Businesses, whether online or not, need to continually adapt with various trends and market changes. Market trends, and customer demands and preferences change – how much more online where changes take place in a faster rate!
To keep in step with the market, merchants have set up data collection mechanisms to know website performance and have also assembled a team of marketers to expand reach and client base.
However, most web businesses have not fully processed and utilized the data gathered. Usually, figures that are looked into include site visits, unique visitors, pages viewed per visit, time spent on site, page loading time, etc.
While looking into these data is important in web analytics (i.e. site technical performance), it is not sufficient in determining business performance; hence, the need for marketing analytics.
What is marketing analytics?
Marketing analytics is defined as the measurement, management and analysis of marketing performance to optimize effectiveness and determine return of investment for marketing efforts. It promotes efficiency at work and cost-efficiency in web marketing, and gives valuable insights on customer preferences and trends.
Marketing analytics looks beyond website performance – it examines how the business activities relate with each other and offers ideas which are relevant in making decisions for improvement and investments as the business moves forward.
What makes it different from web analytics?
While web analytics focuses on the technical performance of the website, marketing analytics measure business metrics such as traffic, leads, sales, and which events transformed leads into customers. It includes data not only from the merchant’s website but also from other sources like social media, emails, and even offline events.
In addition, web analytics focuses on the page view while marketing analytics focuses on people – prospects, leads, or customers.
Why is it important for businesses?
Through marketing analytics, marketers can grasp how effective the marketing activities are and not just of the website. It helps in determining the return of investment for marketing initiatives, and how is it contributing to the achievement of business goals. The information gathered can aid in diagnosing deficiencies so marketing strategies and tactics can be adjusted to improve the marketing plan and activities.
Monitoring these campaigns promote efficiency in spending since it reveals which initiatives translate into more returns. In other words, initiatives which cost much without generating sufficient returns needs to be dropped.
In addition, the data collected can be used as leverage against competitors as it can be used as a resource in making smarter marketing decisions and formulating an effective and efficient long-term business strategy.
Furthermore, the information can provide useful user behavior data which can help give insights as to what content should be in the website – contents (or products) which will encourage and engage visitors to the website.
Where and how to start?
To have a quick start on marketing analytics, here are some questions to answer and ponder on.
How are current marketing activities?
Web analytics usually narrows focus on a site does while marketing analytics considers the bigger picture. Apart from visitor metrics, it explores what happens beyond the site (e.g. user reviews of website in forums, promotion of products in feature pages, etc.).
How are the competitors?
While many merchants are aware of competition, only a few take advantage of the data on hand as a tool to perform in the market better. Being aware where competitors invest time and resources gives the seller an insight into what area or product should be given more (or less) effort and (or) resources.
How are marketing initiatives in the long-term?
Too often business owners get caught up in what is happening at present and fail to see a wider perspective and plan ahead. Some marketing initiatives that worked then may not be that efficient today. Take for example marketing through emails versus doing it in social media – which is more effective in finding prospects, generating leads, and getting customers? Are marketers considering social media marketing in their long-term marketing program?
Danny Donovan of Dsquared Media, remarked that “a good social media marketing strategy can tap into an almost limitless potential customer base and generate great traffic to a website. It is greatly effective because it can be interactive and potentially puts the company and product in front of potential customers on a daily basis.”
How can data contribute to decision-making?
It is vital to generate information which is relevant and useful for the improvement and success business. Data from marketing analytics should eventually lead to making better strategies and programs, and wiser decisions.
Businesses come and go. Usually, those that stay are those who are armed with the right information and made smart decisions.
This post is part of our contributor series. It is written and published independently of TNW.