Definition

marketing analytics

Contributor(s): Dennis Shiao

Marketing Analytics is the act of tracking, collecting and analyzing data to evaluate marketing effectiveness and guiding future marketing decisions. Marketing Analytics encompasses a wide range of data such as page views, impressions, email opens, clicks, unsubscribes and leads.

This process helps marketers understand and quantify the effectiveness of programs, campaigns and assets; allowing decisions to be made by using data rather than using one’s “gut feeling” or intuition. Analytics are embedded in reports that are produced on a regular basis (e.g., weekly, monthly). The reports are shared within the marketing team, as well as peer groups, such as Sales, Customer Support and executive management.

Beyond basic reporting, data contained in the analytics can lead to insights, which guide future decisions and actions on spending, strategy and execution. For example, a report showing zero response from one channel may direct marketers to cease advertising spend on that channel.

Business to business (B2B) marketers will also use marketing analytics to track Return on Investment (ROI) by channel, campaign and content. These ROI measures provide “closed loop” optimization -- results are fed back into the process, guiding future decisions. The results from those new decisions are then used to optimize the next phase, and so on.

Marketing Analytics Tools and Techniques

The first step in marketing analytics is instrumentation: setting up systems to capture the desired data and record it. For example, JavaScript code may be inserted on web pages to trigger calls to an organization’s web analytics system. Mixpanel and Heap are examples of marketing analytics tools. Mixpanel can be used to track user interactions in web and mobile applications, as well as be used to perform A/B tests and user surveys. Heap can track data such as emails, clicks, transactions in web , mobile, and cloud-based applications.

Once the web analytics system captures and stores data, the collected data is made available to marketers via dashboards and reports. Solutions range from simple and low-cost (e.g., spreadsheets) to complex and expensive (e.g., enterprise analytics software). Heap, for example, allows users to analyze product engagement, feature adoptions, retention, and conversion rates.

Marketing reports and dashboards are then shared with other groups, such as Sales and executive management.

This was last updated in February 2019

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