Telum Talks To... Ng Yi Xuan, Insights and Analytics Manager, Muse & Motif
Independent agency Muse & Motif launched in Singapore earlier this year. Telum caught up with its Insights and Analytics Manager Ng Yi Xuan, as he shares how data analytics can help businesses improve communications strategy, identify new opportunities and effectively reach out to their target audience.
What is data storytelling and how does insights and analytics help in this?
Data storytelling is about giving your data a voice. Think of each data point as a character in the story. What we want is to use these data points to give us context when we create a narrative. This means structuring the information embedded in the data and being able to communicate your insights effectively.
Insights and analytics plays a critical role in helping us uncover hidden insights from the perspectives of individual brands, their associated competitors and industry, at large. By presenting the data in a simple and compelling way, we effectively help people understand why certain courses of actions are necessary based on empirical data, instead of solely relying on intuitive, judgement calls.
How can data analytics help businesses and how receptive are clients to your recommendations?
We are living in a world shaped by Big Data. So much data is being documented daily, yet the challenge lies in effectively making sense of it. Data analytics looks to take the relevant data and derive insights that empower businesses with clarity. Meaningful insights can include identifying macro-factors, competitive analysis, brand audits and audience insights.
We are lucky to have clients who are receptive and open to understanding the insights I uncover. These clients recognise how data can play a key lever in raising the performance of communications and branding efforts, as well as flexibility and agility in our strategy.
As modes of communications evolve, how does an insights and analytics department help teams think ahead and use the appropriate channels to more effectively reach target audiences?
As a discipline, integrated communication is something that is ever evolving. We try to incorporate different aspects and perspectives together to achieve something greater than the sum of its parts.
Having an insights and analytics department is key to this. It helps inform us when to make crucial decisions on behalf of our clients. For instance, it plays a key part in deciding the right channel strategy - how do we know where our audiences are, and how they interact with different channels.
It also provides us with audience and consumer insights that we might otherwise miss altogether. As communicators, we need to understand the conversations naturally developing within our audiences in order to reach them. Knowing their content consumption behaviour both offline and digitally, as well as how their motivation and aspirations change from time to time, is a big part of this.
Are there any other areas beyond PR and comms work that data analytics can help PR agencies?
Data analytics can also track macro-factors, including political, economic, social, technological, environmental and legal factors (PESTEL). These findings help us work closer with clients to identify their business priorities in order to achieve business resilience when there are disruptions - a value-added service for the clients.
On the other hand, it also helps PR agencies to identify new business opportunities when prospects need PR services and / or analytics services. Analytics can explain the gap and explain why and when a business needs the services of PR agencies.
Do you foresee insights and analytics changing the way businesses utilise data, especially post COVID-19?
Companies are offering more digital services and have accelerated digital transformation through COVID-19. They are holding more information of their users - even if the majority of us are staying at home.
This means that there are more opportunities for companies to structure their customer data through the digital interactions recorded by companies. Businesses can therefore make use of behavioural studies to generate insights, enabling them to better reach their target audience across paid, earned, and owned efforts. However, companies will still need to have necessary compliance measures in place to avoid unnecessary data leaks that will invite crisis due to negligence.
Moving forward, we expect more companies to embrace the role of an insights and analytics function, as they will see the benefits of data storytelling in making concrete decisions.