Marketers: Are you getting value out of your analytics?
The field of marketing analytics has been around for years, yet many marketers I speak with still feel they’re not getting the most out of their data.
How do they know if their Message Map is working? Why aren’t there more conversions on their website? How do they get more engagement on social media?
I sat down with Drew Blount, founder of Kitchen Sink Analytics, for a Q&A session about marketing analytics.
Q: According to this blog, 87% of marketers say data is their company’s most underused asset. Why do you think that is?
A: As the blog references, you can have as few as 20 data collection touchpoints to as many as 500 on the customer journey. So a marketer is either overwhelmed with data or needs more. It can be hard to know what is relevant to the problem you want to solve, confidently interpret the data, and navigate toward innovative solutions.
Problem-solving takes innovation and creativity. These, in turn, take curiosity, learning, vulnerability, and more. Sadly, marketers often do not have enough time to interpret data to inform decisions and solutions.
We need to have the right mindset for right-brained solutions for left-brained problems. “Imaginative Strategies for Data-Driven Blocks” is not part of the average marketer or analyst job description. It should be, but creativity is hard to quantify, and jobs, well, those are highly quantifiable.
Q: What value can marketers gain from marketing analytics?
A: There are two ways to answer this question. What can you gain with, and what can you lose without, marketing analytics? An effective marketing analyst can return more than they cost, so it’s always a good investment.
There is a clear correlation between higher ROI and well-functioning analytics.
Consumers have increasingly higher expectations, so the more we can learn about our customers, the better. And with individuals consuming more and more media, the competition is ever-increasing for marketing. Data can easily fuel innovative marketing solutions and give you an edge over your competition. But you need to spend enough time with your data to deliver actionable insights.
With analytics, customers feel like you are speaking their language; without, it feels questionable at best. Analytics can improve your lead generation, customer loyalty, and overall business ROI.
Q: Can you give an example of how marketing analytics can help improve a company’s performance?
A: There is clear evidence that becoming data-driven increases a business’s performance. Two of the largest examples I can think of are insight in a timely manner and improved collaboration.
Timely insight translates to being able to optimize resources (time or money) elsewhere. When data is easier to understand and made available for more people to see, you gain more input from different mindsets and different backgrounds, often leading to faster, more innovative solutions.
Q: What should marketers look for in their analytics?
A: When you look at data, be mindful of the bigger picture and not just the task at hand. Data often can reveal a change in customer trends or preferences. Data can also reveal the types of products or features customers want. There is even a layer of analytics that can help marketers understand the user journey and customer support.
That said, there is one thing I always start with checking settings in all of my clients’ platforms and tools, like campaign settings. This step ensures all the platforms and tools are speaking to each other and data flows fluently.
A few pieces of data marketers can look into are install language and activity language (applied to apps with multiple languages), content performing outside the norm, and search data.
Through data analytics, we can often see images that outperform other images, even video.
For example, for one of my clients, I saw that an image of an individual with a head covering outperformed everything else. We then implemented this particular image for all other campaigns in the same region and improved our results.
In another example, I was running Google ads in English and then noticed there was more activity in French, which was unexpected. We then switched ads switched to French, which outperformed the English ads significantly.
When analyzing data, seek patterns in website activity, like search. AI search tools like Search Spring can resolve many search issues and reveal helpful trends and patterns. But more importantly, search data gives you a heads up on a change of seasons, so you know the right time to change featured or prominent products in advertisements.
Q: What advice do you have for marketers who want to begin using analytics?
A: Find a tool that works for you. Whether it is Google Sheets or Tableau, find what you can work with to handle the increasing volume and complexity of data.
If you do not have the skill set or capacity to take on analytics, find a consultant or contractor who is creative and collaborative in their approach.
The next best advice: make sure your platforms and tools are all compatible and properly implemented, as poor attribution will lead to poor user journeys.
Q: What are the best marketing analytics tools?
A: There is a long list of tools on the market today. The best ones are well-implemented Google Analytics 4 and Google Tag Manager. Any first-party data, whether it is customer relationship management (CRM) data, transaction data, or search data – attributed properly – will be helpful, especially as data regulations continue to get stricter.
These tools are the foundation of a great analytics platform and can be maintained easily. When implemented well, they give you the best chance to gather as much information firsthand about your customers. So you can create personalized messaging that matches their preferences and behaviors. And when you tack on relevant data that you can interpret quickly, you stand the best chance for success and making a positive impact on your business and ROI.
While many marketers don’t have the time for analytics, implementing simple tools or hiring a consultant can make a big difference in improving the customer journey and generating more leads.
Have questions about marketing or communications? Email me at email@example.com.
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