Ready, Set, Go Measure: Why Marketing Analytics Fails & How to Fix It
Check any online job board, from Indeed to LinkedIn, the number of available analytics-related jobs is seemingly infinite. It would certainly seem that an SEO or analytics certification is the new résumé status symbol of choice. Why? It’s simple. The ability, or rather the capability, to accurately measure marketing data and performance is absolutely vital. In fact, it can dictate the fate of the billions spent annually on marketing directives across the globe. Read on as we detail today’s most pertinent measurement tools and how they can be harnessed to advance your marketing agenda.
When a business owner or decision maker elects to invest in “marketing,” he or she is essentially entrusting the very well-being of their organization to the representative or, more commonly, agency they hire. In short, the retained agency’s ability to craft and execute a marketing strategy is only half the battle. The capability of understanding the data collected from these efforts and the ability to tailor them accordingly is pivotal to not only the strategy’s success, but that of the client’s business as well.
Sadly, this sentiment is not shared by most marketers. Research by BlueVenn has found that 64 percent of American and British marketers believe it’s their role to merely collect customer data, not to actually analyze it. That said, it does appear this is largely borne out of sheer volume rather than a lack of aptitude, as 93 percent of marketers indicate they’re ‘confident’ or ‘very confident’ in their ability to analyse complex customer data.
According to Valerie Jennings-Ancona, CEO and founder of JSMM+VBM, the importance of couldn’t be clearer: “Without data and metrics, you cannot make prudent creative decisions. Furthermore, without reading reports and collecting data, you cannot make strategic decisions for clients. In fact, much of the agency’s clientele has directly benefited from marketing strategies that have been adjusted in accordance with data acquired from previous campaigns.”
For businesses operating under either the business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) models, there are several key performance indicators that can provide marketers with a clear view of a particular marketing campaign’s performance. Digital marketing, in particular, allows one to monitor campaigns and their respective outcomes, enabling the client to spend each dollar as effectively as possible.
While there are many key performance indicators (KPIs) that can be established for a business, it’s important KPIs support the overall business and marketing objectives and goals. For example, if the goal is to generate leads then the marketing channels and advertising products selected, need to support said goal and appropriate lead generation tracking needs to be in place prior to launching the campaign.
Website analytics can provide a wealth of information, including page views, clicks, time spent on the site, a visitor’s geographic location and form confirmation page visits. These confirmation page visits, or thank you page visits, are particularly important to B2C models utilized by retail, automotive, ecommerce, medical spas, educational institutions, etc. It’s important form submissions are measured and the source of the submissions by utilizing tracking links and event codes.
A social media strategy can prove quite beneficial to both B2B and B2C entities. The medium, and the various platforms that comprise it, can both raise brand awareness and engage with potential customers. Data such as post likes, comments, shares, reach, clicks, video views and website traffic can provide marketers with an immediate indication of what’s working and what’s not regarding during campaigns.
An investment in search marketing is one of the more common efforts we see today, and for good reason. Specifically, these strategies focuses on one of the most powerful performance metrics there is: keywords. Keywords can more or less tell you exactly what’s on the mind of current and potential customers. Unlike other measurables, the most valuable long-term benefit of engaging in paid and organic search marketing isn’t website traffic, it’s the keyword data contained within each click. This data can be utilized to inform and optimize other business processes.
The solemn responsibility of a marketing entity or agency is to increase exposure while maximizing value for its clientele. Marketing analytics, along with the tools and data that comprise it, help marketers fulfill that responsibility. The right combination of creative, technology and marketing strategy can serve as a solution to almost any business problem.