Marketing analytics seeks to maximize return on investment (ROI) by measuring and analyzing marketing performance. Despite all the successful marketers who emphasize marketing analytics as part of every successful marketing strategy, many businesses still underestimate or ignore the massive potential.
Tracking all marketing efforts is hard enough; analyzing the data is even more challenging. However, investing in marketing analytics is a proven way to increase ROI. Businesses who aren’t taking advantage of marketing analytics are leaving money on the table.
1. Start with basic analytics marketing education
When you’re new to analytics marketing, a little education will go a long way. Familiarize yourself with the subject by looking for explainer videos on YouTube created by marketing professionals. You won’t necessarily understand everything at once, but you’ll become familiar with the terms and concepts and that will help you later on.
Taking a digital marketing analytics course online is a great place to start. You’ll learn why understanding consumer patterns leads to a bigger ROI and better customer service along with how to evolve the way you measure, plan, and implement marketing strategies.
The data collected for marketing analytics can be leveraged in many different ways. By taking at least one online course, you’ll be introduced to a variety of analytics methods including artificial intelligence, machine learning, and predictive modeling.
Advanced course content will teach you how to optimize ROI-generating strategies to transform the power of your company’s marketing practices.
2. Leverage analytics driven by machine learning
Machines can recognize patterns that humans don’t see. Machine learning algorithms are an excellent way to learn about trends and identify dependencies between attributes. For example, if you’re a travel agent, you have to deal with the possibility of trip cancellations and refunds. You can manually calculate the odds of a cancellation, but that won’t tell you who is more likely to cancel.
A machine learning algorithm can learn to identify variables that make specific people more likely to cancel.
3. Avoid analyzing vanity metrics
Data analysis will give you excellent insight, but only when that data is accurate and relevant to your goals. The amount of data you can analyze is endless and some of that data will steer you in the wrong direction.
Expert digital marketer Neil Patel advises everyone to stay away from metrics that distract you from your business goals. He calls these metrics “vanity metrics” and they include:
· How many Facebook fans and followers you have
· How many times your press release has been shared
· How many website visitors you have
· How many times people retweet your content
· And other similar metrics
The above metrics don’t tell you anything about how well you’re reaching your financial goals. Gathering thousands of Facebook fans doesn’t automatically translate into paid customers.
On the other hand, engagement metrics will tell you more about how your social media marketing efforts equate to ROI. Only engagement metrics can tell you what content is performing, what content is being ignored, and what content can be further optimized.
4. Avoid manipulated, cherry-picked data
Software can be programmed to calculate and display data in misleading ways. It’s possible that some analytics programs are outputting data in graphs and charts that make marketing results look better than they actually are.
Happy customers are more likely to continue paying a monthly or yearly fee for analytics software. When customers see success reflected in charts and graphs, they might subconsciously become more loyal to their analytics program.
This website demonstrates the misleading nature of graphs and charts. Check out the graph Fox news published to show what would happen if the Bush tax cuts expired. The graph makes the situation look disastrous, but the scale starts at a high number and the scale’s increments are so tiny that even a minuscule difference would look huge.
Take your analytics software for a test drive before committing to a full term of service. Pay close attention to how the data is presented and really think about what you’re looking at.
Try to perform the same calculations manually and look at the raw numbers absent of any visual graph or chart. Visuals make data easier to digest, but you need to make sure your analytics program isn’t cherry-picking or manipulating the visual representation of that data.
ROI is tied to correct data-driven decisions
Your ROI is directly tied to the decisions you make. If you’re new to marketing analytics, consult a professional at least in the beginning to help you avoid the pitfalls of cherry-picked and manipulated data.