Why your marketing analytics may be failing you
Many marketing teams face continued pressure to quantify their value within their organisations. A major factor in articulating the commercial benefits they bring, is how well they know the performance of the projects and campaigns they lead. But in many cases marketing analytics and measurement systems aren’t robust enough leading to a ‘haziness’ in reporting. This in turn produces frustration amongst the organisation’s leadership team on what marketing’s efforts are indeed contributing to the bottom line. In this article we share some common marketing analytics examples and discuss pitfalls to avoid.
When you look at the analytics toolkits many marketing teams rely on, a handful of common software products invariably pop up. Google Analytics for website traffic, Social Monitoring like Hootsuite or Sprout Social, Email marketing software such as MailChimp and CRM tools like Hubspot. The challenge with all of these is they often track one channel of a campaign in isolation.
In reality though, campaigns are often multi-faceted combining a myriad of online and offline elements across a variety of different channels.
Marketers then struggle to evaluate and quantify the bigger outcome as customers interact with different elements of a campaign. Not only does this prevent them truly evaluating the effectiveness of their efforts, it also means they can’t capitalise on a positive trend when it emerges, or take remedial action when there’s a problem.
Over-reliance on Google Analytics
A good example of this is marketers’ over-reliance on Google Analytics (GA) as the stalwart for measuring campaign effectiveness. However, GA isn’t able to evaluate the impact and effect of offline activity – say telephone responses to a TV ad campaign, take up of a door drop leaflet call to action, emails from a printed ad campaign. Yes it’s important to see what the online effect has been, but traffic to a website is only one measure. The consumer experience will be more multifaceted and quantifying that in a value (and ideally a monetary one), will be what the leaders in an organisation are keen to see.
A ‘holistic’ nirvana
Marketers therefore deserve access to more holistic data, which evaluates all the different cross-channel outcomes for a specific campaign. As well as volumes, it should include qualitative measures such as sentiment analysis and the impact on sales to get a true reflection on what holistically that campaign achieved.
At Fusion Analytics our WebFusion software has been enabling marketing teams to attribute customer behaviour outcomes across both online and offline channels. As a result they’ve been able to gain a much clearer understanding of their campaigns’ effectiveness.
Tracking often falls into two categories…
1. A tactical measurement of a specific set of activities
Tactically, lots can be done to track a series of performance measures. For example, as we can identify people when they come to a site; we can also measure the number of website visits that a Direct Mail (DM) campaign generated as well as the sales. This means that if sales performance seems to be down, we can identify if this is because the DM pack failed to get people to go to the site, or whether the website failed to convert them.
Another example of how we have helped tactical tracking was for a client who was considering whether to advertise with a national golf member ship club, or (for the same budget) 10 local clubs. Using WebFusion we tracked the emails that were sent to each of its membership bases. We found that approximately 40% of revenue came from local clubs, 20% from national clubs and 40% had been on both. This meant that 80% of people had actually seen the local golf club and using local golf clubs for advertising would generate 4 times the revenue.
2. A more strategic cross-channel approach.
In terms of the wider strategic view of marketing, as we can now see the full customer journey (including both online and offline channels), it becomes easier to decide how to attribute sales back to the marketing channel. Decisions therefore become clearer and we can reduce the number of models and assumptions.
Fasten your seatbelts
And with the speed of change only intensifying, it is important that the measurement systems marketers employ work quickly and accurately. These systems need to spot and alert teams to opportunities to adjust and/or capitalise on changing behaviour and/or popular interest at that time (not months hence).
Marketing will always believe they are the customer’s champion, however they need to have a much clearer perspective on the customer’s behaviour and that’s getting more difficult as customers interact in multiple different ways with a brand/supplier.
So have a care with how much reliance you place on your current marketing analytics systems. Are they giving you a true reflection of customer behaviour and sentiment to your organisation’s campaigns? Do they help you put a commercial value to your work for your organisation?
If your answer is somewhat hazy, then do contact us for an initial chat on E firstname.lastname@example.org or T: 0203 2875387.
We can certainly help you gain greater clarity and transparency. And, by better understanding how your on/offline activities are interacting, you’ll be able to target your organisation’s future communications to even greater effect.