Did you ever make a decision based on your gut? Went right instead of left because you just had a feeling you should? Many of us make gut decisions every day, and that can be great for small decisions, but let’s face it — it’s not 100% reliable.
When it comes to making big decisions for your business, why leave something so important to chance? Marketing analytics can help back up those gut feelings with cold hard data and ensure you’re doing the right thing for your company.
Marketing analytics is the practice of measuring and analyzing marketing performance to maximize efficiency and improve return on investment. It provides an objective lens through which you can view your marketing efforts and make better use of your marketing budget.
From email marketing metrics to SEO rankings, marketing analytics applies to all aspects of your business.
In the past, marketing was just one big shot in the dark. Attribution didn’t mean much of anything, because (unless you asked point blank) you couldn’t be sure where any given lead came from. Did your last radio advertisement pull in more customers than the ad you had put on the side of the bus? You likely would never know.
Nowadays, with digital marketing as the norm, the web is (or should be) the go-to source for information and leads. Marketing analytics allows you to gather the information that you need to find high-fit leads and create a lasting foundation for growing your business.
Plus, if you’re not taking advantage of marketing analytics now, your competitors probably are. If they’re using their own information to learn and advance their business, they’re probably also learning from yours. The longer you wait to leverage marketing analytics, the further behind you will fall.
The short answer is everything. If you can think of something you want and, more importantly, know how to measure, the possibilities are endless. Marketing analytics can be leveraged for anything from the simplest of metrics to a full-scale dataset which you can build an entire campaign around.
By analyzing your website traffic metrics — things like sessions, new users and average time on page — you can better understand your website’s performance and adjust your strategy accordingly. You might look at them daily, weekly, or monthly to get a snapshot of how you’re doing, but you likely wouldn’t build or disrupt your strategy based on that information.
On the fancier side of things, there are companies like Bombora that use in-depth demographic, firmographic, and intent data to help businesses know which other businesses are searching for keywords related to them or their services. In terms of inbound sales, having the marketing analytics data to know who to reach out to and how to reach out is a huge advantage.
We can also think in terms of paid advertising. By knowing what our prospects look like online, what they want and where they are, we have a treasure trove of behavioral information that we can use to target at a highly sophisticated level and build audiences of people that “look like” our current leads.
That’s just a skim off the surface of the true potential of marketing analytics. With data behind you, any decision you make has a much higher chance of success than one made with your gut.
Guido is a Demand Generation Marketer for New Breed. He specializes in running in-depth demand generation programs internally while assisting account managers in running them for our clients.