The Importance of Marketing Analytics in a Digital Age

1. Quantify your claims

Numbers are persuasive. You could tell your CFO that content brings in customers, or you could tell them that 72 percent of marketers believe that content increases customer engagement.

The second one is more likely to get you funding. People are more likely to care about your claims when you include relevant statistics.

Without specific marketing data points, such as your ROI before and after a campaign, you can only think in general terms. Either your income went up while a certain ad was running or it didn’t. Either you got more email list sign-ups after you started pay-per-click (PPC) advertising or you didn’t. 

Analytics lets you take the data from that time period and determine how much a particular campaign actually brought in – its marketing impact. If you got 100 email opt-ins on the first day you started your PPC campaign, how many of those came from the ad itself? 

If you determine if the marketing initiative itself worked, getting funding is much easier. And if it didn’t work, you can save money spent on continuing the initiative.

With marketing analytics, you can clearly demonstrate not just that something is or isn’t working, but also why. And with that “why,” you can convince people to make a change.

2. Turn data into information

Most businesses today have access to customer data and web analytics tools. The difference is in whether your company makes use of that data. Too often, according to the Harvard Business Review, it just ends up sitting in a server without doing anything particularly useful. In the worst-case scenario, it can be misinterpreted and misused, leading your marketing team astray. 

For your data to become useful information, you need to subject it to relevant data analysis.

For example: at the beginning of your PPC campaign, your revenues hover around $10,000 per month. After your first campaign, your receipts are up to $15,000 per month. Should you invest in that same ad again?

It depends. Was there an industry-wide uptick in sales that month? Maybe your products started trending for unrelated reasons. And did you have any other ads running at the time? How many of your customers actually came from that PPC ad?

Data analytics gives you the answers to these questions. With those answers, you can make decisions in your marketing program that are based on facts instead of hunches.

3. Compare and contrast your marketing data

Analytics lets you go a step further and compare your data sets to each other. For instance:

  • How did your paid search, social media marketing, or organic search income compare to your estimates? 
  • Were there any differences in revenue generated across demographics? 
  • How did the ROI on your PPC campaign compare to the ROI on your Facebook ad campaign?
  • How much did your PPC campaign generate in first sale revenue versus lifetime revenue? Your ad campaigns, content initiatives, and customer groups are all interrelated. If you understand the intersections, you can weed out irrelevant information and make the best decisions based on your business’s unique goals.

4. Stay goal-oriented

Every one of your marketing pieces has a goal, whether it’s increasing sales or simply driving more traffic to your company website. The more you analyze and use the data available to you, the more you know about your progress toward your goals.

Marketing analytics lets you measure that progress, and it helps you figure out where the problem might be if progress isn’t coming as fast as you’d like.

Say you ran a Facebook ad campaign and your ROI was a little under 3:1. 

Your team tells you to try something else, but you look at the analytics. You found that your ad had a great click-through rate, but your homepage bounce rate was high. 

The PPC campaign wasn’t the problem. But without good analytics, you never would have known.

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