Get Up to Speed on Data Analytics in Marketing
Define your key metrics and choose the right tools to understand marketing performance
Data Standardization Worksheet
This worksheet begins with the standardization of your performance data. We’ll walk you through how to combine these mismatched data sets in a step-by-step process so that every metric is speaking the same, common language. With all of your data standardized, it’s easier to locate the strengths of each platform and hone in on ways to optimize campaign performance.
Data Analytics In Marketing
What are marketing analytics? For successful marketing programs, it’s important to capture data. Data analytics in marketing could include website traffic, lead captures, or return on advertising spend (ROAS). Without data, you don’t know how effective your advertising is. Imagine a paid advertising campaign in which you didn’t know how many people were clicking on your ads or how many people were actually making a purchase.
With data analytics, you’re able to track your performance across multiple channels. You may have non-digital channels, such as physical mailers. You may have multiple digital channels, such as multiple social media accounts. But the goal of data analytics in marketing is to consolidate information. You need to have a broad spectrum overview of your advertising campaigns.
Understandably, that’s not easy. You could have dozens of marketing channels that you need to track. You might have affiliate campaigns on blogs, commercials on TV, and spots on the radio. How can you determine what is most effective? How can you ensure that you’re putting your advertising dollars where they will be most useful?
An advertising platform is usually the answer — a platform that can consolidate all your information and ensure that you’re getting the data you need.
Many companies aren’t taking advantage of their data or their analytics. They may be collecting marketing-related information, but they aren’t able to mine it for the patterns and trends they need to improve their strategies. It’s simply that there’s too much information available. Still, it’s a critical process, as otherwise, you can’t improve upon your advertising, and you may not be aware of when your campaigns are no longer improving.
Marketing Analytics Tools
So, with so many channels to track, what do marketers today use for their marketing analytics tools?
Google Analytics is a big one — it’s tied into Google Webmaster (general traffic), Google AdSense, and Google AdWords. With Google Analytics, you can see who is visiting your website and where they are coming from. But it’s still basic traffic information and may not yield fantastic results if you’re trying to map out your customer journey.
On social media platforms, many companies will use Facebook’s marketing, YouTube’s marketing, or other social media marketing platforms on that platform. But that means the data analytics are completely independent; they aren’t consolidated with other venues. So, if social media is sending traffic elsewhere (such as to a website), it may not be appropriately recorded.
And there are other digital marketing analytics tools such as customer relationship management suites (Salesforce) and marketing automation platforms (Marketo). These can give you a better look at the general performance of your advertising.
Still, it’s important for marketers to be able to see and analyze all their marketing data at once. Without this, it’s hard to see how different channels relate to each other. A complete Advertising Intelligence solution can pull in data from disparate sources, consolidate that data, and analyze that data as a whole, so marketers have a better understanding of their entire advertising ecosystem.
Without the ability to consolidate information, marketers can’t get a complete picture of their data — because the data is all related. Mailers may link to a landing page on a website. The website may link to social media. Social media may link back to an e-commerce listing. The complete buyer’s journey has to be tracked for reliable statistics and reliable improvements.
Data Analytics In Digital Marketing
Digital marketing makes it especially hard to track data analytics in advertising. It’s not just that many buyers are moving cross-channel, which they are — it’s also that each channel is impacting the other. A buyer, for instance, might see an ad on social media ten times, but may ultimately convert when they’re sent an email. That doesn’t mean that the email is what caused them to buy. Social media caused them to buy — the email was just the direct impetus.
Data analytics in digital marketing relies heavily upon touch points. When marketers are trying to make sense of performance metrics or are trying to track their campaigns across multiple channels, they have to take a look at every interaction that a buyer had before making a purchase. And this involves a tremendous amount of data collection across a multitude of platforms.
It also requires a certain degree of intelligent technology to actually look at patterns and trends. An intelligent solution will notice things that a human might not — such as which platforms are most likely to eventually lead to conversion even if that conversion doesn’t happen on that platform. There’s just too much information for a human to sort through, but an intelligent solution can sort through this data quite quickly.
Marketers face numerous challenges in data analytics in advertising, not just issues of consolidation. Different platforms might also have different metrics tracked or they may track metrics in a different way; without a universal way of collecting information, the information is useless. Inaccuracies, mistakes, and inefficiencies can make it cumbersome to manage advertising. And the more time that is spent micro-managing advertising, the less time is spent on actual sales and revenue-generating activities.
Importance Of Data Analytics In Marketing
While we know that data analytics is a challenge, it’s still critical. Why is data-driven marketing important? Because it helps the advertising dollar go further.
Consider the following examples of the importance of data analytics in marketing:
- A company finds that the ROI on Facebook is much higher than on Twitter. Using this information, the company can either decide to spend more money on its Facebook advertising — or can take a look at its Twitter strategies in hopes of improvement (or even both).
- A company finds that it’s more likely to secure a sale if an email is sent to the prospective customer. Using this information, the company can automate its email advertising to ensure that emails are regularly sent.
- A company finds that its ROI on Google is slowly shrinking. It may be that the market is saturated. Using this information, the company can choose to pivot to another demographic or develop a new strategy altogether.
- A company finds that people in a certain zip code respond better to their mailers, visiting the landing page more readily. The company can increase the number of mailers sent to these addresses.
- A company discovers that its core demographics are changing and getting older. The company may want to adjust its branding and brand identity to suit things that its current demographics would be more interested in.
With the right analytics, an organization will be able to greatly improve its marketing. It can reduce its marketing budget or even increase it in useful, effective ways. But with the wrong data analytics, organizations will continually throw money at strategies that aren’t working and may find themselves frustrated and unable to identify why their strategies aren’t working.
Examples Of Marketing Analytics
Often, the best way to understand the power of marketing analytics is to look at marketing analytics examples. Some classic examples of marketing analytics include:
- Your paid advertising spending and your traffic are both going up. But your conversions are going down. What’s happening? If you only tracked “traffic” as a key metric, you’d think your advertising was successful. But because you’re also tracking conversion, you know it’s not. In these scenarios, it’s usually that consumers are interested in a link (and are clicking on it) but then find the product or service doesn’t suit their needs.
- Your return-on-advertising-spend ROAS on Facebook is steadily going down. What’s happening? It could be that you’ve met something called market saturation; your key demographics have already all seen your ads and there are very few new people being marketed to. You need to change up your advertising or potentially go after different demographics. You may even need to concentrate on a different platform.
- Your traffic has suddenly gone up, but you don’t know why. A dig into your website analytics will show that you were linked from a major periodical, such as Entrepreneur. Using this knowledge, you can try your best to bring in the key demographics of the magazine you were linked from — and otherwise boost your social media following.
- Your revenue on a single product is going up — markedly. It’s not coming from any links or your social media, but you can see that it’s coming from a certain city. Digging deeper, you find that this city has a specific need for your product due to current events. You can start to target this city on an SEO level to capture even more sales and potentially get a following that will last beyond the current events.
As you can see, these marketing analytics don’t just give you information. They empower you to make decisions that could capture more revenue — and prevent you from wasting your advertising dollars.
Are you tracking these key marketing analytics? Digital advertising is one of the most important areas for budget optimization and performance improvements. People today are constantly active in digital environments — and it’s easy to lose control over your digital marketing spend if you aren’t tracking it correctly.