Marketing Analytics: Everything You Need to Know To Start Leveraging it Today
When’s the last time you attempted to make a recipe in the dark? I’d venture to guess you’ve never done so. It’s unnecessary and reckless. Would you be surprised to learn, then, that more than 60 percent of companies have ignored marketing analytics data when making marketing campaign decisions?
Just like making a recipe in the dark is unnecessary and reckless, so too is ignoring the invaluable marketing data when making expensive and time-consuming decisions for your business.
In this post, we’ll introduce marketing analytics and its benefits. We’ll cover the types of marketing data and how to create your own report. Finally, we’ll highlight three examples of companies that used digital marketing analytics to their advantage.
What Is Marketing Analytics?
Marketing analytics is the use of data to evaluate the performance of a marketing activity or collective marketing efforts.
From 2012 to 2020, the share of projects where marketing analytics were used to make a decision has ranged from 29 percent to 43.5 percent. While this number seems low, it does go to show that using marketing analytics to drive your own business’s campaigns will give you an edge against the competition.
Why Is Marketing Analytics Important?
Before we get into the nitty-gritty details, it helps to understand why marketing analytics is so important. While some companies may argue that analytics data isn’t crucial to their business, others will stake their success solely on their ability to follow the data.
Perhaps the greatest benefit to digital marketing analytics is the ability for businesses to understand big-picture marketing trends and forecast future results.
On a micro level, marketing analytics can help a business to understand the ROI of their individual programs. This can help them to determine which programs to cut and which programs to invest in. It will also teach them what they need to know for future projects.
Finally, consider that sophisticated marketers (those who utilize 5 or more analytics tools) are 39 percent more likely to see an overall performance improvement in their marketing programs. Just imagine what that growth could look like across your portfolio!
How to Create a Marketing Analytics Report
If you’ve been tasked with creating a digital marketing analytics report for your business, the steps below will help to get you started.
1. Pull the Raw Data
Where does it all begin? With the raw data.
How you pull your data will depend on the tools and platforms you use. There are many free and paid options available and you may find yourself using more than one to get a fuller picture.
Step one of creating a marketing analytics report.
Google Analytics is a free tool that provides you with in-depth website analytics. If you’re using an e-commerce platform like Shopify, you may also have access to free analytics within your account. Paid options include HubSpot, Domo, and Tableau.
2. Understand Your Audience
There are two important questions to answer before you compile your data. They are:
1. What’s the purpose of your marketing report?
2. Who’s the audience for your marketing report?
To answer those questions, you’ll want to dig deeper by answering the following:
Are you pulling the data just to get a snapshot of the business, or is there something more specific in mind? Are you delivering the report to top-level executives or a direct manager? How will this data be used? How often will this data report need to be compiled?
A weekly report on the state of the business to your direct manager will look completely different than an analysis of a business unit to the CFO of the company.
Examples of Marketing Analytics
It can be inspiring to see how other businesses are using marketing analytics to inform their decisions. Here are three examples for you to consider.
Marketing Analytics Example #1: Costa Rican Vacations
Averages are used frequently when evaluating marketing analytics. There is nothing inherently wrong with this approach, but as we’ll see below, it can be good to look at those outliers to determine the true efficacy of the average.
Looking beyond the average customer for Costa Rican Vacations has resulted in a 40 percent increase in website conversion.
According to Casey Halloran, the Co-Founder and CEO of Costa Rican Vacations, their team frequently looks to averages to inform their decisions: average spend, the average length of stay, and the average number of travelers.
Upon taking a deeper dive into the data, they realized the average number was so far off the actual customers’ metrics due to the extremes of the outliers. That is, the majority of their customers were on one end of the spectrum or the other with very few actually falling into the middle.
With this information, Costa Rican Vacations made a shift in its product offering. One way they did so was by adjusting the total budget slider on their homepage to go up to $20,000.
An example of marketing analytics from Costa Rican Vacations.
By doing so, they opened up their offering to a new, higher spending customer base and increase website conversions by 40 percent.
Other businesses, too, can benefit from this example. After all, how often do we look at averages and medians without considering the impact of our marketing decisions on the outliers? With this in mind, take time to truly understand how average your average customer really is, or whether they’re simply a product of extremes on either end.
Marketing Analytics Example #2: Allrecipes
Allrecipes is the world’s largest digital food brand. It boasts 18 websites in 23 countries and more than 85 million users. No matter how large your brand, there’s always the competition to consider. To maintain their competitive advantage, Allrecipes worked with Tableau to better understand every stage of the customer journey.
The brand had several primary objectives, including to:
- improve user experience
- increase video engagement
- drive mobile engagement
- inform product strategy
- expand user base
- grow advertising revenue
Allrecipes leveraged Tableau, a business intelligence platform to visualize data all in one place. With custom dashboards and organizational collaboration, the brand was able to achieve numerous goals. In particular, let’s look at how Tableau’s device-level analytics enabled them to drive mobile engagement.
According to Esmee Williams, the VP of Consumer and Brand Strategy, mobile usage had increased from 8 percent to three-fourths of all visits in recent years.
The goal was to increase mobile usage while also providing a continuous experience across devices. They performed an A/B test which showed the mobile site on all devices as a way to learn more about how users interacted with mobile site elements.
An example of A/B testing in marketing analytics from Allrecipes.
Using Tableau’s digital marketing analytics collection and visualization tools, Allrecipes used the data they collected to improve the mobile site. This included optimizing content and encouraging photo uploads with an easy-to-use interface.
While you don’t need to perform a cross-device A/B test to get these same results, your business too should evaluate mobile device engagement to understand customer behavior. Only then can you implement changes that have a measurable impact on customer engagement metrics.
Marketing Analytics Conclusion
Marketing analytics is more than just a collection of data. It provides invaluable insights that could have otherwise gone unnoticed.
After all, when you’re making big decisions regarding your business’s marketing campaigns and programs, you need to evaluate all of the data available to you. Only with a proper analysis of previous data and current trends can you ensure you’re making the best decisions for your company’s bottom line.
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