Based on a lot of articles that are being written, Lately, marketing metrics are increasingly important to everyone. Especially to B2B companies.
A recent study by Demand Gen found that 87% of B2B marketers that they talked to said: “marketing measurement and reporting are a growing priority for their organization.” Here’s another surprise. Only 7% of these B2B marketers said their measurement efforts were excellent, and that’s a 6% drop from 2017!
When I talk with business owners and marketers one of the questions that I always ask is “how often do you review your analytics reports.” My unscientific result to this question is that 80% of the people, that I ask that question of, look at their analytics reports less than once a month, with many more looking at their reports only a couple of times a year.
Apparently, I’m not alone. Harvard Business Review had an article that reviewed a study of Chief Marketing Officers, conducted by Duke University. These CMO’s said that they are planning huge investments in analytics over the next three years. As a percentage of their marketing budget, these CMO’s are going to go from spending 5.8% of their marketing dollars on analytics to spending, on average 17.3% of their marketing budget on analytics. That’s HUGE! This is an increase in spending of 198%!
It doesn’t seem to make sense. One of the biggest benefits of digital marketing is the ability to measure marketing results. Digital marketing can also help measure traditional marketing channels if campaigns are setup properly before their start.
So, that got me to wondering why this is happening. The demand for metrics is increasing. Pressure on marketing teams to demonstrate effectiveness is at an all-time high, but people are still not reviewing their numbers on a regular basis.
Who Owns The Data
I’m starting to see a pretty common theme, at least when it comes to web data. In many companies, there hasn’t been a plan put in place that places the ownership of data to any one department or person. Is web data taken care of by IT or by Marketing? Who is responsible for getting the data out of the system.
This is one of the great divides of digital marketing, the technology. Many marketers aren’t confident that they can get the data from their system, without causing problems. The IT dept is more than happy to pull out the data, but they’re not sure what data marketing is looking for. So, nobody owns the data.
The other issue with getting the marketing metrics, which you need to prove marketing value, is the vast volume of data that is available. There are multi-day training seminars that are built around just Google Analytics. There is so much data available it can easily become overwhelming trying to sort the data you need from the data that you don’t need.
In fact, Janneke van Geuns, head of insights and analytics at Google said: “collecting more data isn’t going to bring about better insights.” And, Janneke is just talking about the data that’s available within Google Analytics (GA). The amount of data will overwhelm you if you don’t have a clear picture of what you’re trying to communicate. Trying to manage too many metrics is worse than managing no metrics, at all. Managing large amounts of data require large amounts of resources to track and produce reams of data that call for substantial time and effort to analyze.
How To Use Data
So, now that we’ve covered why I believe we have a conflict between what CMO’s and business owners want, more marketing metrics, and what they are getting, little marketing metrics, we can start to look at how to get the marketing metrics that everyone wants without the mind-numbing work involved in getting the information.
- Goals: Define exactly what you are trying to communicate with your data. Do you really want to know how many people are coming to your website? Or, are you trying to communicate how many people are coming to your website that are in the geography that you do business in?
- KPI’s: What will be the Key Performance Indicators that you will use to measure results. If you’re trying to increase traffic to your site within your business geography, what report will you use to communicate those reports? Here’s one way to produce a report that will give you that answer.
- Consistency: Once you’ve decided on what data will give you the information that you need and what report to use to present that data, be sure that you provide that information consistently and within the same format until a major change is required.
- Business Support: Be sure that all of your reporting supports business objectives. Reporting on the traffic that is coming to your site, alone, doesn’t show value. Traffic that is coming to your site from a campaign that ultimately converts on your site, now that has value.
- Holistic Data: Use data from all of the available sources that you have to tell the whole story. GA will tell you how much traffic is coming from your social accounts. That information would be even more valuable if you knew what post or what type of post drove most of that traffic from your social account. Use the tools necessary to get all of the information. Contact us on how to get specific data from your social platforms.
Data Visualization: Tired of creating spreadsheets until your eyes cross? Setting up a data visualization dashboard will cut hours out of your reporting tasks and keep all of the people that need to know what’s happening, in the know all the time.
Digital marketing has been a game changer for marketers and business owners, but you have to setup your analytics reports with the data that gives you the answers to your business questions. Then, you have to make sure that you’ve established a method to receive those reports on a consistent basis. You’ll be amazed at how easy decisions will be, when you are using the right data to help you make them.