All businesses have a wealth of data at their fingertips that can provide insights to inform marketing strategy, attract and retain customers, and boost customer satisfaction. The key, however, lies in how marketers gather, analyze, and leverage that data to achieve desired outcomes. Marketing analytics is the catalyst that enables marketers to gain actionable insights that drive results.
A Definition of Marketing Analytics
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.
It’s worth mentioning that metrics play a critical role in marketing analytics, but marketing metrics and marketing analytics are two different things. Marketing metrics refer to the data points, while analytics put the data in context and show how your marketing efforts translate to revenue.
Benefits of Marketing Analytics
Marketers cannot rely on intuition alone to get their initiatives and campaigns right, especially given the necessity of marketing for retaining customers and driving revenue. The C-Suite must see the value of your marketing initiatives, and analytics is the best way to show them. After all, you need to have a way to measure and monitor your campaigns and then demonstrate their value clearly to executives and stakeholders. The data alone doesn’t tell enough of a story to executives; you must have marketing analytics that clearly tells the story of your value and how your work relates to revenue.
Top-notch marketing analytics programs also benefit teams in other ways:
- See the big picture of marketing trends
- Identify which programs work and why
- Monitor trends for a given period and over time
- Understand the ROI of each program thoroughly
- Forecast results
One of the most valuable benefits of marketing analytics is the way in which it empowers organizations to make better decisions. If your marketing efforts remain stagnant, your company cannot grow because you are not engaging modern customers. When you use analytics, however, you can “measure proposals based on strategic return, economic value, and payback windows,” according to McKinsey & Co. Thus, marketing analytics provides a solution for measuring initiatives consistently, which results in having a more effective means of comparison. Utilizing analytics empowers organizations to make data-driven decisions, so teams become more efficient and organizations save money and time.
Marketing Analytics Best Practices
As marketers come to learn the value of delivering a consistently outstanding customer experience, marketing analytics has emerged yet again as a must-have because of its role in transforming the customer journey. Now that marketing platforms are accessible to marketing teams, including those without analytical or technical backgrounds, they are weaving data and analytics into their strategies like never before.
To that end, MarTech Today suggests five best practices for utilizing marketing analytics in the best way possible to transform the customer journey:
- Ensure high-quality data – Your analytics rest on your data. That means you need a tool that mines both structured and unstructured customer data from all possible sources, including various interactions and touch points.
- Get real-time insights – Your marketing analytics solution also needs to deliver real-time insights to you. You can’t be effective if your information is out-of-date; tracking the right metrics at the right time is key.
- Perfect your dashboard – While it may be tempting to track as many metrics as possible, your analytics will not be as useful if you do. Rather, define your goals and measure results for the use cases most important to you.
- Choose the right analytics visualization – Marketing teams and stakeholders must be able to make something of the data if you are to gain meaningful insights from it. The key is to choose the most appropriate data visualizations so you can find patterns and interpret the data. Thus, you must choose a marketing analytics solution that allows you to choose or customize your visualizations instead of using default charts for displaying data.
- Use a tool featuring machine learning and AI to predict and prescribe – Marketing must be real-time and predictive to be effective today. You must be able to make accurate predictions, analyze the data, and make data-driven decisions to enhance each step of the customer journey.
Further Reading on Marketing Analytics
For further information on marketing analytics, visit our blog. For your convenience, we have linked to three of our most recent marketing analytics posts below: