5 Experts Explain How to Turn Marketing Analytics Into Effective Strategies

Smart marketers make informed decisions based on data gathered from analytics platforms and processes.

Yet far too few marketers have a firm grip on their analytics. A whopping 87% of marketers consider data the most underutilized asset in marketing organizations, according to the 2015 Global Data-Driven Marketing Survey by Teradata.

Here are some more insights from the survey - the top benefits of using data to make decisions, according to the 1,500+ marketers that participated.

So what gives? If we generally agree on the benefits of data-driven marketing - and its magnitude - realize the risks of shunning it, and concur it’s under-utilized, why not just get it in gear?

It’s complicated, that’s why.

“Companies have so many analytical options at their disposal that they often become paralyzed, defaulting to just one tool,” writes a trio of authors from McKinsey & Company, in the post Using Marketing Analytics to Drive Superior Growth. They continue, “But an integrated marketing-analytics approach is the key to driving growth.”

Advice for getting started with marketing analytics 
First, understand marketing analytics is not solely Google Analytics. Yes, you should pay some mind to your Google Analytics, extract data from it, and optimize accordingly.

However, doing marketing analytics effectively calls for gathering data from your entire spectrum of marketing channels, including traffic and conversion from SEO, online advertising, social media, and email.

Second, start simple. Gather advice from professionals who can help simplify the practice of digital marketing analytics. You’ll feel more comfortable going forward and far less likely to be overwhelmed.

Third, understand why you’re diving into the world of marketing analytics and which metrics will be most useful to help you improve your outcomes.
I recently interviewed five top digital marketers to get some expert perspective on digital marketing analytics skills as part of a project for Alexa (you can their full insights here). 

I asked each person on the expert panel similar questions regarding:
The value of analytics
Metrics to get started with and focus on
How to put analytical insights into action
Examples of data-driven marketing that drove results

Here are some of the key insights from the interviews.

Analytics for SEO
Eric Enge, co-author of 'The Art of SEO'
I asked Eric how should a search marketer should act on their analytics.

“One of the challenges with analytics is you can easily find yourself in a situation where you can spend hours digging through numbers and go deep into different rabbit holes that aren’t very productive.

So at the end of the day, once you’ve established where you have opportunities to make more money than you are now, by tying it to traffic, then it becomes a matter of how do you improve those pages for SEO so they’re more likely to rank? How can you promote those pages more effectively so they get visibility - most notably in the form of links from third-party websites, which will help your SEO rankings improve.

The thing that we do often is look at what’s going on for competitors and what’s working for them. I love competitive analytics, because it really gives you a lot of insight into who is winning on given search terms and given businesses.”

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