Measuring Success: Why Marketing Analytics Is Essential For A Business

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As a business owner, you must be investing a lot of time and resources into your marketing strategies…

Are you also measuring the effects of all this investment?

Have you even wondered whether your business’s marketing strategies are successful or not?

How do you define success anyway?

This is where analytics come in. Marketing analytics help you measure and analyse the performance of your marketing strategies.

Would you like to dig deeper? Here goes:

Using marketing analytics will help you make efficient use of your resources. It will help you optimise your Returns on Investment (ROIs).

Marketing analytics includes impression and engagement data from all your marketing endeavours, whether online or offline.

Your online channels are blogs, email, social media, and website etc.

For offline channels, you have television spots, hoardings, events, and so on.

Marketing analytics also help you compare the efficacy of all your marketing channels. You will be able to identify the high performers. You will be able to assess, improve or remove the low performers from the campaign.

In short:

You will be able to make your campaign efficient.

Marketing Analytics vs. Web Analytics

marketing-analytics-vs-web-analytics

Marketing analytics are not to be confused with web analytics.

Marketing analytics is the practice of quantifying and analysing the performance of your marketing campaigns. Web analytics is a subset of that.

This means that if you’re conducting marketing analytics, then you may be implementing web analytics.

However:

If you’re doing web analytics, then you’re only focusing on the performance of your online assets.

Web analytics provides you with insight and data into the performance of your website. You need more metrics than just traffic, bounce rate, unique visitors to see the impact of your marketing campaigns. You need to deduce conversion rates and every prospect’s journey through the sales funnel.

While web analytics can tell you how effective your website is, it won’t necessarily tell you how effective your marketing department is.

According to HubSpot Chief Marketing Officer Mike, “Web analytics measure things a webmaster cares about, like page load times, page views per visit, and time on site. Marketing analytics, on the other hand, measure business metrics like traffic, leads, and sales, and which events (both on and off your website) influence whether leads become customers.”

Why Do You Need Marketing Analytics?

why-do-you-need-marketing-analytics

The simple answer is:

To make the most of your budget.

You need to know your audience’s response to your marketing strategy.

Are they reacting positively? Are their responses negative? Are they even reacting at all?

Contrary to popular misconception, the worst thing that could happen to your marketing strategy is not negative publicity. It’s indifference.

As a business owner, you’re wasting valuable resources if you’re not measuring the results of your marketing campaigns.

If something costs more than the revenue it is generating then it’s not a sustainable business strategy.

If you invest money, the investment should get you leads and conversions.

What’s more, these leads and conversions should be worth more than what you put in!

Measuring data gives you key insights into what works and what doesn’t.

If you don’t have data, you won’t know if your marketing strategies are working or not. If you don’t analyse said data, you won’t be able to improve your strategies.

Without gathering and analysing data, how can you avoid wasting marketing budget?

It’s true that data can be overwhelming at times. It is also true that it gives you the chance to monitor ROIs in a way that is simple and effective.

Currently in India, not enough businesses are employing marketing analytics. “Push and forget” seems to be the accepted practice.

What they don’t realise is that marketing analytics will help answer questions such as:

How are your marketing campaigns performing? What can you do to improve on this performance?

What are your competitors doing better than you?

What channels are producing the best outcomes and which channels are duds?

How can you re-allocate your resources to increase your ROI?

Backed by insights from your data, you can plan for future marketing campaigns with more certainty.

Without data, there is no way to properly analyse your audience or measure results.

You can split the entire discipline of marketing analytics into two camps. You’re right. It is online and offline.

Offline Marketing Analytics

In the online world, with the right tools (and the permissions) you can track anything and everything. Even personalised exchange is simpler online. This makes primary research very convenient.

This is possibly why most marketing budgets abroad are becoming heavier on the online side of things.

Still, that doesn’t mean that offline marketing is dead. Far from it.

There are still certain sectors where offline marketing yields better return metrics. Granted, these sectors are few and far between but they do exist.

Consider the Indian market. Only about 26% of Indians currently have access to the internet. Cities in and below the tier-2 mark probably benefit the most from offline marketing.

Even this is debatable because a lot of major brands are targeting these cities via – you guessed it – online marketing.

Coming back to the point of offline marketing analytics: the best data for this is the business’s painstakingly gathered sales data. With offline marketing analytics, though, the challenge is organisational and systemic i.e. everything needs to be organised by the use of a pre-determined system for gathering data.

Once a system for gathering sales and other consumer-centric data is put in place, the challenge becomes deducing actionable intelligence. This requires a specialised understanding of psychology, behavioural sciences, and big data.

Do you have experts analysing data collected through a system for you?

Congratulations, you’ve tapped into the magic of marketing analytics!

We get that offline marketing analytics is very daunting. Trust us, we get it. Our proof is that we’re operating in the online ecosphere.

Online Marketing Analytics

In the online world, marketing analytics is aeons ahead.

Most importantly, there’s a lot of automation in online marketing analytics. You’ll be spoilt for choice when you start looking for tools and methods of gathering online data.

Online marketing analytics tools will provide you with all the relevant marketing and sales metrics that you can ever need.

Metrics you’ll be able to get your virtual paws on include traffic, follower growth on social media, and engagement with your content both on your website and social media pages.

Heck, you’ll even get to measure reach (# of people you could’ve reached), impressions (# of people you actually reached), and conversions (# of people whose sales defences you breached).

Google Analytics is the monster you’ll be befriending to get all this highly customised, personalised, and specialised secret sauce. You can set up advanced goal tracking and sales funnel monitoring with Google Analytics.

With Google Optimize, you can test and optimise, test and optimise, and again Test. And. Optimise.

We can assure you that more than 90% of businesses online (source: gut) don’t know how to use Google Analytics. Lucky for you, we do. Google Adwords can be seen as the baby monster of Google Analytics, which is the Mama monster. You use Google Adwords for measuring the performance of paid ads.

Then, there are social media metrics and insights that you pull from social media platforms themselves. Don’t worry; these are free and, in most cases, very simple to understand.

Still, since everyone can understand them, you need even more expertise to get ahead of your competitors. Never dither on social media expertise. It is the search engine of the future.

Email service providers offer their own metrics on emails. You can get open rates, click-throughs, and even special actions if you’ve added Google Analytics coding and Landing Pages into the mix.

There’s no dearth of marketing analytics methods and tools online. For every established tool or method, you’ll find a supporting cast of five other methods and tools along with an army of pretenders.

For example:

Search for keyword research and you’ll go crazy going through the options available.

Do heat-mapping and you’ll heat up with all the stress.

Some third party options are exorbitant too. Go for Moz. Get the tricks with Kissmetrics. Beg for mercy from Crazy Egg!

There are even tools such as Cyfe that allow you to collate analytics data from multiple sources.

Truly as many options as there are Indians and Chinese nationals combined on this planet.

Marketing Analytics Convergence

So, there is media convergence. There is technological convergence. There is cultural convergence. There is religious convergence.

Lots of convergences out there and each of them very interesting.

What about marketing analytics convergence? Is there such a thing?

You wish for something hard enough, the world will deliver. This is just another way of saying, make it happen.

It holds true for marketing analytics convergence. You can make it happen. Some businesses have. What is needed?

Again those two bugbears: organisation and systematisation!

You can channel the results of your offline marketing efforts through your online systems provided you know how to. Once you do this, you’ve got data and you can get experts to assess the said data.

Here are some examples of how it works.

When initiating an offline marketing endeavour, how about using QRs? You put a specific QR on a flyer, the reader scans with a device, and voila! You’ve got him on a specific landing page with the data resting prettily in the most interesting place in the world – your spreadsheet.

QRs too much of a hassle for you? Doesn’t have to be.

But okay, fair enough. How about we use discount codes? We all give discounts to our customers, right? Diwali, Christmas, Spring, Independence Day, Valentine’s Day, even Black Friday. Discount codes float around the internet all the time.

You can track these discount codes to gather data.

Want something even more specific? How about Google forms? Do you know you can survey your customers with Google forms? Send a campaign-tagged link to them on their emails. Of course, this means gathering emails but you should do that anyway.

All the aforementioned variety makes online marketing analytics cost-efficient and ROI-friendly but it can actually be used to make offline marketing analytics better too. The trick, of course, is finding the right experts! (nudge, nudge, wink, wink).

What Can You Do With Marketing Analytics Data?

what-can-you-do-with-marketing-analytics-data

So now you’ve got all your data in one place.

What next?

Why, figuring out what to do with it, of course!

Here’s the thing:

Data allows you to make better strategic marketing decisions through more accurate insights. Since data is only as valuable as the insights that can be extracted from it, it’s time you embrace analytics.

In fact, 87% of marketers consider data the most underutilised asset in marketing organisations, according to the 2015 Global Data-Driven Marketing Survey by Teradata.

I know Big Data is a term that sounds intimidating.

It evokes the image of a desk drowning in paperwork. You know, like the cartoons…

It evokes an image of large, complex campaigns requiring sophisticated analysis.

The good news?

It is much simpler than that.

It requires very little effort, a bit of understanding and a dollop of common sense.

In exchange:

You get access to hidden patterns, unknown correlations, shocking market trends, weird customer preferences and other useful information.

Market Analytics Measurements Help You Achieve Goals

You know the first step of analytics is setting up goals. Otherwise, you’re just collecting random data.

How do you set goals? You look at your marketing strategy and determine the desired outcomes.

What is your desired outcome? Is it more revenue? More engagement?

You look at your projections and estimations and use them to plot your path. Then you implement your plan. Then you use marketing analytics to figure out how well your plans help in achieving goals!

You need to ensure that your current metrics and strategies are leading you to your desired outcome. Marketing analytics will tell you that.

Another thing you need to keep in mind is that each channel needs to be measured differently.

For your blog, these could include unique users and page views. For downloadable assets, these could be the number of subscriptions or downloads. For guest posts, this could be linking domains. For e-commerce, you would simply measure sales.

In short:

Decide your goals, plan your strategy, set up tools, and keep measuring.

You will have to set up objectives that determine its success or failure and then ensure that they’re being tracked as a goal.

You can analyse your goals in order to increase the conversion rate and generate better strategies and ways to engage with consumers better.

How?

Just aggregate all your marketing data or use an all-inclusive analytics service to collect and analyse your data.

What do you look for when analysing data?

What performed well and what didn’t. What led to conversions and what was ignored. What did your customers like and what did they didn’t.

Then, the campaigns and pages that are performing better can be optimised further. Those which aren’t doing as well… well, you can find out why and fix them.

Did you want them to click on a button, and they didn’t? Test and find out why!

Were they supposed to buy, and didn’t? Test and find out why!

Marketing Analytics Help Long-Term As Well As Short-Term Goals

Here’s the thing:

A lot of data comes from consumers engaging in short-term behaviour such as signing up for a newsletter.

However:

Short term effect typically comprises only up to 20-30 percent of total sales, while the brand, a longer-term asset, accounts for the rest.

Now the good news:

You can use data to check that your marketing strategies work in the long run, not just in the short run.

In fact, marketing effectiveness needs to be checked over both these durations. This helps you achieve quick results that are consistent over a longer period of time.

You can use segments to compare mobile and desktop traffic. This will help you know which has a higher bounce rate or which out of the two gets more conversions.

Then, you can to improve your marketing efforts for the other. This task can easily be done using Google Analytics.

Analytics Can Improve Sales Funnel Efficacy

So you have a brilliantly designed website. It. Looks. Beautiful!

You also have a brilliantly planned marketing strategy, both for online and offline channels.

However:

You don’t know if it will lead to conversions.

What do you do?

You can use attribution modelling to analyse if your sales funnel is effective. Attribution modelling tells you how each step or touch point in the sales funnel process is credited for converting traffic to sales.

Of course, by this point you know better than to just measure one channel.

Different channels help drive your sales across multiple touchpoints on the path to purchase. Measuring simply first or last touch is not good enough.

This process helps you evaluate how different aspects of your campaign stack against one another. You can analyse everything including mailers, online advertisements, offline marketing efforts and social media.

Marketing Analytics Makes For Better Customer Experience

How does marketing analytics I gather affect the customer experience, you ask?

Here’s how!

First, it will help you target the right customers.

Data gathered for analytics helps you perfect your customer profile, making it easier to target them.

Second, you can use marketing analytics to determine at which point your customer loses interest in your business.

You can measure conversion rates and sales data from Google Analytics. This information can then be combined with psychographics to improve user experience.

Third, you can use this clarity about what your consumers are looking for to target them with better ads.

Instagram and Facebook offer native ads that look part of the user’s authentic feed. You give them relevant ads that they want to look at.

Instant Conversion!

Social Media Marketing Analytics Helps Social Engagement

Did you know…?

Presently, many marketers are unsure about their Facebook marketing strategies.

It’s appalling but true!

A significant 40% of marketers don’t know if Facebook traffic has declined in the last 12 months and 35% aren’t sure if their Facebook marketing is effective according to this social media marketing industry report.

Such a powerful medium; and most people don’t make the effort of utilising it.

Don’t be like them!

Use in-app analytics. You will be able to see the effectiveness of your campaign. You will see how many people engaged, shared, and commented.

Did you post and ad on a social media platform?

If yes, are you following up on it?

Do not post an advertisement and forget about it for two weeks. Social media analytics allows you to measure and optimise your campaign. Every day!

So, what’s the bottom line?

Customer analytics data is complementary to marketing analytics. It can help you understand where your customers are coming from and how they are engaging with your content.

Partnering good content with improved marketing strategies will give you qualified leads.

Needless to say, testing and analysing go hand in hand. There’s an interesting experiment conducted by the Buffer blog testing out different advice for increasing engagement on Facebook.

The experiment tested everything!

They tried posting at non-peak times, changing the style of the update, and testing various kinds of images with their copies. This gave them insights that they could then share with their readers.

You can’t know what will work best unless you check your marketing analytics before and after testing.

In fact, testing is so important that it should be a constant exercise because what works one week doesn’t necessarily work in the next.

When you know what works, you can measure how much it helped you earn on your investment. When you know that, you can invest wisely.

Proving the ROI on marketing activities is one of the biggest challenges that a lot of marketers face today, according to HubSpot’s 2016 State of Inbound report.

It is crucial to align marketing analytics with financial goals. Luckily, plenty of tools exist to help you create ROI plans while leveraging big data.

Once you know how your marketing efforts are performing both online and offline, you improve and optimise your marketing performance on individual channels and overall.

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