Marketing analytics – how to start?
Marketing is changing all the time. The mediums, tactics, tech – everything is scaling up for the good of marketing. The most important part, marketing based on results and performance, is getting more and more traction among marketing professionals. Here are basic tips for the process: even if you have started it, you should continuously evaluate the directions of the marketing analytics process.
FYI: McKinsey has already conducted a study on how data and analytics are transforming the business landscape. Successful businesses are using data whereas laggers are suffering in growing speed. So let’s go!
Step 1. Know what you want to know
Think of the KPI’s you want to follow to make fast and accurate decisions with your marketing investments. (That’s usually how marketers want to run their business in successful companies.) Here’s a simple example: you could be interested in produced lead amount or what is your marketing ROI.
Step 2. Think of the sources where the value is found
The number of leads you could get from your marketing automation tool and result numbers for ROI measurement, which usually is new sales, can (should) be found in your CRM system.
Step 3. Understand the methods you’re using in your marketing
Think of all the ways and methods of how you are running your marketing activities i.e. through which channels you invest your marketing spend. This is often a broad mix of different channels, campaigns, and events. Proceed by listing all the systems and applications you use, and which store the related data. For example, Social Media tools, advertising platforms, web analytics, CRM or even internal databases or spreadsheets.
Now you have the first phase completed – congratulations. You know what you want to measure, where you have the result data and where you have the activity and spend data. You are all set to start understanding the basic Marketing-to-Revenue value chain and its outcome.
Marketing Analytics + Data Platform = Must
Now, let’s go. Get a data platform. If you want to do proper data management and enable predictive analytics (i.e. how does the future look like), you must store all your marketing performance data in one single location. Usually, this location is called a data-platform, data warehouse or data lake.
The used term doesn’t really matter, the important part is to start collecting and storing your data in various locations into a single accessible location. For now, let’s call it data storage. This enables running analytics with your data, both current and historical.
Historical data indicates what has happened in the past. This is vital when you want to build an overall understanding of your business. Current data is used to know your current stage, what is working strategically and operationally – making things better proactively is an important task for marketing.
After you have your data collected and stored, you get a couple of benefits compared to just using visualization tools to understand the data. Yes, the benefits:
- You own your own data. Data is in your own hands, not only in many of those marketing and sales systems
- You can derive predictive analysis based on the historical data
- You are agile enough to change your KPI-set at any time and adjust your dashboards to support new strategic initiatives easily.
The Second Level Of Marketing Analytics
OK, let’s get advanced. You might want to enrich your data with some external data such as competitor data, weather data, customer experience data or even market data that is relevant to your business. Now imagine the use cases where an amusement park can predict their ticket sales based on the co-effect of weather conditions, marketing spend and customer behavior or small bakery on the street corner understanding how many buns is an optimal amount to prepare for coming Sunday morning to avoid excess and waste and preparing just the right amount to serve all customers.
We already got quite far from traditional marketing reporting, which is on average unfortunately still the norm of conducting business. You might already start to understand that reporting just for sake of reporting doesn’t make any sense. Your business could be enabled with data-analytics to really drive your business performance forward: efficiency and right strategical and operatical decisions are one data-step away.
I’ll stop here and we will come back to this in our upcoming blog so stay tuned.
If you feel tempted to go for analytics (instead of reporting your boss or stakeholders the figures and abbreviation puke that they won’t understand anyway), you probably should scroll back to the top and get going.
If you want to find your “data storage” and access to a quick start: book a demo and we’ll go through your needs and our product together!
A bit about the author. I’m Madtrix’s CEO & fond of making businesses thrive with data. In my spare time, I tend to be good at sports that involve a racquet.