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What is Marketing Analytics? Understand all about applying data in marketing strategies

What is Marketing Analytics

Marketing Analytics is an increasingly valued area. Instead of making decisions based on opinions and intuitions, companies need to analyze performance data for more accuracy and security in strategies. In this article, we’ll better understand the power of Marketing Analytics and how to apply in your business!

Marketing is often seen as a creative area of companies. That’s where the campaigns that put brands on the streets and delight the consumer come out. However, there is one part that does not appear so much, but that has great strategic importance: Marketing Analytics.

This is the analytical area of marketing, which allows you to create more accurate and efficient strategies based on data. Decisions, campaigns and creativity should be based on performance reviews so the company doesn’t get lost on the way.

Many companies, however, do not adopt Marketing Analytics. Do you know what that means? That they’re in the dark. Not knowing where they come from, if they are acting right and where they should go, they will hardly achieve the results they expect.

To give light to this path, you need to understand what Marketing Analytics is, what is its importance and how to apply in your business. That’s why we’re here! Here’s what you’ll learn in this article:

  • What is Marketing Analytics
  • What are the benefits of Marketing Analytics
  • How Marketing Analytics works
  • 6 mistakes you should avoid
  • What are the main tools
  • How to apply Marketing Analytics in your business

Let’s go, shall we? Follow us now to learn all about Marketing Analytics!

What is Marketing Analytics?

Marketing Analytics is a marketing discipline that works with data collection and analysis to understand patterns, evaluate strategies, and make better decisions.

It is the area that dives into the data to understand what results have been achieved, whether the company is on the right track and what trends are on the horizon. Therefore, it is a practice that reports the past, analyzes the present and guides the future.

Marketing Analytics is related to the concept of big data, which refers to the explosion of data in the digital world. Today companies have a multitude of data available on their performance, the market, consumers and competitors. After all, (almost) everything can be tracked, monitored and stored today.

Only this data alone is useless if the company doesn’t know how to handle it. So Marketing Analytics is the area that will devote itself to them: by creating a data driven structure and culture, the company starts to strategically track, collect and analyze data in order to achieve its marketing goals.

Thus, Marketing Analytics proves to be one of the most important business intelligence tools, which refers to the transformation of data into intelligence as a support for business management.

It is also necessary to clarify that Marketing Analytics encompasses web analytics and digital analytics. But it’s not synonymous with them, although all of these concepts use data analysis to improve the performance of a business and prepare for the future.

Web analytics refers only to the universe of web data (websites and pages). Digital analytics covers data from various interactive channels, including websites and web pages, but also mobile, social networks and others. Marketing Analytics, in turn, encompasses all marketing-related data, whether from online or offline channels.

What are the benefits of Marketing Analytics?

In an increasingly complex and competitive scenario, Marketing Analytics tends to be a differential. Shopping journeys have become chaotic, consumers have become more demanding, competitors are more attentive and resources are scarcer.

So companies that know how to use data to understand this scenario, seize opportunities, and minimize risk, can get better results.

Next, you’ll see the benefits of Marketing Analytics that can put your business ahead of competitors:

Measure the performance of strategies

Maybe that’s the main benefit of Marketing Analytics: you can monitor marketing performance and know what goes well and what can improve. This is what allows you to optimize strategies to achieve better results and achieve goals.

Quantify the ROI of strategies

One of the measurements you can make is in relation to return on investment (ROI), especially in digital marketing. That way, you can assess the impact of campaigns and strategies on the company’s cash and focus on optimizations on financial return—which, in the end, is what really matters.

Stay focused on goals

When evaluating the performance of the strategies, the intention is to verify that they are in the way of the objectives outlined by the company. Therefore, adopting Marketing Analytics is a way to keep the team always aligned with the micro and macro objectives of the business.

Understand consumer behavior

Marketing Analytics also helps you get to know the consumer better. You can collect data about your audience’s profile across different channels, how people behave on your site, and how they react to your strategies. Thus, it is possible to create a more realistic persona and plot better strategies for it.

Monitor competitors

Marketing Analytics doesn’t just look inside. You can also collect data about your competitors’ actions and realize what they are doing, what strategies are working, and how you can prepare to face them.

Defending strategies

Those who work in marketing know the importance of presenting results. It can be for the company CEO, the area manager, the team leader, or colleagues. And to defend the strategies adopted, you need to know how to analyze data and build efficient reports.

Underpin decision-making

As we said, Marketing Analytics doesn’t just look past and present. Data analytics is essentially for the future, for the company to make better decisions and create better strategies to achieve its goals.

Increase predictability

Data analysis is not like crystal ball to predict the future. But it helps identify patterns and trends that anticipate what’s to come. Thus, predictive analytics allows the company to prepare for the risks and opportunities that are on the horizon.

How does Marketing Analytics work?

Marketing Analytics is not just about data analytics. There are previous steps that define the processes of tracking and collecting data for the analysis to fulfill its function. So let’s now look at the three fundamental steps of Marketing Analytics:

1. Track data

The first step in Marketing Analytics is to track the data. Like we said, there’s a plethora of data out there. But you won’t track them all for marketing analytics—just those generated by your marketing channels.

Paid websites, social networks, apps and media, for example, are channels that focus their digital marketing efforts. Therefore, you need to track the data of consumer interactions in these channels to understand how they are reacting to your strategies.

Let’s say, for example, that you have an e-commerce and invested in sponsored links. So you need to track down the path that shoppers at your online store have plott to identify how many came from that ad in the search engine. Thus, you can understand how many customers, how many sales and what revenue that investment generated.

To track this data, you need to use tracking parameters in the URLs and install code on your site. Later, we’ll explain how to do this.

2. Collect data

With tracking, you can access various information about the performance of your marketing strategies. Then, in a tool (automatic) or a spreadsheet (manual), you will collect the data you need to do the analysis.

But you need to focus on just them to do a productive analysis—or you could get lost in so much data.

Therefore, data collection should be guided by the KPIs of the strategy, which are those metrics related to strategic objectives. They are the ones who tell you what data you should collect to do the analysis.

To help identify these indicators, we’ve brought you the key metrics you can follow:

  • Site or blog metrics: number of sessions, number of visitors, average session duration, pages per session, traffic sources, bounce rate, conversion rate.
  • SEO metrics: organic traffic, serp position, organic conversion rate, domain authority, page authority.
  • Paid media metrics: click-through rate (CTR), paid conversion rate, cost per click (CPC), cost per thousand impressions (CPM), cost per lead (CPL), cost per acquisition (CPA).
  • Social media metrics: reach, engagement, social media traffic, social media conversion rate.
  • Email marketing metrics: delivery rate, opening rate, click-through rate (CTR), conversion rate, unsubscribe.
  • Business metrics: return on investment (ROI), customer acquisition cost (CAC), recurring monthly revenue (MRR), cost per acquisition (CPA), retention rate.

3. View data

After tracking and collecting the data, it needs to be viewed in a friendly way to do the analysis. After all, raw data doesn’t say much, but charts and tables make data intelligible.

Data visualization is one of the areas of Marketing Analytics, responsible for the visual representation of the data. This is usually done through charts, tables, maps, and other features, which are gathered into performance dashboards (or dashboards).

Data visualization is so that the analytics person can handle, cross-reference, and segment data to perceive patterns and trends and extract insights.

This would be virtually impossible only with the raw data. On the other hand, a bar chart makes evident the growth in site traffic compared to last month, for example. It is this vision that the analyst needs to have.

6 mistakes you should avoid

What are the most common mistakes of companies in Marketing Analytics? We have brought here the practices that you should avoid so as not to create bottlenecks in your processes. Follow:

1. Do not document results

There is no way to verify the performance of a strategy if you do not have records about it. And we’re not just talking about performance data, but also planning documentation, objectives, goals.

The Content Trends survey raised an interesting data about this: only 36.5% of the companies interviewed had a documented content marketing strategy. Unfortunately this is one of the main errors that make Marketing Analytics impossible.

2. Wasting time

Wasting time in the process is also a common mistake. This can happen for different reasons:

  • There is no strategy outlined, so no one knows what data is more relevant;
  • There are no tools or process automation, so the team needs to collect data, do analysis, and build reports manually;
  • There are no dedicated professionals, so data and analytics are in the background.

3. Focus only on tools

Tools are essential to optimize and streamline work. But many companies believe that the tools will solve all their problems, while the solution lies more in human resources and less in technologies.

One of the digital analytics gurus, advocates the 10/90 rule: if you invest $10 in data tools and services, you need to invest $90 in people who know how to extract value from that data. This ratio makes it clear what really makes a difference in Marketing Analytics!

4. Monitor the wrong metrics

Another common mistake is to monitor metrics that don’t matter to your business. Here at Jezweb, we call this data vanity metrics —they impress, fill with pride, but they’re superficial and don’t help you make better decisions. Likes and number of followers are usually like that.

Therefore, you need to target those metrics that really impact your business and show if you are achieving your goals. These metrics are the KPIs or key performance indicators we mentioned earlier.

5. Ignore the power of data visualization

Presenting the results of a marketing campaign to company executives needs to be impactful. But if you take the data in the form of numbers and tables without any bland, it can frustrate expectations and fail to get your message across.

This is one of the most important functions of data visualization, which has the power to transmit information more quickly and accurately, as well as delight people. Don’t forget that when putting together your marketing reports!

6. Not having organization

Marketing Analytics requires organization. You handle thousands of data from multiple sources and multiple periods to analyze different marketing strategies. Do you realize the complexity?

Therefore, you need to get organized. For example, set criteria for grouping data, take naming conventions for campaigns and marketing channels, and have a regular calendar to monitor metrics. Attitudes like these help organize Marketing Analytics routines.

What are the main tools?

Using tools is not mandatory, but they optimize Marketing Analytics. Therefore, it is important to know what are the main tools you can use.

Google Analytics is the best known and used data analytics platform, because it is quite robust even in the free version. In the Marketing Tools survey, Google Analytics appeared as the leading data collection and management tool (58.9% of companies use it).

But in addition to GA, there are several other tools to analyze the performance of strategies and get to know your audience better in different channels. Here are some of them:

How do I apply Marketing Analytics to your business?

Now, let’s get deeper into the practice of Marketing Analytics, from setting up data tracking to data driven decision making. Follow:

How do I set up data tracking?

Setting up data tracking is an essential step in Marketing Analytics. After all, you need complete and reliable data to do a good analysis.

That said, let’s now introduce some important concepts for tracking. They refer to settings and codes that you must install on your site to track users’ activities in relation to their strategies. Check:

Use UTM parameters

UTM parameters are tags that you can add to your site’s URLs to identify traffic sources.

Google offers a URL builder for this. You can set parameters for source (utm_source), media (utm_medium), and campaign (utm_campaign). If the user clicks on a summer campaign from your company on Facebook, for example, the URL could look like this:

Install the tag manager

The tag manager is a free tool from Google to make it easier to install and manage scripts for a website. These codes are inserted into the site to track users’ activities.

The Analytics tag, for example, is what lets you track all the visit data you see in the tool. Another example is the Google Ads and Facebook Ads remarketing tag, which lets you identify which users have been on a page and create remarketing campaigns.

Install tracking pixels

The tracking pixel is also a code installed on the site to allow tracking of user activities or conversions. Each advertising tool has its own, such as the Facebook pixel, the Google Ads pixel, the Hotmart pixel, and more.

It works like this: If the user clicked on a purchase ad on Instagram and reached the page that has the pixel installed, the site issues a warning to Instagram that the user was there and converted. So this information appears in the platform’s advertising reports.

Set up event tracking

Event tracker is a custom Google Analytics setting that lets you monitor certain user actions on a website. For example: download an e-book, watch a video (play, pause), scroll the page, or click an image.

Define attribution models

Attribution models are different ways to assign the merits of a conversion to marketing channels by tracking users’ paths. Templates can be set up in Google Analytics and Facebook Ads.

The most common model is the last interaction assignment, where the last channel the user accessed before making a purchase receives the credit for the conversion.

However, the shopping journey can be much more complex and move through channels that influence conversion more. Therefore, there are other models: first interaction, linear, positional, temporal and personalized.

How do I create a tracking worksheet?

After you set up data tracking, you can use tools to collect and track metrics.

But for those who are starting out in Marketing Analytics, it is interesting to create a spreadsheet and do a manual monitoring. That way, you can better understand how everything works and what data is really important, and then automate the collection in the tools.

You can create a spreadsheet in Excel yourself, but the tip is to use Google Sheets, which is stored in the cloud and lets you share with your team. You can also create a spreadsheet for each strategy, every channel, every metric—it’ll all depend on how you and your team prefer to get organized.

Let’s say, for example, that you want to track conversions generated by an ad campaign in Google Ads and Facebook Ads and understand which channel is most efficient.

First, you should create a basic worksheet to fill in with daily data for as long as the campaign lasts. Among metrics, you can monitor CTR, CPC, sales, and revenue for each channel.

Because you are manually monitoring, you will have to access the reports of each platform to collect the data. With them, then, you can already identify values and variations in the period. Then you will see what is more interesting is to build graphics for easy analysis.

Of course, here we simplify the data and the table, with hypothetical values, just to better understand. But as you become familiar with spreadsheets, you can make this follow-up more complete.

In addition, with a little more resourcefulness in the spreadsheets, you can also extract the data from the platforms directly to the worksheets, without having to manually collect each data. At the end of this text, you’ll see a spreadsheet that does this (but keep reading there, ok?).

How do I view data and create reports?

The marketing dashboard or dashboard is where you view your metrics in theform of charts and tables. It works like the control panel of a car, which shows the main indicators and lights up an alert when something does not go well.

When creating charts, it is important to know how to group, segment, cross, and compare data. They are not only there to be read, but to be worked on, so that you can interpret patterns and trends and extract insights.

After all, remember which tools generate dashboards, but only people are able to generate intelligence. That’s what you’re good for!

By following the example above, you could consolidate the data into charts that show the progress of the campaign and compare the performance of each channel. 

You can still create other charts like this and build a dashboard with multiple indicators to get a complete view of strategy performance.

In addition to creating dashboards for analytics, you also need to create marketing reports to present to customers, managers, managers, and colleagues. For each of these audiences, understand which metrics are most relevant.

Managers, for example, are more interested in revenue data, average ticket, ROI. Marketing managers, in turn, need this information, but also which media generated the most revenue or which products sold the most.

Analyst reports need to further detail the performance of ads, keywords, CTR, CPC, and other data that help optimize campaigns.

A good tool for building dashboards is Google Data Studio, which allows you to integrate data from different channels, share with the team, and make scheduled report submissions. You can still customize the look to better communicate with your audience.

How to make data-driven marketing decisions?

The big secret of Marketing Analytics lies in transforming data into intelligence. They should serve companies to make better decisions for their future.

That’s the premise of data-driven marketing. All decisions go through the collection and analysis of data about campaigns, audiences and competitors, so that the company can perceive trends and define its paths more accurately and safely.

Let’s say, for example, that your goal is to increase brand awareness, and one of your KPIs is the percentage of new visitors. So in data analytics, you can segment that percentage by city, media, or campaign to extract some insights.

You may notice, for example, that a particular region of the country is bringing many new visitors in the last year. So with this information in hand, the company can investigate the motives and intensify branding efforts there.

Note that data-driven marketing decisions are focused on strategy objectives and KPIs. They never get out of sight, because they are the ones who drive the company to success.

Who should do Marketing Analytics?

Is Marketing Analytics just a concern of company managers? Or the marketing managers? After all, who should engage in this activity?

Ideally, data analysis is not unique to a professional, nor is it limited to one area of the company. Marketing Analytics should involve the entire team, from analyst to manager. Each must collect, analyze and present data according to their level of performance.

To do this, it is not enough to hire tools and push them to employees. It is necessary to train, instruct and, mainly, create a data driven culture. With this culture strengthened in the organization, no decision is made without looking at the data.

In addition, this culture is related to transparency and the exchange of information between different areas. Marketing and sales, for example, share lead data to improve conversion rates in the funnel. Instead of competitiveness between teams, the company promotes collaboration.

Finally, to finish this article, we brought a quote, attributed to engineer and statistician W. Edwards Deming: “in God we trust; all others must bring data”.

This phrase summarizes the importance of data to guide business decisions. With staff and structure to unwind them, they are able to guide companies to success. So put aside the marketing decisions based on achismos, opinions, intuitions, that tend to put your company on the wrong path.

If the future is full of uncertainties, Marketing Analytics is what your company needs to minimize risks and take the best paths.