Effective marketing relies on a lot of things coming together to create effective ads and campaigns.
The right message, the right platform, the right consumer targets: Without any one of these, the end result of a marketing campaign won’t be nearly as effective as it would be otherwise. Being able to learn from past campaigns and figure out exactly what went wrong (and what went right) is an important part of marketing, and those marketers who embrace this practice will be much more successful than those who don’t.
This insight is where marketing analytics comes into play, and why studying analytics is so important for the success of any marketing firm.
How analytics work
Before you can dive into marketing analytics, it’s important that you understand exactly what analytics are and how they work.
At the most basic level, marketing analytics looks at past performance and uses that data to revise your future marketing plans. Typically, analytics uses software-based tools to examine data from past and current marketing efforts to identify trends over time. Some of these trends can be positive, while others can be negative; regardless of which you find yourself facing, the information from these trends is then used as a guide to tweak ad campaigns in hopes of generating a higher ROI.
The desired end result of this is less financial waste and increased sales as a result of your marketing effort. However, it’s important to realize that using analytics isn’t a one-time thing. The marketplace is always evolving, and through the use of marketing analytics your company and your brands can grow along with it.
One significant use of marketing analytics is examining keywords and search terms to determine exactly what users are trying to find when they end up locating your brand.
This application not only provides useful information that can be used to fine-tune search ads that are targeted toward keywords, but it can also give you information about what consumers most closely associate your brands with. In some cases, it may even reveal which competing products consumers are looking for and wind up buying your products instead.
All of this information can make future search ads and other marketing efforts more successful.
Another useful piece of information that analytics can reveal is how consumers are interacting with your ads.
You will typically have different numbers to show how many times the ad was viewed and how many times consumers actually clicked the ad to find out more. Ads with higher click ratios are generally considered more successful since they obviously captured the attention of searchers. If you find that certain ads aren’t getting many views or are getting only a few clicks despite a large number of views, then your targeting and ad contents may need adjusting.
Analytics can also include information sourced from customer surveys or other outside data sources.
This information can be very useful, as it may include questions such as where customers first found out about your brand or product. This data may help you to determine which platforms are most effective in converting sales. If you are heavily invested in platforms that show very few conversions, it may also indicate that you need to adjust your marketing strategies to either reduce spending on those platforms or increase conversion rates.
There are a number of techniques that should be available to you when it comes to analyzing your analytics data.
All of these techniques employ statistical computations, but not all of them perform the computations in the same way. While it may be tempting to just stick with a single computation technique to ensure that your results are consistent over time, this can actually lead to you missing out on important trends in your data.
Instead of using just a single technique to analyze your marketing analytics data, it’s usually best to use at least two or three different analysis techniques each time you run analytics. Not only will this make the big trends more pronounced, but also the different techniques may actually highlight smaller trends that you weren’t aware of. These additional trends provide more useful data that you can then apply to the planning of future marketing efforts.
Reviewing and testing
Once you have analytics data and have identified trends within it, you need to figure out what those trends mean and how they apply to your marketing efforts.
Consider whether the trends suggest that consumers are responding well to certain aspects of your campaigns or if they’re simply not responding to others. If there seem to be gaps in the data, identify what should go there and make plans to collect that type of data for future analysis. Your goal is to learn as much from your analytics data as possible and to identify any areas where you need to learn more in the future.
After reviewing the data and determining what it’s trying to tell you, you might also consider testing your theories. Develop small test campaigns or designate a test market to apply what you’ve learned on a small scale, seeing whether there is a notable result compared to your brand’s standard performance. Be sure to record as much data as possible from these tests as well so that you can analyze it once complete.
Building a better marketing campaign
Marketing analytics is an ongoing process, and with each analysis and each test, you will learn more about what your consumers respond to.
The more you learn about this, the more you can apply to future marketing campaigns as well. This will, in turn, provide you with more data, helping you to hone your insight even further. The benefits should become evident as your marketing efforts become more and more effective at reaching the consumers that you want to attract.