A well-run business always follows an established strategy. Having an established strategy means having an annual plan for all departments ranging from operations to marketing. Strategic operational plans pertain to expanding operational capabilities while strategic marketing plans revolve around customer acquisition and retention so that there is a need to expand the operational capabilities in the first place. The effects of the former are easy to track wherein the output of the entire workforce can be measured in various ways. It is in the latter that qualitative and quantitative analyses become tricky.
This is precisely where marketing analytics come into the picture. Marketing analytics are fundamental to all marketing campaigns. Despite this fact, though, a lot of small to medium scale businesses tend to miss its importance. While start-ups are most guilty for neglecting the importance of marketing analytics even established businesses have been known to make the same mistake. If you’re a business owner then it is important for you to understand marketing analytics so that you can use their inherent benefits.
Marketing Analytics Defined Vis-À-Vis Web Analytics
The most widespread confusion is between marketing analytics and web analytics. It isn’t a glaring confusion either because the difference is about scale. Web analytics entails quantitatively and qualitatively analysing the impact of your online assets while marketing analytics is the same for every marketing campaign. Web analytics concerns the impact of your online marketing instruments such as your website and your social media pages.
More importantly, it mainly revolves around the technical side of things such as the time spent on website, page load times, landing pages, returning frequency, and page views. While web analytics are relevant for the marketing team also, their primary purpose is to educate the webmaster. In a nutshell, you can say that web analytics is a form of marketing analytics – a minor form or component.
Marketing analytics can be defined as the practice of evaluating the effect of marketing strategies and campaigns by way of gathering tangible data and then analysing the same for actionable intelligence. It must be noted that the discipline of marketing analytics includes gathering data in addition to analysing it.
Why Do You Need Marketing Analytics?
You need marketing analytics to get the most out of your resources. This includes everything from your marketing budget to your workforce. Here’s a question: what is the worst thing that can happen to your business, marketing wise? We’ll give you a clue. It’s not a horrible review. It’s not even the worst review in mainstream media. It is indifference. Let us explain.
You spend a lot of money on marketing to get traction amongst your audience, to be remembered, to be recalled, to be relevant, to get engagement and thus to get sales. Even when you get a negative review, it is a form of engagement. The channels of communication are open. You get to respond. Others get to listen to both sides of the story. You do it right and you not only get the aggrieved party back on board but also a number of bystanders. That is the power of engagement.
If the channels of communication don’t open, nobody finds out about you – nobody cares! This is why marketing analytics are important. Marketing analytics will reveal to you if your campaigns are engaging people and if they’re responding. It then allows you to observe and monitor the kind of responses you’re getting. So, you can tweak and modify your strategy to have more and better impact.
Types of Marketing Analytics
There is no set rule to categorise marketing analytics. The obvious demarcation can be made on platform i.e. online and offline marketing analytics. Since the platforms on which the marketing campaigns are being run are different, it is obvious that data gathering, campaign tracking, and assessment will also be done on different platforms. However, it must be added, and we will talk about this later, that it is possible to blend offline and online. For now, we’ll talk about each one by one.
Online Marketing Analytics
Online marketing is all about automation. This is precisely why, pound for pound, online marketing delivers better results. Automation is also what makes online marketing analytics so effective. In fact, in the online sphere, you’ll have so many options for implementing marketing analytics that your challenge will be picking the right one. This is in direct contrast with offline marketing analytics, where the challenge is to find the right way of gathering and assessing data.
As a matter of fact, you’ll even be spoilt for choice with respect to the type of metrics you want to track. You’ll be able to track things like the number of visitors, their source of origin, followers over multiple assets, different types of engagement metrics, and even impressions or how many you showed up in people’s radars.
Further, you’ll be able to monitor the entire sales funnel in various ways. You’ll be able to track who what kind of person entered your sales funnel from where, how far he progressed, what his behaviour was inside the sales funnel, and what convinced him to complete his journey or ditch it.
Offline Marketing Analytics
Offline marketing analytics isn’t as sophisticated as online marketing analytics largely because of the absence of automated collection or analysis of data. For example, when you see an advertisement on the television, how can the advertiser track what you do? You can discuss the product, brand, or ad. You can decide to purchase the product, research the product, or even reject it completely.
You can even note various elements of the advertisement as positive or negative but the advertiser will never get to know these insights. The only thing that an advertiser can track is whether you stay on the channel or not. This binary form of tracking doesn’t reveal anything. After all, you could just be shutting the television because you have to visit the washroom. For the advertiser, though, that is negative feedback.
Offline marketing analytics are hamstrung with the same limitations, whichever platform you consider. The best form of offline marketing analytics is when you pay an expert to do it. You hire a market research firm and have them do all kinds of studies and surveys. The results you get at the end, though, will come with the disclaimer that they’re provisional.
Technological advancement has made this gloomy picture better. You can now combine offline marketing analytics with online marketing analytics. You can present offline marketing campaigns in a way that you’re able to track responses. Consider print ads, for example. If you use QR codes in your print ads and the reader scans them, you’ll know that the ad had the right effect.
Similarly, if you offer a specific discount code in a television commercial and the user avails it, you get more data. You can even have your offline respondents do a survey on Google forms to get more actionable intelligence. There are many other ways through which you can combine online and offline marketing analytical techniques. It all depends on which convergence point you identify for your marketing campaign.