Marketing analytics should be a crucial part of any well-designed marketing plan. Without a plan for marketing analytics in place, marketers will be flying blind by lacking an understanding of what efforts are worthwhile. To understand what works, what does not, and what to do next, organize a marketing analytics plan for maximum insight into your results.
1) Identify Your Goals & Associated Metrics
First, identify the goals of your marketing efforts. Are you trying to purely drive brand awareness? Is your goal to drive more leads to fill the top of your sales funnel? Do you need to nurture existing top-funnel leads to convert to sales? Each goal will have different metrics that you should focus on to determine success. For example, brand awareness campaigns might focus on website sessions, paid impressions, and social media engagements, while lead generation campaigns should be more focused on form fills, phone calls, and other conversion actions. A lead nurture campaign will likely be more focused on retargeting metrics and email open rates, to name a few. There is such a wide variety of marketing data to analyze that it is vital to start by identifying your goals so that you can then zone in on the metrics that matter.
2) Focus on Overall Website Performance & Platform-Specific Results
Think about your marketing analytics through both a general and specific lens. It is important to see the big picture of what is happening on your website, while at the same time having the ability to dive into results by channel.
To organize your marketing analytics for maximum insight, ensure that you have tracking code throughout your entire website. Google Analytics is a great platform to know how many website visitors you are receiving and what they are doing on your website. Other platforms such as Hubspot or Adobe Analytics can also provide easy ways to track your overall website performance.
Once you have this tracking in place, analyze high-level metrics such as the total number of visitors and visitors per channel. Look at page engagement metrics such as bounce rate and time-on-site, along with the top-visited pages, and channels driving the most traffic. The trends that you see across your website will guide conversion rate optimization efforts that will help you make the most of the visitors that come from your marketing initiatives. Remember not to get tunnel vision with a narrow-minded focus on each specific marketing effort, as it is important to understand the big picture of your overall website performance.
Once you can track your website performance as a whole, it is beneficial to also dive deeper into platform-specific results. This combined approach will help your marketing team to understand the full impact of each of your marketing efforts. Platforms such as Google Ads, Adroll, Mailchimp, Constant Contact, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn all provide their own reporting in different forms. Analyze the results of your search marketing, social media advertising, and email marketing campaigns individually within each of the platforms you are using to optimize for the best results. By diligently reviewing the results of every specific campaign, you can determine which targeting works best per platform, how to allocate budgets, and more.
Regularly analyzing both the entire website’s performance and the results of each specific marketing initiative will maximize the insight gained from your marketing analytics. Marketers who take too broad of an approach to analytics will not be able to optimize specific channels appropriately, while marketers who take too narrow of an approach to analytics will inevitably struggle to see the forest through the trees. Be sure to set up all of the tracking necessary for both site-wide and channel-specific analytics.
3) Set Up Tracking To Measure Your Progress
The correct tracking must be in place to gain maximum insight from your marketing analytics program. Consider the actions on your website that are most important to track. Most likely, the first actions to set up tracking on will be on the “Contact Us” form, along with any other lead generating form fill. Similarly, e-commerce websites will prioritize the tracking of a completed checkout. Understanding the leads and sales that result from your marketing efforts will ultimately determine the success of your campaigns.
These actions can be tracked in a variety of ways. Typically, you will need to place a code across your entire website to track activity through any site-wide Analytics platform or any advertising platform. For lead generation, thank you pages can be used to identify any time a user has filled out a form or completed a process. Setting a thank you page for users to land on after taking an action makes it easy to count the number of visits to that URL, which provides a count of actions taken. Thank you pages are also helpful for tracking advertising efforts. Most advertising platforms can track leads by placing a conversion tracking code on each thank you page. When a user comes from an ad and ultimately lands on a thank you page after completing an action, this will send a signal to the ad platform, assigning credit to the ad for generating an action from the user. Thank you pages are not required, as tracking can be implemented on a number of website triggers (such as a “submit” button click), but this is a relatively simple approach. Create a thank you page for each lead-generating form fill on your website and set up tracking accordingly.
Beyond thank you page tracking, events & goals can be set up to track specific actions such as button clicks, time on site, or a number of pages visited. Each platform uses different methods of tracking, yet most work in similar ways. If you are using Google Analytics, be sure to implement Goal Tracking & Event Tracking on important actions on your website. Most importantly, focus on the metrics that you have identified to be indicators of success for your own marketing goals.
4) Create a Dashboard
Whether you use Excel, Google Sheets, Google Data Studio, or another method, it will be incredibly helpful to combine your wealth of data into one dashboard where you can review multi-channel analytics in one place. Structure your dashboard as you see fit, but keep in mind the importance of taking both a general and specific approach to marketing analytics. For this reason, it is helpful to start your dashboard with overall website KPIs and then move to different pages or tabs for each corresponding channel. Analyze your results and communicate progress efficiently to stakeholders and constituents with this organized approach.
Furthermore, certain data analytics tools, such as Google Data Studio, will enable you to build a dashboard that automatically updates data from the source without any additional manual entry. This can be an enormous time-saver that allows you to spend more time on interpreting data and campaign optimization than on compiling reports.
Following these 4 steps outlined above will help any marketer toward gaining maximum insight into their marketing programs. Learn how Nowspeed can help organize your marketing analytics & more.