The marketing and advertising industry is dynamic in nature, it evolves constantly. Back in the 90s when the web had not risen to its current pedestal, traditional marketing was the only route for advertising and marketing teams. The issue with traditional marketing was that it was both expensive and hard to track. This drawback made it difficult to evaluate the effectiveness of marketing on larger business objectives.
When Google and Yahoo barged into the scene, followed by Amazon and Gmail, the marketers were forced to take the leap from traditional marketing to a more agile digital marketing approach. Over 1.7 billion people use Google on a daily basis and top brands have understood that the key to cost-effective marketing campaigns revolves around sending the right message to the consumers at the right time and through the right channel.
In order to do this, brands need to use marketing analytics to track and analyze user behavior data. This way they can act on the data, create custom touchpoints and optimize conversion. Throughout the process, digital marketers need to use the right tools and implement them in a way that they are able to measure the important metrics that are crucial to the overall brand goals.
What Is Marketing Analytics And Why Do You Need It?
Marketing analytics is the practice of studying and managing marketing data and then taking actions based on it. Marketing data consists of data points or metrics, as they are popularly called, which you can gather using tools like Google Analytics. In short, marketing analytics is the process of providing context to these metrics.
By giving context to your data points, you are actually measuring the performance of your marketing efforts and understanding how different campaigns succeed. This way you are in a better position to determine the value of each marketing activity that has an impact on driving revenue to your business. Marketing analytics can be used to find out which digital marketing strategy works and which doesn’t. In this way, you can determine marketing effectiveness in addition to understanding how you make decisions based on current and historic data.
Through marketing analytics, you can better understand your audience and their behavior, both online and offline which further will help you optimize your customer journey touchpoints that are reflective of their custom needs and interests. By optimizing the customer journey, you are more likely to increase conversions since users tend to convert when their experience with the brand is highly personalized.
By correctly implementing, analyzing, and then taking action on the data with marketing analytics, you can easily run predictive analytics that will enable you to understand the potential ROI of new customers. One thing to note is that predictive analytics are based on already existing data so to build an accurate predictive model, you need to have sufficient clean data in Google Analytics already in place.
Marketing Analytics Best Practices
These Marketing Analytics best practices have a role to play when you want to maintain a continuous cycle of collecting and analyzing data, before acting on it to drive business success.
The marketing analytics cycle should be running correctly in every phase in order to adhere to marketing analytics best practices. If any of the phases is missing from the cycle or is not functioning correctly, you will have an incomplete data analysis.
In the absence of such actionable insights on your data, you will not be in a position to make any improvements to certain touchpoints. In addition to that, you won’t be able to optimize specific parts of the conversion funnel and thus, it will be unfeasible for you to deliver the personalized experience that converts the users.
Without a cohesive Marketing Analytics cycle, you will have nothing to point you towards the specific channel and touchpoint adjustments that made an impact on the revenue, whether positive or negative.
Gather And Track All Data, Ensure Data Is Accurate
Most brands would indulge in both offline and online channels to advertise to their customers and this needs to be kept in mind. Whatever the source be- website, CRM, display, social or paid search, capturing accurate data is crucial to have a clear understanding of how all the touchpoints function to drive users to conversion.
The right marketing analytics tools that aggregate all your data into one logical result can make all the difference so it is essential to invest in them. For example, Google Analytics 360 integrates with other Google marketing platforms like Search Ads 360 and Display and Video 360 which allow you to analyze data from all these platforms in one place. This way you will not lose time trying to connect large amounts of data from different marketing and analytics tools.
Having a single source of truth will enable you to select the right attribution model that suits your unique goals while attributing conversion credit to specific marketing channels and touchpoints. This way you will be able to build an attribution model that will give you insights necessary for correctly spending your marketing budget on the most rewarding channels.
Select The Right Marketing Analytics Platform For Real-Time Insights
There area plethora of marketing analytics tools like web analytics tools, testing tools, and social content tools. With the help of these tools, you can get detailed insights about your marketing channels as well as general insights about users on your site that you are getting from your current analytics tool.
Real-time insights are extremely important in marketing analytics platforms, especially if you are working with a lot of data. If you can only see data weeks and months later then you can only act weeks and months later and by that time these insights might not be relevant anymore.
Having real-time data is essential in making real-time decisions like allocating budget, deciding the types of ad messaging to be used, when and where to use these ads, and also understanding which strategy leads to the best ROI.
Build Dashboards And Reports To Easily Visualize Data
Analytics dashboards and reports should be easy to understand by each stakeholder so they can spend less time deciphering data source names and more time strategizing to act on this data. When each stakeholder is able to interpret the data with ease, they can make a quicker strategy pivots to optimize the overall marketing strategy. With the help of Google Analytics, you can choose from a selection of data visualization tools like DataStudio, Tableau, or Power BI to better visualize the data through charts, graphs, and maps. This way the stakeholders have a more accessible way to see trends and patterns in their data.
Goal setting in Google Analytics can also be used to create user-friendly reports. Through Goal setting in Google Analytics, you are able to report on the specific user interactions that are most important to overall business objectives. By setting goals, you are also telling Google Analytics which specific metrics are more important to you. This way you have a higher chance of success with funnel visualizations and reports that are easy to understand for all stakeholders.
Act On The Data Based On Insights And Recommendation From Analytics Team
Collecting, analyzing, and then acting on the data is an ongoing process. The analytics team pushes the objective forward while troubleshooting any issues within the analytics solution that might stop or slow the process.
Your analytics team has the necessary experience to fix such issues swiftly which saves the team from wasting budget, resources, or bandwidth. Once these issues are resolved, you will be able to act on the data.
Acting on the data includes bringing to practice the recommendations made by the analytics team. For this, you will optimize parts of your media approach, strategy, creative assets, creatives, and probably even the website. After that, you will be able to conclude about the effectiveness of the recommendations in light of your overall business objectives.
Use Historical Marketing Analytics Data To Make Decisions For Future Campaigns
Your brand likely has a lot of data already, which is a benefit since historical data can be used to make decisions about future campaigns. But this can pose some challenges to you, majorly because having so much data can overwhelm you. Also, this data may have come from different sources or may just be unorganized. In which case, it will take precious time and resources to sort through it.
You can build and maintain clean and accurate historical data by choosing an analytics solution that measures all your marketing activities and come out as a single-source of truth. A prime example of this would be Google Analytics 360 that integrates easily with all the other Google Marketing Platform products which allow you to access your Google Analytics data along with your media and display advertising data.
This results in a clear picture of marketing success across multiple campaigns and channels not only in real-time but also historically. The benefit of getting a clear idea of your historical marketing effectiveness is that it allows you to pinpoint the channels and touchpoints of your user experience that helped drive conversions in the past. This way you can replicate those conditions to get a holistic marketing strategy for your newer marketing campaigns.
After mastering these best practices, you can use historical data as a strong base to run predictive analytics. These predictive analytics can get you additional budget in new channels after showing the predictive ROI of each channel to your stakeholders. This prevents them from blindly investing in a channel based on just estimations of how successful it might be in driving conversions.
One of the most important things to note is that predictive analytics can’t be used without strong historical data. So this route is best for businesses that are running a data analytics cycle successfully and want to move a step ahead by predicting marketing effectiveness and potential customer value.
Employ The Right People To Analyze Data And Make Recommendations For Optimization
This is where you need to decide how you would like to implement your marketing analytics program. You can choose from two options- use a self-service solution wherein you can manage your analytics accounts in house, or you can work with a partner and get full-service. With the self-service option, you can choose your own team that will work on all the parts of your digital marketing tools under a purchased license. Under the managed option, you are not only buying a license from a partner but you are also using your partner’s team to set up your tools, run campaigns, and implement your overall strategy. You can also choose a combination of these models and consult the partner for their specialized expertise.
Your analytics partner should be skillful enough to identify trends in your data and then develop insights from it that reflect your business objectives. They should be able to highlight the trends most relevant to your goals. One of the major benefits of finding an analytics partner is cutting on time that may be wasted on trying to develop complex data insights.
The process of analyzing data and taking actions as per the recommendations starts with a complete understanding of the data measurement pain points and the brand’s opportunities of driving insights. It is equally important to review the data and ensure that it is accurate and complete. You can use Google BigQuery, Google Data Lab, or Google Cloud ML to analyze and visualize the data and with your visualization tool, you can also share your data through packaged workbooks for the stakeholder’s ease.
Marketers have moved from traditional marketing which is both time-consuming and costly and also fails to present real-time measurable metrics that can evaluate the results of marketing activities.
As digital marketing technology has grown, it has allowed advertisers to create marketing campaigns that are more personalized for customer experience. Using marketing analytics best practices and constantly tracking, analyzing, and acting on data in real-time is crucial in leading a campaign to success. Such a marketing analytics cycle allows the advertiser to optimize their marketing strategy in a way that drives conversions. They can also see ROI that increases revenue and fulfills their overall business objectives.