a growing number of elderly and sick people receive better healthcare outcomes at lower costs, where there is reduced congestion on the roads due to real-time insight into traffic patterns and events or greater accuracy in prediction of severe weather events. The challenge lies in capturing, managing and analyzing enormous data streams to measure new signals that lead to transformational insights," said Steve Lucas, the co-chair of the commission and global executive vice president and general manager for database and technology at SAP, in a press release.

Lucas' examples focus mostly on government applications of big data, but businesses can also leverage this information to yield effective outcomes – whether it's a major corporation or a small marketing firm.

By consulting FileMaker developers to create custom software, companies can begin to aggregate and analyze this data on their own. This will help marketing firms gain clarity into the confusing world of digital analytics and social media. It can allow healthcare providers to spread information and research to other physicians in a timely manner and it can give law firms the ability to store and open client records and transcripts with ease.