Ever wondered if analytics are worth it?

The only way you can be sure of a worthy marketing investment is when it contributes more to the growth—and thus value—of your business than it removes from your budget. Some of these efforts are far easier to track than others. Campaigns that lead to direct sales and boost commitments can be quantified, and so you feel confident when preserving them as part of your marketing strategy.

Harder to justify are the more complex efforts that yield more indirect, but far-reaching, results. Analytics is one of these hard-to-quantify yet worthy investments.

Consider this example:

If you’re trying to sell a house, cleanliness, new fixtures, and fresh paint are an absolute must for increasing chances of a favorable sale. You need those elements that create immediate attraction, generate buzz, and show off the unique quality of the property. At the same time, a reputable owner also depends on the unseen, complex, inner systems of the house: the wiring, plumbing, and foundation.

In a similar way, a business with “great bones” (great people, solid business foundation, a self-aware marketing strategy) needs the finish and polish of those sharp marketing campaigns that get direct results. On the other hand, snazzy campaigns can only get so much traction without those solid, foundational elements to support them.

Analytics are foundational to strategy

Within your marketing strategy, analytics play a foundational role by providing crucial follow-up to all your campaigns and other marketing efforts. You might think of them as your marketing strategy’s HVAC system. Analytics constantly receive data to calculate and calibrate the success or growth rate of marketing efforts for various parts of your business. Using information such as bounce-back rates, click rates, site traffic, search terms, and social media engagement, analytics help you judge whether you’re hitting your target “temperature”—a successful ROI. If you’re not, they show you where and how you need to improve, right away. In other words, without analytics, you’re probably working with the marketing equivalent of a wood stove: a lot of guesswork and hyper vigilance.

Analytics are foundational to long-term marketing success because they allow you to quickly regulate your tactics. They guide you into the direction you want to go, with timely turnaround on efforts when needed. If you neglect analytics, it’s all too easy to miss those otherwise clear patterns that would set you on the right track.

Analytics show where you really are

How do analytics guide you? First, by showing you where you really are. They show you how your marketing efforts are really doing, in detail, across channels on and offline, and allow you to use that data and compare it to your best initial attempts at guessing. In other words, analytics answer the question:

“Is my marketing really working?”

They do this in a number of ways. Here are a few:

Reveal search terms

What search terms actually lead people to your website? This replaces the guessing game. Instead of asking, “What search terms do I think will lead people to my business?” you’re gathering and leveraging the search terms prospects actually use so that you can increase your web traffic and leads.

Track keyword pathways

Once people find your site through particular search terms, where are they attracted to your site, and how long do they stay? Analytics can track the progress of prospects through your website and sort each path by keyword so that you get an idea of which keywords lead to which kinds of interactions and why. This is valuable information, especially when it comes to your strategy behind web and social media copy.

Avoid dead ends

The goal of any online marketing effort is to send prospects and customers more deeply into your marketing funnel and closer to commitment (or to a new commitment). Analytics can map your website traffic so that you see where pages are organically connecting to one another (and to other media) to send prospects/customers toward commitment, and where they are dead-ending. For example, if you have a “Free Demo” page, are visitors actually going to it? What leads them there? Does this take full advantage of your website and your marketing model?

Link social media to sales

You need to know how a prospect on social media becomes a customer or client. Analytics reveal the complex interactions between prospects’ interaction with your social media, other social media conversations, and conversions. They highlight where your activity succeeds, and where you should get more involved. Analytics are vital in measuring social media ROI.

Track “offline” marketing online

All of your offline marketing efforts typically have some link to your online presence. Whether it’s registration for a workshop, a URL to a staff contact page, or a social media handle, if “offline” prospects have a way to find you online, you can track the success of offline marketing, too.

In sum: analytics lets you square your sales goals with the reality of how customers are actually behaving, leading to better strategy and authentic consumer insight.

You can start basic analytics for free

Google Analytics offers basic analytics for free, and can be a good place to start.

Just keep in mind:

  • Anything with Google involves a quid pro quo: feeding back into Google’s network of information. They are a massive company gathering data on you.
  • You are limited to focusing on website analytics. That’s nothing to sniff at. But it is not comprehensive.
  • It’s impersonal. You’re not getting human feedback or interaction. It can tell you where you are, but not necessarily strategize where you need to go.

Finding the right analytics tool doesn’t have to be a hassle. Range, a Deluxe company, brings the solution to you. We measure adoption and usage ROI, capturing trends and performance to get you vital metrics 24/7. And we customize to meet your needs. Call today for a consultation.