No matter how you look at it, analytics are a critical part of any marketing strategy. A sales funnel can generate leads, content writing can give your customers a value proposition, and graphic design can convey your message where words cannot, but without analytics you’ll never know where you stand. Analytics are more than just another marketing tool– they’re the medium through which you can tell what you’re doing right or wrong, and offer lessons to guide you on your path to success.
For digital marketing, this is especially true. While traditional marketing certainly offers ways to track performance through indicators like sales, customer traffic, mailer response rates, or survey results, digital marketing is privileged with access to a degree of specificity that traditional marketing simply doesn’t have access to. Most websites contain analytics to let you see page traffic, nearly every social media tool has an analytics suite, and even digitized traditional marketing techniques like newsletters and email blasts have access to open rates and readership timelines. On the deep end, inbound marketing tools and customer relation management (CRM) software are powerful enough to track nearly every interaction with a customer, offering a depth of information that no traditional marketing can come close to.
Simply put, analytics are ubiquitous in digital marketing, to the point that any tool that doesn’t have analytic functionality is unlikely to be picked up by advertisers. As a marketer, this kind of information availability is a goldmine, as long as you’re willing to work with the data. The first step to using any kind of analytics is to understand your marketing objective and establish your key performance indicators (KPIs). For a furniture store, this might be the number of items sold through your website and the number of calls your sales team receives. Using these KPIs, you could then determine the value of every other element of your marketing campaign through that lens. How effectively does your email marketing campaign drive visitors to the website, and once they’re there are they likely to engage with your website content? Do website visitors that find you through your Google Search Ad have a higher chance of making an online purchase? Are people who click through your Facebook advertisement likely to contact your business at a later date? These are the kinds of questions that analytics can help you answer.
This information isn’t just interesting, it’s actionable as well. It’s easy to have a “sense” or a gut feeling of how your marketing efforts are going, but it’s much more powerful to know for sure. Watching metrics like click-through rate and page views can be valuable for getting a sense of where the market for your products and services lies and what your customers are interested in seeing from you. Knowledge is power– knowing this information is valuable because it tells you where you should be spending time and effort and allows you to focus on the markets that are more likely to be successful for you. If your holiday sales event is earning your website lots of traffic, you might want to extend the sale, but if your Facebook ad spend on event promotion isn’t generating any sales on Eventbrite then you might want to reconsider your strategy. Analytics are all about measuring success so that you can understand in an objective sense what parts of your marketing campaign are working well for you, and then adjusting as you learn what’s most effective.
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