To improve your business, you need the full picture of where it stands.
With all the digital tools available today, you have the chance to get to know your customers like never before. You can track everything from how many times they're visiting your site to what tactics are actually causing them to convert. By making marketing analytics a staple practice for your business, you can make better use of your data points and win over your target audience for good.
Many companies hit a dead end in their growth because they're rewarding themselves for vanity metrics—the numbers that look good but have no real impact on business. After all, it's easy to see an upward trend in your data and believe it’s a sign of progress. However, the businesses that take the lead are the ones that understand the full context behind the numbers and use their knowledge to improve their marketing performance.
Marketing analytics can help you join the leaders who are making data-driven business decisions instead of moving forward blindly.
What is marketing analytics?
Marketing analytics is a practice that businesses use to evaluate the results of their marketing efforts. It requires you to measure, manage, and break down the performance of any given campaign, both during and after it occurs. With this practice, you're not only figuring out what the results are, but you're dissecting the results to answer why and how everything occurred.
In most cases, your efforts will be aided by the use of digital tools. These may include:
- Google Analytics, a web analytics tool that helps you track consumer behavior, location, conversion rates, and other trends
- SEMRush, which helps you track your search engine optimization (SEO) and content marketing performance
- Hootsuite, a social media marketing analytics tool that shows you how your followers and other users are responding.
- Constant Contact, an email marketing software that provides insight into metrics like click-through rates and bounce rates.
The result of marketing analytics is an objective look at where your company stands, both in your industry and in consumers' eyes. With a clear picture ahead of you, you'll be able to make the best decisions for the health of all of your marketing channels, instead of just one or two. You'll be better equipped to translate marketing metrics into action items—and soon, real results.
5 benefits of marketing analytics
As digital marketing continues to be the standard for modern companies, your competitors are likely collecting just as much data as you. However, few are putting their data sets to good use. It's estimated that as much as 73% of business data goes to waste simply because businesses aren't sure how to read and apply it.
Investing in marketing analytics can help your brand reap the benefits where others are lagging behind. When your marketing team is fully equipped and encouraged to dive deeper into data, you can profit from these advantages:
1. Connecting the dots
According to Salesforce, the majority of marketers are unable to create a full picture of their customers' identities through data. This isn't due to a lack of data but rather an abundance of disconnected data. Even when they're following a strong data analysis process, some companies make the mistake of taking a narrow, single-channel approach and miss out on what other data is simultaneously saying.
In the United States and the United Kingdom, disconnected data is the cause of $140 billion lost each year.
A complete and consistent marketing analytics practice will help you get a more well-rounded picture of who your customers are. You'll be able to build more accurate customer personas (fictional biographies that define the characteristics of each segment of your audience). Going beyond your target audience, marketing analytics can help you see broader trends in your market and identify changes over time.
2. Improving return on investment (ROI)
Marketing analytics help you escape the world of vanity metrics and get you real results. As you gain better insight into your company and your consumers, you'll be able to strongly cater your marketing strategies to each member of your customer base. Adding this bit of personalization to your marketing campaigns can help you achieve as much as eight times your current ROI—and directly increase sales by 10%.
Another reason marketing analytics help your ROI is the fact that you're no longer improving just any metrics in hopes of growth. You're tackling what you know will have a measurable impact on your bottom line.
3. Making better marketing decisions
As you can see, the role of marketing analytics is often to provide guidance for your marketing initiatives. This practice can tell you exactly where your strategy is excelling, as well as where improvements need to be made, so you can continue in the right direction.
Over time, this will help you better predict how your audience will react to each of your campaigns—before they launch. Marketing analytics uncover the patterns behind consumer behavior and makes your strategy development process far less of a guessing game. You can then nail the right tactics on the first try and hit your marketing goals faster.
4. Preventing big mistakes
Just as marketing analytics can help you make good decisions, they can help you avoid bad ones. Committing to an ongoing analysis of your company's performance can help you identify when something is going wrong before it has a large negative impact on your ROI. In this sense, marketing analytics encourage your team to be more proactive about finding solutions when they're needed.
Marketing analytics can also serve as a record of your previous successes and failures. Not only will this help you avoid big mistakes, but it also prevents you from making the same ones over and over again. Your team will have the proper knowledge to pinpoint the exact reason a campaign didn't deliver the right results so you can be more mindful of how you use your marketing budget later.
5. Building customer loyalty
Marketing analytics take getting to know your customers to a whole other level, making even highly specific targeting possible. This doesn't just assist you in converting more leads. By helping you personalize campaigns, it can also help you increase loyalty within your current customer base so every buyer keeps on returning.
As buyers return, you'll gain more data about each one. Through marketing analytics, you'll understand how to use this ever-expanding data to cater the customer experience toward every individual. Perhaps you'll even anticipate what your customers want before they know it—a talent that can make your business stand out and increase your average customer lifetime value.
Use marketing analytics to shine
You don't have to be a data scientist to make your consumers happy. By investing in marketing analytics tools and taking the time to translate campaign results into future strategy, you can build a growing customer base you can rely on. As a direct result, you'll have a more effective marketing strategy that can multiply your return on investment quickly.
If you're ready to dive deeper into how you can maximize your use of big data, head to our guide on Data Analytics 101.