The Guide to Marketing Analytics, Optimization, and Testing Part 1

Written by Kathy Kassera Mrozek

“Companies championing the use of customer analytics are 6.5 times more likely to retain customers, 7.4 times more likely to outperform their competitors on making sales to existing customers (upsell and cross-sell strategies), and nearly 19 times more likely to achieve above-average profitability.” – McKinsey

As the data proves, analytics-driven marketing can help you identify quick wins and choose effective long-term strategies to keep your company viable for years to come. So what holds companies back from leveraging the power of marketing analytics?

Many don’t understand what marketing analytics is, how to set it up, and even how to use the data.

In part one of this guide, we’ll look at what analytical data is and how you can work it into your B2B marketing strategy. The goal is to gather data that helps you make objective decisions, improve your marketing, and doesn’t drown you in a sea of disconnected data.

What Qualifies as Analytical Data?

“Marketing analytics involves the technologies and processes CMOs and marketers use to evaluate the success and value of their efforts. As such, marketing analytics uses various metrics to measure the performance of marketing initiatives. Effective marketing analytics gathers data from all sources and channels and combines it into a single view. Teams then use the analytics to determine how their marketing initiatives are performing and to identify opportunities for improvement. It is difficult to determine the effectiveness and return on investment (ROI) of your marketing campaigns without marketing analytics.” – Amy Cross

In plain English, analytics includes any data that shows how effective your marketing and sales efforts are. It helps you identify high and low performing systems and shows you opportunities for improvement. Using analytics allows you to make objective business decisions based on reality, not emotions.

Potential data sources will depend on your marketing stack, but they will usually include:

  1. Google Analytics
  2. CRM/Marketing Automation
  3. Social Analytics
  4. PPC/SEM
  5. Heatmaps or web optimization tools (AB testing data)

Once your data sources have been set up, what’s the next step?

Best Methods for Gathering and Interpreting Your Analytical Data

You can collect all the data you want, but if you can’t interpret it, that data won’t help you make strategic choices that ensure your company’s future. Below are 4 things you can do to get the most value out of your data gathering.

  1. Set up a monthly review: Scorecards (Spreadsheets, Data Studio, Analytics Dashboards, and lead quality and quantity from your CRM). A scorecard is a good starting point for your marketing analytics because it tells you whether your metrics are improving or worsening. It also helps you identify areas to investigate further.
  2. Build strategies based on the results: Knowing which topics and channels are most popular among your audience and are driving quality leads can help guide your ad spend and content programs. Additionally, gathering demographic information on your audience will help you improve your targeting.
  3. Optimize your marketing strategies: Analytics gives you a window into the results that your marketing efforts have achieved. This helps you tie business results to specific marketing methods, which can guide your investment choices. Additionally, you can use this data to adjust your marketing strategies and improve your results.
  4. Test strategies: Analytics makes small marketing tests possible. For example, A/B testing page designs, emails, and ads can help you make incremental improvements to your marketing over time. These small tests can achieve a more significant impact on your results than throwing extra budget at an ineffective marketing method would.

Don’t Ignore the Data

“Combined with intuition, data-driven marketing has the power to embolden companies to develop game-changing products and launch campaigns that drive consumers to purchase.” – Jason Kapler

Using analytics is a better way to approach your marketing investments and gives you insight into what truly works. But it’s just the beginning.

In our next two posts, we’ll look specifically at how you can use this information to optimize and test your marketing.

Would you like a better analytics dashboard? Contact us and we’ll help you set up the right analytics reporting system for you.

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