Businesses are heavily dependent on digital marketing to reach their target audience. Multiple stream sources must be managed in parallel, and companies ought to measure their impact and apply corrective adjustments for maximum effectiveness. Data and analytics take significant importance.
In this guide, we will discuss the importance of using data and analytics to study the impact of digital marketing campaigns and how they can be used to tailor any marketing strategy. Let’s get started.
What is data analytics in marketing?
We can define data analytics in marketing as the interpretation of customer behavior set into actionable information. These metrics help companies to understand the path a customer transits before making a purchase or leaving the site, allowing them to tailor content to drive maximum engagement and convert prospects into purchases.
Which metrics should we track in digital marketing?
These metrics sometimes overlap with web metrics, but marketing professionals should generally know the following stats.
Customer retention rate: Refers to the percentage of customers who return to make transactions with a company over a specific time period. It helps to analyze customer loyalty, and a high value on this metric reflects that customers are satisfied with the product or service offered by your company, willing to return, and most likely considering bringing referrals.
Customer service tends to be one of the leading causes of this metric’s low, as buyers don’t see value in the post-purchase service or when they are trying to place an order but face issues.
Conversion rate: A well-known metric, conversion rate measures the percentage of visitors on a website who take action – usually with the intent of purchasing. It is calculated by dividing the number of conversions by the total visitor count, then multiplying it by 100.
Social engagement: This metric refers to the interaction level between organizations and their social network community. The number of likes usually measures a post’s shares, comments, and direct messages. Social engagement shouldn’t be neglected as it is one way to boost brand awareness and customer loyalty.
Website traffic: Usually tracked via Google Analytics, website traffic measures your website’s number of daily/weekly/monthly/yearly visitors. This can be measured in terms of how many visitors land on your homepage, the acquisition channels, the pages they visit, or how many visitors land on a particular page (which is primordial for link-building strategies).
Cost per Click: CPC (Cost per Click) is commonly used in paid search advertising like Facebook Ads and Google Ads, and it refers to the fee advertisers have to pay each time a user clicks on an ad. This price is variable and determined by factors like the keyword’s competitiveness, ad medium, the budget allocated for the campaign, etc.
Return on Advertising Spend: ROAS (Return on Advertising Spend) is a metric to measure the profitability of an advertising campaign. We can quickly calculate this metric by dividing the revenue generated by a campaign by its cost and then multiplying it by 100 (it is represented as a percentage). Marketing professionals use ROAS to determine which channels are worth spending money on.
Setting Goals and Defining Metrics
After we glimpse which metrics are vital, it is time to select the ones relevant to the project we’re working on. The KPIs won’t be the same for an influencer looking to increase their presence or secure sponsorship deals compared to an e-commerce website that also has to measure email opening rates for its newsletters.
A good tactic to get a clear glimpse of the strategy to follow is to not only lay down the goals – which can be managed using the SMART methodology – but instead to build a roadmap that enables your team to see all the milestones the project has to transit and where the information retrieved from the data analytics help the project to reach new heights.
A roadmap template can help you easily create those graphics, as they are fully editable and remove the extra time of crafting a design for it.
Set your project goals for these timeframes: 1 month, 3 months, 6 months. That should be the average for most projects, as measuring data week by week doesn’t give a full picture. You should be able to spot a trend after 10-15 days a change is made in the marketing strategy.
Collecting & Analyzing Data
Now that your project has defined metrics, a roadmap, and goals, it is time to discuss the different methods for collecting and working with data. Digital marketers use Google Analytics as one of the core tools to retrieve information from a website.
Despite the hefty upfront payment to access its functionality, SEO tools like Semrush or Ahrefs are worth the investment. There are free tools out there, but as in everything, if you intend to set your business to success, you have to be willing to put in the investment to make it happen.
Regarding Social Media, Hootsuite and Sprout Social are the leading options for general purposes, followed by TapInfluence for influencer marketing. For email marketing, most CMS provide their native tools to track these stats, but if you work with external email managers like Mailchimp, those tools are available in the dashboard.
The next stage is to analyze the retrieved data. This process can be automated with tools like Tableau or Power BI, listing some Python libraries if the project is too complex. For smaller companies, the information is typically analyzed by hand, creating the required graphics with MS Excel or similar tools, then presenting the results in reports.
As those reports are done manually rather than in an export format from software, we recommend you work with PowerPoint templates to make it look more professional in aesthetics, as this shall be a shareable document across your company.
Using AI Tools to Analyze Data
Thankfully AI is growing daily, and marketing is no stranger to this phenomenon. We can use some AI tools to speed up our analysis performance for marketing projects; some of the tools we can recommend are:
- Optimizely: This web optimization platform helps users test UI/UX performance to improve engagement and conversion rates. With the tools listed on it, we can run A/B tests, personalized campaigns, or test functionalities without requiring code. Optimizely is an incredibly valuable asset for marketing professionals, as we can experiment with which options work best, opt for one, and then ask the developer team to work on it – hence, reducing the expenses on IT.
- AdEspresso: If you desire to test the performance of ads on platforms like Facebook, Google Ads, or Instagram, then you should add this tool to your workflow. Using machine learning algorithms, AdEspresso can analyze data on ad performance and provide us with recommendations ranging from ad target, increasing conversion rate, or increasing CTR. It also tracks ad performance in real-time, so marketing professionals can opt to pause a campaign, repurpose it, and then relaunch.
- Optimove: One common concern in email marketing is if we’re sending way too many emails to our prospects. Optimove checks the information our potential customers receive and drafts a list of customers harassed by constant communication. At the same time, it can advise which campaigns to drop based on lack of conversion or not reaching the balance in terms of money spent to run it.
Presenting the Retrieved Information to Your Team
Since e-commerce tends to work in multi-disciplinary teams, it is important to understand that not all the members involved have the same knowledge of the data you manage. You cannot present the information from your analyses in gross number format. Instead, work to create a quality presentation that covers these points:
- Agenda: Why you are holding the meeting + topics to cover.
- Insights on Data: From the information extracted, present it in a visually-appealing format, highlighting where each insight correlates with your project and where the company stands in terms of your original strategy.
- Tactics to follow: This could be in the shape of adjustments to the original marketing plan, altering delivery dates for requested assets (graphics, development projects, etc.), or sitting together to consider where missed growth opportunities are. You can represent the expected dates for each goal to be accomplished using a timeline template since it helps teams understand which tasks take priority and the impact on the overall project.
- Closure: You can set up the date for a new meeting, disclose which content you expect to see from each department involved, and so on.
Remember, if your company works on a tight budget, you can always work with free PowerPoint templates to create your communication assets. You are not compromising quality by doing so, but maybe it shall require some extra time to come up with custom results.
Benefits of Using Data Analytics in Digital Marketing Campaigns
There’s no doubt about the significance data analytics brought to marketing in general. We can work with predictive models that shape the outcome of our decisions – moving to a data-driven decision model for the organization.
Companies can no longer waste investment on marketing strategies that are not bringing profits to the table. Data analytics bring transparency to any organization and a clear view of where our actions impact each metric.
While it’s true some tools and metrics have a steep learning curve for those who recently started to work in this industry, it is also so fast-paced that you cannot flag anyone as an “expert”: the scenario can change, an algorithmic change can make it or kill it in terms of e-business revenue performance, so also consider this as a way to take hoaxes and quick money scams off the board.
Data analytics bring clarity to understanding customer behavior as never before. Without being intrusive (as it used to be with surveys and similar tools), we can tailor our product offer to the needs of our current audience or even create new ones to attract that desired “ideal customer.”
There’s plenty of room to use data analytics to benefit our digital marketing campaigns. Companies can build a competitive advantage based on factual information, redirecting efforts to the areas where growth can become exponential. Get your hands on mastering these tools for exciting new horizons.