For now, data is a critical competitive advantage for companies to have, and digital marketing analytics for most will be easiest starts with analytics.
Our chances of success decrease every time you don’t measure, analyze, or optimize the core business activities through crucial metrics that define our businesses today or in the future.
Leaving data utilization for competitors is a thought that should only exist in the past.
Every business has the opportunity to engage with digital marketing analytics, at least. It’s the most convenient for most companies, small, big, and startups.
The cost of tracking, analyzing, or optimization has decreased to a point where anyone can learn, create, and understand their businesses’ actual performance.
And if you’re an online business, digital marketing analytics is the essential skill your business needs.
For other types of companies, the addition of marketing analytics into your broader business analytics is also crucial.
A company built around analytics has a higher chance of succeeding in the marketplace. Finding core issues early and finding new opportunities at will.
This article will explore the topic of digital marketing analytics, why it matters, what it is, how anyone can use it, and build a solid strategy around it.
What is Digital Marketing Analytics
As an umbrella term, digital marketing analytics covers a lot. To summarize, digital marketing analytics covers everything about marketing data:
- The tracking
- The analysis
- The optimization
While digital marketing analytics usually implies using analytics of online activities (especially advertising), it can include more than these metrics.
It helps us understand the whole marketing mix of our company.
For example, the analytics of:
- Physical evidence
A successful company implements analytics across many teams and uses data to understand its right position in the marketplace.
Data helps us quantify all aspects of our business into an understandable form and to make decisions. These are some of the crucial elements of a good business.
Most modern marketing methods will have an element of analytics tied to it. And marketing channels that won’t provide detailed analytics are still trackable through the owned channels we use for conducting our business.
Every key decision-maker in business should know their digital marketing analytics basics by heart. The data itself is highly reflective to discover the health of a company, its revenue models, and tomorrow’s growth potential.
By default, marketing analytics doesn’t have to be separated from other data sources as they all impact each other.
Through digital marketing analytics, everything we do to improve the business’s opportunities of growing online and offline comes down to the way we seek knowledge and how we use it every day.
What Digital Marketing Analytics Allows Us To Do
The analytics can be tricky when necessary to compete at the highest level, but analytics by itself gets us closer to what we want to achieve.
At it’s best, analytics provides us with actionable insight into the marketing tasks we do every day. With the proper use of data, we know exactly how we are doing in terms of performance.
Digital marketing analytics allows us:
- To find the best individual digital marketing strategies
- To find the best marketing channels
- Measure and increase our online traffic (whether paid or organic through SEO)
- Discover the most optimized content types
- Measure and optimize sales funnels to increase conversions
- Define our target audiences and measure their engagement
- Track our performance and benchmark our past to our future
- Use marketing budgets efficiently.
- Improve the clickthrough rate of everything (e.g., ads, social media)
- Test new marketing ideas freely.
- Discover our competitive edge and benchmark against competitors
- And more.
With web analytics, you can track anything to benefit the business in an online business context.
While it may seem like an impossible task to decide where to start using data, let’s see how to create a strategy first.
How To Create a Digital Marketing Analytics Strategy
The best way to start designing a strategy is by defining our goals and what we want to achieve.
The goals we want to do should define our tasks. And different levels within the company should have their own goals that reflect their tasks.
For example, the managerial team uses data to track KPIs’ (key performance indicators) of general performance. The more you go down in the company’s hierarchy, the more detailed these goals will be.
While it may be beneficial for everyone to know what’s going on, everyone should know their own data-based goals and have the proper metrics and tools to achieve them.
Every business is different, and the goals that define said business will require analytics that suits them the most.
Growing data and the analytics surrounding it should always be focused rather than distracted by unneeded metrics.
You can plan the data usage of your company organically by answering these questions
- Find a problem
- What are the goals to solve the problem
- What are the metrics of the problem
- What are the tools to get the metrics of the problem?
- And who will analyze, optimize, and collect the data needed
Using these questions, you can fix most problems with data, small, unique, and large. And create a variety of reports to reflect on these problem-based questions.
When developing your digital marketing analytics strategy, you need to always keep in mind setting it according to your business changes.
Analytics setups and goals change, which means you need to update your strategies to track and analyze the data that matters.
Avoid Vanity Metrics In Your Analytics Strategy
In digital marketing analytics, any measurable metrics within your strategy might be vanity metrics.
In a nutshell, a vanity metric in analytics means a measurable metric that you think is worth measuring, but is not.
Just because a metric is crucial for someone else, it doesn’t mean measuring it with the same tenacity is profitable or even beneficial to your business.
Secondary achievements are also a source of vanity metrics within strategies.
Usually, what happens, you track your primary accomplishments, and its metrics and secondary metrics would come up out of nowhere that seems interesting.
Then you would concentrate on the secondary metrics without analyzing its impact on the overarching goals, weakening the overall performance of the primary goals.
But it’s crucial to keep an eye out for these secondary achievements and their metrics as they can create unseen growth opportunities.
Your strategy has to have a place for these vanity metrics but understands their purpose while discovering new things about your business and its development.
When the unseen opportunity arises from a vanity metric, think about increasing its impact on the greater goal and measuring the performance again.
Traffic As A Vanity Metric Example
For example, you generate 100 000 page views a month for your content marketing efforts to your website. While this would be an achievement, of course, but the marketing efforts might not pay for itself, not bringing any conversion or sales.
Therefore, in this case, measuring the increase of page views for content marketing is a vanity metric, because our end goal was sales, not traffic.
The same logic applies to any part of any digital marketing strategy.
That’s why used traffic as an example, as traffic for most is an obvious choice to benchmark performance. And it is if you want to increase traffic.
For example, you want to understand the conversions from all traffic sources to discover which source would be the best for sales.
If we go back to the example, we need to check if content marketing would bring more sales than Google ads.
But if we turn the tables and want to maximize traffic, then maximum sales would become the vanity metric. Which, to most, sounds crazy.
There are multiple use cases whereby defining vanity metrics goes against the general thought process, and that can lead to misunderstandings within different levels of teams.
And that is why analytics communication is essential in any analytics strategy.
You can again discover vanity metrics from any strategy quickly by double-checking your goals and not changing them regularly.
Continually changing goals will inevitably create vanity metrics behind it.
The Importance of Digital Marketing Analytics Tools In Your Strategy
Tools are crucial in digital marketing analytics, as they are, for the most part, doing the heavy lifting in gathering the data and making analysis easier for us every day.
There are tools for general use (think tools that gather web behavioral data) and tools for specific benefits such as improving Facebook ads’ ad performance.
But from the many tools, what should I use?
The quick answer is to use the tools that you need to achieve the predetermined goals.
For example, you need to extract the specific metrics of your users in your sales funnel. Then the answer is to get a tool that gets you those metrics effectively.
For general purpose analytics tools such as Google Analytics and Facebook Analytics, you can use these tools in the background to collect data even if you don’t have the specific data need right away.
But for specific analytics tools, look for what they can achieve, and if it fits the purpose, use it as long as you need it, as long as you don’t waste time developing your tools unless there’s nothing on the market for the job.
And in your business, use the tools that everyone wants to use, and don’t be afraid of changing the tools either.
Use The Data In Your Decision-making Process
Using the data in your core decisions is a no-brainer but something reasonably easy to forget on a day-to-day basis.
We collect and analyze the data for a reason. The reason is to gain insight into our business and how to go forward and grow.
If we don’t use the data and the insight it produces, the action of analytics is vain. Companies need to structure themselves in a way that embraces new data to improve itself over time.
And the data-driven decisions have to happen on the whole level of a company, from top to bottom. Every team should have their metrics that they follow and use daily.
And data utilization is not about creating reports for managers. It’s the implementation of data in every aspect of a company.
Companies that understand their core metrics and their impact can grow. Sometimes we forget to use analytics in minor decisions, but that as a habit can snowball into ineffective processes that keep us down and further from our goals.
In a perfect scenario, a business starts using digital marketing analytics from day one, but realistically that’s not always possible.
Different industries have a variety of needs and problems that needs solving first. But the injection of data could help in the process of solving these problems.
It’s about embedding data usage culture inside the organization and prospering through it.
Future of Data in Digital Marketing
Data and its analysis in digital marketing grow every year. As more tools come to the market that helps us understand everything we need to achieve from our goals, we need to become more data-savvy at all organizations’ levels.
As more online marketing platforms become automated through their advanced algorithms, we will need more analytics skills to understand our marketing results’ real performance.
The increase of data isn’t only an opportunity for digital marketing, but for the business and their processes as a whole.
We will see that while today there’s a competitive edge gained with data usage, that competitive edge will drop in the future as more companies start using data more effectively and broadly.
For companies, data for long has been an asset rather than a tool, increasing its importance even further.
Companies that accept data and the critical analysis of their business models and workflows will initially see growth. But as analytics gets more widespread, it will become a necessity instead of a nice-to-have.
The key takeaway to secure your business for the years to come is to start investing in analytics as soon as possible. The more complex your business gets, the more demanding proper use of analytics is and costlier.
When thinking about why analytics matters to business, we can sum it down to three main concepts: understand marketing performance, how every action impacts our company at large and gives us light for the darkness of the unknown that restricts growth.
We wanted to show you why thinking about analytics from day one is crucial for any business regardless of their business models and industries.
And for most companies, digital marketing analytics will be one of the most accessible starting points in creative analytics and data uses.
Whether you want to achieve more sales, impact, or influence, analytics helps you achieve your goals precisely with speed.
Without analytics, we won’t know whether our path for growth is wrong or not. And always keep exploring with data.