Marketing analytics is a broad, “meta” field, combining elements of marketing strategy, data science, database management, digital technology, primary research, and psychology, to name a few. To help explain what it is, we’ve created this taxonomy of marketing analytics—a “family tree”—that breaks the field down from high-level to more detailed.
The taxonomy has four levels of hierarchy. The highest level splits analyses broadly into aggregated and discrete classes. Aggregated analyses look at data grouped together—for example, by month, product category, or customer segment. Discrete analyses look at the individual “data objects”—for example, leads, customers, or accounts. The next level down—call it “function”—looks at large categories of analytics that might typically be found on a Director’s business card. For example, “Director of Consumer Research”, or “Director of Customer Analytics.” The third level of the taxonomy, discipline, looks at a thematic area in that function, for example, “qualitative research” or “predictive prospecting.” Finally, at the lowest level are the specific analytics tasks or methodologies that an analyst might be doing on any given day, for example, “social listening” or “customer reactivation.”
Each task has a fairly detailed explanation of what it is below the tree. Where links to greater detail might be helpful, those have been added; but in many cases, they weren’t needed.
You’ll notice that the terms “machine learning” and “artificial intelligence” don’t appear on this taxonomy. This isn’t because they were forgotten, but these are specific techniques that can solve many of the discrete-type problems noted in the taxonomy. In some cases, specific tools are mentioned, like neuro testing, and these were included because they are so uniquely suited to a specific task.
Assuming people find this hierarchy valuable, we are absolutely open to editing it and keeping it fresh with suggested adds, deletions, or merges. Please reach out with suggestions to our Chief Analytics Officer, Andy Hasselwander, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Download a high-res, printable version of the Marketing Analytics Family Tree at the bottom of the page.