In fact, a report by McKinsey showed how data could (and its intelligent application) is transforming businesses for good. 45% of the highest-performing companies use data to create new business models.
In other words, the writing is on the wall: data and performance go hand in hand.
embedding analytics the secret value generator
Now that we’ve discussed the importance of data to modern businesses, let’s take this a step forward.
Embedded analytics, or analytics capabilities smartly grafted into a platform, is taking all this information to its natural next level. This is why companies are always eager to purchase SaaS products that come with embedded analytics capabilities.
Consequently, it means that your clients can push back, dive in, zoom out (or zoom in), and fine-tune experiences as well as the product offering.
The numbers speak for themselves: In 2017, the value of analytics relative to a product from 23% in 2013 to 54%.
If that didn’t convince you, let’s look at the history of Cortex.
What Cortex did and the moral behind every action
To give you some context, Cortex & Brennan is a content intelligence platform that helps marketers develop engaging and meaningful content. Its powerful AI engine predicts how people react to content, and which kind of content is most appealing, (colors, human or not human, product packaging…) allowing marketers to calibrate their messaging accordingly.
Cortex company took its core value proposition one step further by coupling AI with embedded BI and analytics. This led to new monetization opportunities, with critical insights in the offing, a rich UX, and the impact of intelligent data optimization.
It sounds complex as it is, but it’s actually very simple. Let’s break this down for you.
Circling your part of the woods
Any marketer looking to connect with his or her audience will use content at every step of the journey. This means that data is of the essence in marketing, helping to streamline any content campaign. However, data aggregation is a time-consuming process and if done manually, could often lead to errors.
That’s where embedded analytics comes in.
Cortex used embedded analytics precisely to utilize machine learning and external + client data aggregation, to quickly obtain actionable insights.
The moral of the story: Too much data and no real strategy is pretty much like a bull in a china shop.
Instead, selecting the right datasets, making the most logical intersections, while also saving time and money, can turn all those figures into real gold.
Democratize data usage and let your clients figure out what works best for them
Right at the outset, Cortex understood that to make embedded analytics truly meaningful, it would have to let its customers make the final call.
It spoke to its customers directly, pitching the new embedded analytics tool as a value-add that could be gradually grafted into the product, according to the customer’s experience and requirements. For Cortex, this meant two things:
- Easy selling by connecting product transformation to clear and direct customer demand (like Nike by Melrose for instance)
- Risks and costs minimizing by creating a simple take-what-you-need, learn-what-you-use pricing model
This helped Cortex jump over that chasm between product re-envisioning and widespread customer appetence.
Here’s what Brennan White, CEO of Cortex, had to say about it:
“We went for a low risk and high reward approach in the sales cycle because it’s a great way for customers to test and try the product. In marketing & advertising, clients have a lot of tech available, as well as big-budgets, but a lot of confusing products, so they have to prove the value strongly, quickly, by providing actionable insights.”
Brennan further crystallized the interesting shift from pushing value to value realization:
“Those insights are rational demonstrations of their intuition, they validate the impact of their actions, we’re demonstrating the value instead of selling the value.”
The moral of the story: Any change is a long and complex process.
While as a CEO you must look out for new tools and technologies like embedded analytics, it is important to create a product transformation blueprint that’s acutely conscious of customer wants, thereby, in the end, refreshing these relationships.
Making sense of monetization by including the familiar (and the not-so-friendly)
As we just mentioned, an important part of any digital add-on is change management. This is why Cortex paid special emphasis on ensuring that non-technical users could also understand the value and usefulness of embedded analytics.
Simple: if you’ve added a new data-driven capability to your platform, the real test is to make its benefits visible to the widest pool of decision-makers, at every level.
A good idea to remember: the CEO you’re targeting might be a tech enthusiast, but not a developer or a geek!
This means that your pitch has to be clear, rational, and mainstream in its lucidity.
Markets heat up: are you ready to go toe-to-toe?
Today, competition in the SaaS industry has increased rapidly.
Research tells us that in 2012 the number of SaaS vendors vying for the same space was around three, on average.
By the end of 2017, that number had gone up to as many as nine other players in that same market segment. And if the number of SaaS marketing platforms on offer were a measly 500 in 2007, by 2017 that same metric was up to 8500.
Don’t be afraid, like Cortex (and possibly you) have to find a little something extra special to stand out from the crowd.
A secret sauce, a new masterstroke in your arsenal, or a pragmatically thought-out, intelligent add-on.
If great product quality, monetization maturity, and customer experience are some things you pay special attention to, that secret sauce could be precisely embedded analytics. It lets you add a dash of “wowness” to your platform, letting data show the way.