What are marketing analytics and why are they important to marketing strategy? Of all the advantages realized by the emerging digital communication environment of the past decade. the most valuable benefit may be the ability for marketers to eliminate some key unknowns concerning the effectiveness of marketing campaigns. Had John Wanamaker, at the turn of the 20th century, had the analytical tools we have today he wouldn’t have wondered so much about what half of his advertising spend was being wasted.
A long-standing truism, “what gets measured gets done”, continues to play a dominant role in organizations’ operating procedures. A more accurate mantra may be, “the data that gets measured and analyzed properly will optimize performance.” One universal challenge of the digital era is the ability to manage and make sense of all the data it produces. It’s easy to get overwhelmed and confused about what information is most important to evaluating the true value of a marketing effort, so carefully establishing goals and objectives at the outset of the analytical mission is essential to the value of the outcome. So, what should be measured?
Each organization must determine in advance the key performance indicators (KPIs) that marketers use when planning, managing, and optimizing marketing campaigns. Choosing from the extended menu of KPIs should mirror the organization’s lists of priorities. Return on investment (ROI) generally is at the top of most lists because it is important to understand the real cost associated with a digital marketing effort in order to optimize marketing spend and establish an accurate customer acquisition cost. Landing page conversion rates and the level of organic traffic and website SEO will reveal the success of a website’s design and functionality. Measuring and analyzing social media and mobile traffic can determine how many leads and contacts are converting to customer purchases. There are seemingly endless KPIs to be considered, but not all are relevant to every campaign. Pick those indicators that reflect the objectives of each situation and be careful not to waste time and effort analyzing data that are not cost-effective or relevant to a specific mission.
It is important to remember that all things change with the passing of time and savvy, experienced consumers are no exception to that rule. Meaningful digital marketing campaigns are finely tuned and specifically targeted, personal, and authentic. Consumer behaviors can and do change rapidly. The goals and objectives of analytical campaigns should be routinely reviewed and modified to reflect the dynamics of a competitive marketplace.
A comprehensive and careful analysis of raw data should be undertaken to ensure that it is properly interpreted. Misinterpretation of factual data can be costly and counterproductive. Consumer behavior can be fickle; be aware of how fluctuations in consumer trends can determine if you are focusing on the proper areas to be measured. A successful effort can predict where consumer demand will go based on credible analysis. Marketing analytics allows a marketer to understand customers better. Where does your brand stand in the minds of your customers?
Data analysis can take the guesswork out of marketing and help increase the value of a marketing budget, improve customer experience, and understand what channels, touchpoints, strategies, and tactics are working best. Resolve to collect, analyze and optimize.