What it s and why it really matters
Marketing analytics comprises the processes and technologies that enable marketers to evaluate the success of their marketing initiatives by measuring performance (e.g., blogging versus social media versus channel communications) using important business metrics, such as ROI, marketing attribution and overall marketing effectiveness. In other words, it tells you how your marketing programs are really performing.
Marketing analytics gathers data from across all marketing channels and consolidates it into a common marketing view. From this common view, you can extract analytical results that can provide invaluable assistance in driving your marketing efforts forward.
Why marketing analytics is important
Over the years, as businesses expanded into new marketing categories, new technologies were adopted to support them. Because each new technology was typically deployed in isolation, the result was a hodgepodge of disconnected data environments.
Consequently, marketers often make decisions based on data from individual channels (website metrics, for example), not taking into account the entire marketing picture. Social media data alone is not enough. Web analytics data alone is not enough. And tools that look at just a snapshot in time for a single channel are woefully inadequate. Marketing analytics, by contrast, considers all marketing efforts across all channels over a span of time – which is essential for sound decision making and effective, efficient program execution.
What you can do with marketing analytics
With marketing analytics, you can answer questions like these:
Three steps to marketing analytics success
To reap the greatest rewards from marketing analytics, follow these three steps:
1. Use a balanced assortment of analytic techniques
To get the most benefit from marketing analytics, you need an analytic assortment that is balanced – that is, one that combines techniques for:
2. Assess your analytic capabilities, and fill in the gaps
Marketing organizations have access to a lot of different analytic capabilities in support of various marketing goals, but if you’re like most, you probably don’t have all your bases covered. Assessing your current analytic capabilities is a good next step. After all, it’s important to know where you stand along the analytic spectrum, so you can identify where the gaps are and start developing a strategy for filling them in.
For example, a marketing organization may already be collecting data from online and POS transactions, but what about all the unstructured information from social media sources or call-center logs? Such sources are a gold mine of information, and the technology for converting unstructured data into actual insights that marketers can use exists today. As such, a marketing organization may choose to plan and budget for adding analytic capabilities that can fill that particular gap. Of course, if you’re not quite sure where to start, well, that’s easy. Start where your needs are greatest, and fill in the gaps over time as new needs arise.
3. Act on what you learn
There is absolutely no real value in all the information marketing analytics can give you – unless you act on it. In a constant process of testing and learning, marketing analytics enables you to improve your overall marketing program performance by, for example:
Without the ability to test and evaluate the success of your marketing programs, you would have no idea what was working and what wasn’t, when or if things needed to change, or how. By the same token, if you use marketing analytics to evaluate success, but you do nothing with that insight, then what is the point?
Applied holistically, marketing analytics allows for better, more successful marketing by enabling you to close the loop as it relates to your marketing efforts and investments. For example, marketing analytics can lead to better lead nurturing and management, which leads to more revenue and greater profitability. By more effectively managing leads and being able to tie those leads to sales – which is known as closed-loop marketing analytics – you can see which specific marketing initiatives are contributing to your bottom line.