Marketing analysis has come a long way from inserting numbers into Excel spreadsheets. Basic information can come from Google Analytics, surveys, focus groups and input from sales teams. Even better, evolving marketing technologies enable companies to access massive amounts of data about their customers and prospects. This data can tell marketers more about how customers interact with the company’s products and services. It also tells them how often they visit their website or how they feel about the company brand. While collecting and analyzing the data is the first step in identifying the treasures available to companies, using it to determine the value of marketing initiatives, gain a competitive advantage and provide more value to customers must follow.
What Can You Do With Marketing Analytics?
The most effective analyses include backward- and forward-looking evaluations:
- Report on yesterday. It is important to establish a baseline from which to measure ongoing marketing efforts. By delving into the data from the past, marketers can determine which avenues successfully generated leads versus how much time and money went into a specific campaign. Establishing a past standard with analytics is essential to determining the all-important ROI.
- Measure today. Similarly, businesses should always evaluate the success of current marketing channels and messages. Analytics allow companies to locate effectiveness between inbound and outbound efforts, social media outreach, public relations, direct mail and advertising. Businesses can also measure the effectiveness of their frequency of contact, brand value and culture, or how their campaigns stack up against competitors. Additionally, marketing data provides important insight into the ever-changing profile of a company’s target market.
- Plan for tomorrow. After amassing the data and uncovering the successes and shortcomings of a company’s marketing past and present, the next step is to use analytics predictively. Utilize the metrics established to determine what needs to be changed, improved or simply omitted. Optimizing the ROI is the lifeblood of marketing and analytics is a sure way to accurately measure where monetary and time investments are most effectively allocated.
Making the Most of Your Marketing Analytics
To achieve maximum benefit from marketing analytics, it is important to follow three basic practices:
1. Use a balanced assortment of marketing techniques. By employing a variety of communication strategies, companies can ensure increased visibility. Reach out to clients and prospects via:
- Email campaigns
- Social media
- Content marketing
- Blogs, and,
- Other communication channels.
Also, be sure your website contains a wide range of information such as:
- Bylined articles
- White papers
- Case studies
- Client success stories, and,
- Press materials.
Use data to learn how customers and prospects want to receive and access information, build on that knowledge and adapt to evolving needs.
2. Use a balanced assortment of analytic techniques. Just as there are many different types of data, companies have a multitude of ways to collect data. They include website analytics, social media statistics, response to outbound and inbound efforts, brand sentiment, and content scoring. From there, it’s important to prioritize which efforts need to be measured, implement processes where your needs are greatest and fill the gaps over time.
3. Act on the information gathered. Marketing analytics is worthless unless companies act on the data they’ve gathered and adapt their marketing plans accordingly. Rather than continue underproductive marketing methods or simply eliminating them completely, businesses should encourage feedback and new ideas and then be willing to adjust tactics and strategies as needed to optimize the process.
Elevate Marketing Efforts
Marketing analytics is an intense boon to companies looking to elevate their marketing efforts. With the many different methods of data collection available today, every company should be measuring the reactions created by their marketing stimuli. The information gathered provides a pivotal resource in a constantly changing business environment, and can help marketers develop and evolve a marketing strategy that delivers bottom-line success.