How Analytics Can Improve Marketing Efforts

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Zorian Rotenberg, InsightSquared
Zorian Rotenberg, InsightSquared

Once upon a time, there lived a marketing VP named Mary. Mary was determined to find leads for her sales team to work on at all costs. To help her succeed at her job of generating leads, Mary turned to basic marketing analytics, such as page views and email click-through rates from Google Analytics and marketing automation software.

Suddenly, one day, Mary realized that the leads her team produced were not being well-received by the sales team. Mary had expected the sales pipeline to be full of great opportunities; instead, what few marketing-sourced opportunities there were in there were performing poorly and being dismissed as being low-quality by the sales reps. Mary wasn't even sure which of her lead sources and campaigns were responsible for churning out such poor leads. Frazzled and overwhelmed, Mary turned back to her basic marketing analytics and found that they produced no answers or actionable insights. What was Mary to do?

Short answer: Shift gears and focus on the right marketing analytics, that's what.

Google Analytics once represented the cutting-edge of marketing metrics. Today, its capabilities and those of email automation, software barely scratch the surface in terms of providing the analysis and holistic information a marketing VP truly needs to excel at his job. Site visits and email click-through rates are relatively basic metrics that, while important, don't move the bottom line needle very much. Without regular access (read: daily) to advanced marketing analytics and reports, these VPs won't have the visibility into their marketing and sales process they need to build a predictable marketing formula.

Think of marketing analytics as the dashboard on your car. Before you drive, you have to make sure there is enough fuel in the gas tank to keep you going. As you're driving, you have to prevent the car from overheating, ensure that the gears are operating normally, and that you keep your speed under control. If something is amiss, the ‘Check Engine' light will start blinking furiously, telling you that you have a problem that needs immediate attention.

Similarly, marketing VPs need regular visibility into the nuances of their marketing efforts to keep their campaigns in working order. They need to be aware of when ‘Check Engine' lights are alerting them to serious problems that need immediate rectification.

Is the team prioritizing the right lead sources and campaigns that produce not merely the most leads, but also the best lead-to-opportunity and lead-to-deal conversion rates? Does the pipeline contribution report indicate that marketing is holding up its end of the bargain in terms of helping to keep the opportunity pipeline filled? Is the marketing cycle shortening over time, suggesting that marketing's higher-quality leads are converting to opportunities quicker? Is marketing actively contributing to the bottom line by generating leads that ultimately close as bookings?

Imagine the wealth of actionable insights that can be derived from such data and analysis. These actionable insights can be implemented to immediately solve existing pain points. For example, if the marketing cycle has shortened substantially since the implementing a comprehensive pay-per-click campaign, perhaps more marketing spend should be devoted to this area. If a series of trade shows generated few leads and produced a low return on investment, the marketing VP should choose to eschew trade shows altogether going forward.

These are but a handful of the various marketing analytics and reports available to data-driven marketing VPs for daily support. Different companies in different industries might have unique marketing and sales processes and, subsequently, different metrics to focus on. Regardless of what company or industry, the point is that marketers who operate without a deep dive into the right marketing analytics are not enabling themselves to do real marketing at an advanced strategic or tactical level. In limiting the data and reports they have access to, marketers are hamstringing themselves from taking that next step toward optimal efficiency and effectiveness in their marketing efforts.

Don't limit yourself any further. Dive headfirst into marketing analytics today and let that data and information shine a light on all the important things you need to see.

Zorian Rotenberg is VP of InsightSquared.

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