If I asked you how your digital marketing was going, could you give me a definitive answer? Far too many businesses jump excitedly aboard the digital marketing train with a clear destination in mind, but when it comes to determining how close to their destination they are (or if they even got on the right carriage, to begin with), they’re unable to give a straight, well-informed answer. And so, they dejectedly get off at the nearest stop, having never reached their ultimate destination.
This is a pity because digital marketing works. However, it needs to be steered by data-driven insights and inferences and shouldn’t be approached without a strategy to measure its results or clearly defined goals. Many companies fall short here because they skip the one critical element that every great digital marketer knows should never be neglected – analytics.
Why analytics is so crucial to successful digital marketing
We live in a world driven by large volumes of data. Virtually everything we do can be quantified or measured in some way, including our online behaviour and actions. Data can be derived from everything we do online, and its valuable information digital marketers can use to improve the way they approach prospects, design websites and create content.
If you’re not using this data to inform your digital marketing decisions or to measure the actions you’ve taken, you’ll never see the efficacy (or lack thereof) of your marketing. This failure to see results is what often drives companies to give up on their digital marketing campaigns too soon. Thus, they miss out on the opportunities right in front of them, if they’d only taken the time to do a little research and analysis.
If you feel like your digital marketing isn’t going anywhere, perhaps it’s time you started digging into the analytics behind it to find out why and then taking steps to set it on course again. If this sounds like you, there are a few things you should know when starting out.
Key areas to grasp when starting out with analytics
Area 1: Which tools should you use
There are a host of tools out there to help you gather and break down your data. It’s important to acknowledge that no one tool is going to be as effective at doing so than using several different options at once, each uniquely designed to perform a specific function. It’s best to have a variety of tools at hand and to familiarise yourself with them, so that you can get the most out of each one.
A few of the must-haves include:
- Google Analytics
- An SEO platform, like MOZ
- A comprehensive CRM such as HubSpot
Using tools like HubSpot, you’ll also be able to draw data and insights from critical areas, such as your emails and social media accounts.
Area 2: The importance of setting goals
There’s no point in collecting data and trying to make sense of it, when you have no definitive goals to measure your inferences against. You need to develop SMART goals for your digital marketing, and then compare the results of your data against those goals.
- Are these goals realistic considering what the data has revealed?
- Where can I make changes to bring my business closer to its marketing goals?
- Do my goals need reevaluating to be more realistic?
- Can my goals be measured considering this data, or are they too vague?
- Have I given my marketing enough time to meet these goals?
Area 3: Which key metrics to measure
Depending on your goals, you’re going to need to keep an eye on specific metrics, to see how close you are to achieving them. Examples of these metrics may be:
- The total visits to your website
- The channels that drive traffic to your website
- New versus returning website traffic
- How long visitors are spending on your site, and what interactions they’re performing while there
- Bounce rate (or how quickly visitors leave your site on arrival)
- Exit rate (how often visitors are dropping out of your sales funnel midway through converting, and where these drop-off points are occurring)
- Total conversions
- CTR or click-through-rate
- The total cost per conversion (CPC)
- Your lead-to-close ratio
- The total cost to acquire a customer (cost per acquisition)
- Email open rate
And so, the list goes on. There are many metrics to look at, but you’ll be focusing specifically on ones relevant to meeting your marketing goals.
Area 4: How to convey your insights to the relevant parties
Proving marketing ROI has long since been a thorn in the side of marketing everywhere. And while it may seem like data derived from analytics finally gives marketers the weapon they need to show tangible results, it’s how they use that weapon that matters most.
Marketing analysts need to understand how to transform and clean up data to ensure it is easily understandable to their C-suite. It should be conveyed as more of a story and less of a barrage of percentages and numbers that won't necessarily express a clear enough view of how marketing is meeting its goals, or perhaps what it requires to meet them.
Understanding how to wield analytics to your best advantage is the most significant step you can take towards empowering your teams to start creating marketing campaigns that convert and close with ease, or that can be tweaked to show more meaningful results than previously seen.
If it the idea of tangling with analytics still seems a bit too much for you to handle, we’re here to help. We’ve got a team of experts ready to answer your questions and to help you make sense of your data, then use it to see good results. Don’t hesitate to drop us an email or get in touch and let’s get talking!