Analytics has become such an essential part of business, that Google lists more than 12.3 million news stories mentioning analytics. My favorite is the Detroit Red Wings hockey team using analytics to improve its performance on the ice.
But nowhere is analytics as essential as in marketing. According to the CMO Council’s State of Marketing 2014 report, “63% of marketers plan on devoting more resources to analytics during the next year.”
Analytics today is the cornerstone of marketing; it’s not just that you need it, but you need to run your marketing based on it. That’s because analytics enables you to understand your customers and business better than ever before, and enables you to make more profitable decisions. Without it, you’re just guessing…
Here are 7 tips for how to do self-service marketing analytics:
1. Clarify Your Goals
The main value of analytics is it helps you better reach your business goals. Whether your aim is to acquire customers, or to identify new potential markets, analytics will provide the insights you need. Most importantly, it helps you understand your customers better and discover new opportunities.
2. Get a Numbers Guru
Your person in charge of analytics should love numbers, and be very comfortable with them. Your analytics lead needs to understand the purpose of the numbers, and what they mean from a business perspective. It’s essential that your lead be included in top-level business meetings, because they can answer your business’ most important questions.
3. Have Tools and Data
To do analytics, you need two main ingredients: tools and data. General analytics software is readily available, but it’s best to also employ specific tools like those for measuring ROI. As for data, either you have the data you need or not; if not, you need to capture it going forward.
4. Track Your Numbers
Analytics can track a vast array of statistics and information. These include site visits, page views, regions, demographics, conversions and more. But ultimately, the most important question is whether your marketing activity is generating dollars.
5. Be Persistent
It’s essential to be persistent and have a set cycle for your analytics review, and do it on a regular basis. It can be daily, weekly, or monthly, for example. Interestingly, some of the biggest businesses look at their data less often – perhaps monthly – because of the staggering volume of data they collect.
6. Measure the Money
Analytics is more than just looking at site visits, page views, and clicks. One of the keys to doing analytics effectively is to measure the money. This can be difficult, with more than 60 different marketing channels today. Analytics is an essential component of measuring your marketing ROI.
7. Take Action
The key to effective analytics is to take action. Analytics is not an exercise in generating reports. Rather, its purpose is to uncover insights, and then take applicable action to build your business.
Conclusion: Smart businesses today use analytics to make tactical choices. Looking ahead, we will increasingly see businesses using analytics to make strategic, top-level decisions. Analytics will be the basis for enterprise-wide decision-making. Indeed, the most successful companies of today already are.