Don’t Drown in Data: 3 Strategies for Better Marketing Analytics

Most marketers are currently caught in a whirlpool, comprised of data overload and increasingly complex digital marketing analytics:

We have more data than ever before, thanks to the availability of information about customers and their behavior
– The linear marketing funnel has been replaced by a self-directed buyer’s journey and non-linear engagement
– CMOs are on the firing line to clearly justify program spend and ROI through proven metrics and data

How did we get to this point of having all the data we need but none of the insights we crave? As we mentioned in “The Digital Analytics Checklist,” analytics programs built on out-of-the-box metrics are usually to blame. And those metrics are probably not aligned to your digital marketing objectives.

Here are three key strategies we recommend to help you surf the waves of marketing analytics more effectively:

1. Focus on marketing insights, not data

It’s not enough to just have data. Digital analytics is about the insights, not the numbers. Without meaningful patterns about user behavior from your data, you’re deep in the water without knowing how to swim.

You need the ability to understand whether or not your efforts are effective or relevant to your customers. You can achieve this kind of comprehension by designing analytics dashboards that better correlate to your needs, not just what the automation companies think might be useful to you. Decide what you really want to track, confirm you’re able to track it, and get your team on board to make it happen.

2. Maintain a laser focus on no more than three objectives

I bet you’ve received marketing dashboards that you don’t know how to use. Think about it: you can’t escape a whirlpool if you don’t understand what it does to the water around you. In the same vein, you can’t make use of dashboards if you don’t understand how they align to your strategy.

Make sure your dashboards are connected to your top digital marketing objectives because your objectives lay the groundwork for all insights that come after them. We discuss this process in detail in our Digital Analytics Worksheet. Check it out and download the free template to get started.

3. Put the right team in place

Many organizations have marketing analytics tools in place but don’t have the manpower or skillsets to manage them. To nurture a growing analytics program, you need people who work with you to communicate the business value and customer impact of your marketing efforts from the front lines.

Here are four types of support roles you’ll likely find useful:

    • Data Analyst: Person who analyzes data and prepares regular reports that demonstrate and/or explain trends
    • Technical Analyst: Person who manages the technical implementation of analytics on a website or digital property in order to track predefined objectives or metrics
    • Analytics Consultant: Person who helps you interpret and review existing metrics or recommends additional metrics for tracking
    • Tag Manager: Person who uses a tag management system to place and manage “tags” based on established rules

So now that you know how to successfully rebuild your analytics platform, what changes will your marketing team make in 2016?