Measuring the effectiveness of data and analytics is not as easy as people think. Add to that, most people don’t have the right idea of what data analytics really is and think that it is merely website related statistics i.e. website visitors, bounce rates, unique visitors etc. While these are an important piece of the puzzle, they are just that – part of the bigger analytics puzzle.
What marketers need to start worrying about are digital marketing analytics which cover more than just the basic website statistics. They need to focus on understanding the impact of their marketing campaigns on conversion rates, customer journey through the sales funnel, scroll rates, heat-maps and more.
So what are Digital Marketing Analytics and why do they matter? Today, although your website should always be considered the anchor to your digital presence that holds all your different online or digital marketing channels together, it is not the be all and end all of your online marketing initiatives. So in that respect, website statistics like visitors, page loading times, time on site and bounce rates matter from a webmaster’s point of view or from mainly a technical perspective. The more intuitive and intelligent aspect of digital analytics comes in the form of data that comes from email, online PR, Pay Per Click campaigns and social media.
Digital marketing analytics enable marketers to understand the effectiveness of their marketing initiatives and not just how well their website functions. With digital marketing analytics, you should be able to highlight the full picture.
How do your different social media channels integrate across the board?
With digital marketing analytics, you have a good, solid look into the direct relationships between your marketing channels. It’s great to be able to see how each of your individual channels (e.g., social media, blogging, email marketing, SEO, etc.) are performing, but the true power of analytics comes into play when you can easily tie-in the effect of the performance of multiple channels together.
Digital marketing analytics can not only tell you how many people opened the email they received from the email shots you sent but how many of those people ended up visiting your website and converted to leads by either signing up to a newsletter or downloading a document in exchange for their basic contact details. What’s even better is that you can compare different channels and see which one ended up generating the most amount of leads for you.
Getting user-centric data as opposed to mechanical or technical data
The focus for most marketers should not be website analytics. While this is an extremely important parameter to consider technically, these should be left to your IT team. What marketers should be worried about is personal data. For instance if it is through social channels, what demographic does the person fit? If it is from a website, where did he or she come from? Did they land on the website via a search engine, a blog or via facebook or Instagram or via a Google AdWords campaign? Have they signed up for anything on your website? An analytical approach to digital marketing as a whole will give you a better understanding of your customers and this kind of “lead intelligence” should be able to help you make your future marketing campaigns a success.
Getting some kind of a system to manage the data an organized historical manner
Most businesses will agree to the fact that no matter what kind of data you have on your customers, they need to be in some kind of an organized format for ready reference at any time. This can and almost always should be in the form of a CRM. Your email newsletter or blogs or even your PPC campaigns might be successful individually but you will never truly be able to measure their success and work with the data you’ve got unless you have some kind of closed loop system that can tell you whether your individual digital marketing initiatives are driving new customers, helping you retain your existing ones and contributing to your bottom line.
In closing, marketers need to remember one fundamental principle. All the data you collect from your channels is only really useful if you do something with that data. This will not only help you understand the performance levels of individual marketing channels but in the long run, you will also be able to create campaigns that are better integrated and will deliver more bottom line profitability to your company.
Barry Rodrigues is Head of Marketing & Product Development at Future Communications, Kuwait and founder of NexGen Digital. For comments, please email Barry at [email protected].