When you first begin venturing into the world of marketing analytics, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Why? Well, put simply, marketing analytics is made up of a number of processes and technologies that help you analyze the performance of your marketing efforts.
By measuring marketing data, you can determine where to adjust your strategies, improving your ROI. And because it’s all about tracking and responding to data, your first instinct might be ‘the more data, the better!’ but that can be a slippery slope. You’ll soon learn that crafting an effecting strategy can help streamline your processes and give you more ‘bang’ for your metaphorical analytics ‘buck.’
Why you need a marketing analytics strategy
Your strategy acts as a plan that informs the purpose of analyzing the data you collect. Rather than just looking through all of your information and attempting to draw conclusions, your strategy will point you in a specific direction that aligns with the growth goals of your organization.
To ensure you don’t end up overwhelmed with all the data available to you, your marketing analytics strategy helps to point the arrow in the right direction. That way, you don’t waste any time and you can more effectively get the answers you need.
How to develop your marketing analytics strategy
- One of the first steps to developing your analytics strategy is bringing in an outside analyst to work with a chosen business insider. This partnership creates the perfect balance between prioritizing the needs of the business with an unbiased perspective. Often, it can be a challenge for those closely associated with your organization to analyze data without bringing in justifications or unnecessary background information. That’s where your outside analyst can be especially valuable.
- Next, you need to determine the questions that will best drive growth for your company. These will help determine where you’ll focus your analysis. Consider how the answer to each question will help your company.For instance, if you’re interested in revenue growth, one of your questions might be How much revenue did my most recently converted leads bring in? Your questions will act as mini-goals for your marketing. Based off of the answers your data reveals, you’ll know what’s working and what might warrant a change.
- Once you have a set of questions that your marketing strategy will seek to answer, you need a few more tools and prerequisites to actually answer your questions.
Tools for a successful marketing analytics strategy
- Organizational maturity: Your analytics might reveal a problem you don’t want to face. With the proper organizational maturity, you’ll be able to face your faults and look for the best solution.
- Digital Marketing Platform (DMP): This is a catchall for your digital capabilities. It includes content management, analytics, e-commerce…. everything right down to your physical servers. It’s how you interact and transact with your audience and customers. Whether you’re familiar with the term DMP or not, you have one.
- Data strategy: Before you begin answering your questions, you need to know what type of data will best serve your purpose. There are various types of metrics (spend metrics, lead metrics, customer metrics) and you’ll need to have a strategy in place for determining what data can help answer what question.
- Analytics investment: While you will need to invest in your strategy, knowing exactly how effective your marketing is can help increase your ROI in the long run.
- Constant engagement: Analyzing your marketing data isn’t just a once in a while task. In order to get the clearest picture of how your marketing is working, you need to be dedicated to consistently employing your strategy.
Remember, your marketing analytics strategy is dependent on and informs many steps within your marketing analytics efforts. Think of it as a culmination of the following:
- Collection. You should be collecting data from all of your digital channels, web sites, advertising platforms, POS systems, and customer databases. Leave no stone unturned!
- Analysis. You should understand of where your web traffic is coming from, who your typical visitors are, what your conversion goals are (and how to measure them). And your analysis should be built around carefully chosen Key Performance Indicators. Your collection of data is only as good as your ability to comprehend it meaningfully.
- Execution. Is your technology able to prescribe the most relevant content to individual visitors? Do you regularly review website traffic and take action based on data visualizations and analysis reports?
- Automation. Are reports run automatically at regular intervals? Is standard and customized reporting available to stakeholders, and are stakeholders notified when data falls outside of prescribed thresholds and offered probable causes for such incidences? Don’t let trends or anomalies sneak up on you or linger unexamined!
- Application. Do you leverage data in your decision-making? Do your analytics findings recommend reactions and trigger automatic reactions? They should.
- Attribution. Do you understand and accurately assign credit to appropriate marketing activities? Your investments and tactics should be determined by the successes and failures of your marketing efforts; to do this, you have to understand which efforts are panning out.
- Strategy. Do you have the tools, expertise, and staff to react to and engage deeply in all of the above? Are you committed to finding the truth of the data and using your DMP to it’s fullest potential? Your strategy must be in-line with data, or it might as well be random.
Make sure you stay deeply engaged with each of these. It takes the right tools, the right talent, and a willingness to react—your strategy should be constantly evolving and responding to your data. That bang for the buck I mentioned at the top… you’ll get that not from having the most data, but from understanding it and from actually using it. So if you’re just sitting on piles of data and making guesses, it’s time to develop a marketing analytics strategy—and to start seeing results from your marketing efforts.
From an article by David Cole for Smart Insights