However, data can be tricky. Not only is there a ton of it, but it’s not always clear what data is the most important. Marketers often get caught up in things like new vs. returning visitors, growth of unique visitors, etc. And while that data is interesting, it doesn’t provide what marketers need: a complete picture of their performance. That’s because that data is web analytics, not marketing analytics.
Not All Analytics Are Made Equal
Google Analytics has, in a way, monopolized the thinking around analytics. When most marketers think about analytics, they think Google. Google does provide powerful analytics, and they’re important, but they aren’t the only data marketers should be looking at and analyzing. Instead, marketers should be focused on the intersection of what’s happening across marketing channels and the outcome of those happenings.
Connecting Multiple Channels
Marketers often struggle with seeing their marketing operation as a whole, particularly when they have campaigns and activities going on across multiple channels (e.g. social, email, web, direct, etc.). Marketing analytics systems do a great job of connecting those channels, allowing the marketer to see the direct relationship between the channels and better understand how that relationship is affecting the larger strategy.
Focusing on the Customer
One of the main differentiators of marketing analytics and web analytics is that marketing analytics focus completely on the prospect, from the time of the first interaction up to their most recent conversation with your company. Meghan Anderson from Hubspot puts it succinctly: “In short, marketing analytics measures people, not page views.” And the more you can learn about the people who are visiting your site and interacting with your content, the more effective you can make your overall strategy based on the insights you’ve gleaned from your marketing analytics.
Hand-in-Hand with Sales
More and more, marketing and sales are focusing on aligning their efforts. Marketing analytics can help marketers find out if their efforts are in line with sales’ priorities, and if their activities are contributing to the bottom line. This is done most effectively when integrating marketing analytics with your existing Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system, like Salesforce.com or Oracle CRM.
As you can see, analytics is an integral part of marketing. With it, you can not only get a clear picture of marketing’s performance, but you can also see how marketing is impacting the bottom line.
Lauren Carlson joined Software Advice in 2010. She writes about various topics related to CRM software, with particular interest in sales force automation, marketing automation and customer service. She has a background in the music industry, and when she isn’t writing about software, you can find her running at Town Lake and singing at local venues. She is a graduate of the University of Texas with a bachelor’s degree in journalism.