Data-driven marketing: 5 best analysis and measurement practices

Posted by Dean Chester on 3 Mar, 2020
View comments Marketing
How to use your data, and that of your competitors, to ensure your marketing campaign's success.

Data analysis.

Every marketing campaign generates valuable data that can be leveraged to fine-tune it for better results. Data-driven marketing opens new doors for marketers. In fact, almost 80% of marketers say it is strategic or embedded in their work.

The data we’re talking about ranges from consumer habits to market trends. Implementing ongoing marketing data analysis and measurement strategies means you can keep up with constantly changing data to achieve the best results.

In this post, we’ll examine best practices in the measurement and analysis of marketing campaign data, as well as the benefits they bring to the table.

Identify the right metrics/KPIs

There are multiple KPIs you can track to assess how successful your marketing campaign is, but not all will be relevant. Your starting point should be your campaign goals; these will enable you to identify the right metrics to track.

We won’t be looking at sales revenue as a metric here. Instead, we’ll dive into the specifics which will enable you to spot patterns and discover correlations between your marketing actions and results.

Some of these metrics include:

  • Customer acquisition costs per channel: this tells you the financial efficiency of your marketing campaign especially if you are pursuing both inbound and outbound marketing opportunities.
  • Traffic-to-lead ratio: taking a deep dive into your website traffic will help you learn where your traffic is coming from and how many of your site visitors are converting into leads. If the ratio is low, it means that you need to work on your landing pages.
  • Lead-to-customer ratio: this metric can be divided into sales qualified leads (customers ready to buy) and sales accepted leads (sales opportunities).
  • Organic traffic: tracking organic traffic is a great way to assess your SEO efforts.
  • Conversion rates: see how many of the customers who arrive at your landing pages actually go on to perform the intended action.
  • Bounce rates: identify the pages where your visitors decide to leave your website.

Your marketing campaign should be assessed in terms of progress towards your goals. By keeping tabs on your most important KPIs while the campaign is running, you’ll be able to make any adjustments needed in real time to keep your campaign on track.

Track your website visitors

Your website is one of the central pillars of your marketing efforts, so you should make the most of all the data it can generate for you. There are many tools you can use to track your website visitors, but an obvious one to start with is Google Analytics, which dominates the traffic analysis market with a market share of 85%.

Google Analytics can provide an enormous amount of measurable data and you can fine-tune your reports to obtain precise information about your campaign, website and product performance, as well as visitor information, and much more.

It’s easy to set up, free, and comes with a multitude of features to help you understand your site visitors.

Some of the top reports you can use from Analytics are:

  • Traffic sources to see how people are getting to your website
  • Location information about your visitors
  • Landing pages where website visitors first arrive
  • The keywords that brought people to your site, in-site searches
  • Which campaigns are bringing most traffic and conversions
  • Your best and worst performing pages, bounce rates

and much more...

There are also many tools and addons you can use with Google Analytics to hone and maintain your data quality.

Leverage the data and analysis to improve your website and assess the effectiveness of your marketing strategies.

Measure against a conversion funnel

Since the ultimate goal of every marketing strategy is to make consumers carry out an intended action, such as purchasing a product or service, it's useful to consider the conversion funnel. Start by outlining the customer journey for every ongoing marketing campaign. The conversion funnel starts with the awareness stage and ends with the intended action stage.

Having a conversion funnel cover the various stages of a customer journey makes it easier to measure the metrics relevant at each point. Optimizing your marketing efforts to move the customers smoothly through the funnel will help you achieve a more successful campaign.

Demand forecasting

Demand forecasting can help you future proof your business and plan your marketing strategies in advance. By estimating the probable demand for your products and services, you will be able to utilize the resources at your disposal better and prepare your budget for scalable marketing operations.

You probably already have all the data you need to carry out demand forecasting. Analyse the data collected over various periods, such as weekly and monthly sales, to work out the demand you’re likely to see for your products. This will also help you discover any seasonal variations in demand, and allow you to prepare your campaigns accordingly.

Easter eggs.

Competitor analysis

Your strategic marketing planning should also cover an analysis of your competitors, to learn from what others are doing right - or wrong.

Once you’ve identified your most important competitors you can uncover, for example, how they generate traffic and use social media to expand their reach and bring in prospects. More importantly, you can uncover market trends, identify gaps in the market, and use this information to improve your marketing initiatives.

Analyze how they market their products and services; examine websites, including landing pages, forms, blog, and downloadable content. Use a tool like Wordtracker Inspect to check on their keyword strategy, identifying gaps and opportunities to inform your content strategy, and to see how easy or difficult it would be to rank against them.

An analysis of their backlinks and social media presence can further inform your own campaigns.

Final thoughts

Using these best practice data analysis tools and techniques puts your data and that of your competitors to good use, identifying what works and what doesn’t. Using data in real time also allows you to adjust and tweak your campaigns as they unfold, to ensure the best chance of success.

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