Getting the Most Out of Analytics

by Rona Hutchison, IRM Product Manager - 07/24/14

Analytics are all the rage when it comes to marketing these days. ExactTarget recently released the organization’s 2014 “State of Marketing” report. This report shows that 98 percent of marketers plan to increase or maintain spending in the coming year—with data analytics identified as the top area for increased spending.

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What is the first thing that comes to mind when you hear someone talk about analytics and marketing? For most, it is Google Analytics. Google has created one of the best brand recognition campaigns out there when it comes to analytics. There’s no doubt that Google Analytics is a great product and necessary as a tool in today’s digital marketing world to gain insight into performance. It offers helpful details into traffic sources and volume with the ability of tracking conversions. All of that said, there is so much more to marketing than just these numbers.

To help create the most effective, yet efficient marketing spend, here are key data points to keep in mind:

Set goals. Create key performance indicators for each step of the process. Monitor these metrics regularly. For example: In finance, you market for a particular product—let’s say a car loan. Your marketing produces a lead. The lead then follows a cycle that could become an application, which is then approved and funded. The metrics here are the number of leads per month for the marketing spend used, the cost per lead based on this spend, the percentage of those leads that convert to an application, the percentage that become loans, and the cost per loan. Do you see a major change from month to month? Or is there a big drop-off from data point to data point? You might notice that you normally have 800 leads per month and 400 applications. You updated your application form one month, and all of a sudden you only are receiving 200 applications. Because you are watching these metrics, you are aware that this occurred sooner rather than later and can adjust accordingly.

Put together metrics across multiple marketing channels. One channel can affect another. Marketing does not work in silos. An email campaign can have a tremendous effect on website traffic, but if you aren’t monitoring all channels, you may attribute growth to a pay-per-click ad that is currently running. If you are able to create an attribution model that shows the effects of the various marketing, it could provide tremendous insight into the performance of the overall campaign.

The most beneficial asset to a marketer is data. By using all of the metrics accessible to you, you can create a successful marketing strategy that will use your marketing dollars to their maximum potential.

 

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