How to Analyze Your Marketing Data to Meet Your Business Goals
Doing business isn’t just about selling a product or a service. It’s also about finding and targeting the right customers to sell to, and that’s what marketing is all about.
As a business owner or a marketer, one of the most important aspects of running a successful business is to rely on hard data. When it comes to marketing and distributing your budget properly, working with the numbers is key. Every sound decision-making process should start by analyzing the marketing data that is already available to you. This includes reviewing customer feedback, past campaign performance, website traffic and analytics, and a range of other data.
Identify market opportunities, potential new customers, and areas where you can optimize your work processes. In simple terms, it’s all about knowing what’s working in your favor and what isn’t and adjusting as you go.
To someone with little or no experience, marketing data analysis can seem like a daunting task, especially if you want professional results. The internet is full of seemingly endless techniques, tools, and best practices, and it can be difficult to sift through all that data and extract the useful advice that you need.
Below, we will give you the main framework of how to approach marketing data analysis, what to look for, and how to interpret that based on your goals. It’s a simple yet efficient marketing data guide that can help you improve your business and achieve your objectives.
Marketing Data Analysis: 6 Simple Steps for Interpreting Your Data
1. Don’t try to analyze it all
If you try to gather every piece of data you can find and analyze it — you’ll easily get lost in a sea of numbers that may or may not mean anything to you. Instead of confusing yourself with abundant information, narrow your focus on the metrics that can provide the most relevant insights for your business.
Start with your website and set out your primary and secondary KPIs (key performance indicators). This will automatically narrow down your data pool. Examples of common primary KPIs include:
- Website traffic
- Bounce rate
- Conversion rate
- Clickthrough rate
- Cost Per Lead
- Number of leads
We’ll discuss the secondary objectives in point 2.
2. Understand your business and what specific data relates to it
Now that you have outlined the primary (a.k.a. basic) KPIs, it is time to look at the business-specific metrics you need to identify. You should choose them based on your type of business, industry, target audience, and even your revenue.
Since there is no cookie-cutter approach, we will give you some of the most common examples that different business types use.
E-commerce businesses: conversion rate, average order value, orders completed, total revenue, cart abandonment rate, drop-off rate within checkout.
B2B: page views, website traffic, generated leads.
B2C: clickthrough rate, conversion rate, number of calls, number of leads.
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3. Set data-driven goals
Now that you know the type of marketing metrics you can follow and what different types of businesses typically track, it’s time to outline the ones that are most important to you. Don’t just say, “let’s track the number of leads we get per month.” Set a specific, realistic goal for you and your team to strive to achieve. For example, your top priority may be to get more customers.
You can approach this by taking a look at the leads you got in the last year. Then, you can set an objective for the number of leads you want to have next month. You can then start answering the question of “how to make it happen.” This is the logical sequence of steps for you to follow.
Let’s look at a possible scenario:
So you pulled your web analytics and found that your best landing page generates about 10,000 visitors a month and 100 leads. This means your conversion rate is 1%. That’s unsatisfactory for you, and you decide to improve your conversion rate as opposed to increasing your web traffic. It makes more sense that way. In the past, you may have tried to improve a page by optimizing the load speed or compressing the images. However, that didn’t prove effective in boosting your conversions by more than 2%. This means two things for you and your team:
- You need to work on the other aspects of the page, such as the content itself, call-to-action, design responsiveness, and even the color scheme;
- Based on the 1% conversion rate, you can set an objective of, say, 2.5%. In other words, you want to raise your leads from 100 to 250, which means you need to increase your current leads by an additional 150.
Once you have the number and ideas on how to reach it, it’s time to experiment and see what changes would bring the most successful results. Of course, you can increase your conversion rate goals as time goes on, but it’s easy to see how you can’t expect to boost your lead conversion from 100 to 1,000 in the blink of an eye.
4. Don’t just look at the “what,” always ask the “why,” too
Looking at numbers and analyzing tendencies isn’t enough. You need to ask yourself why a certain thing is happening or why it isn’t. That applies both to your failures and your successes.
Often people will look at their high bounce rate and think, “oh, people just don’t like my page.” That’s one reason for it, but there are plenty of others that can give you greater insights and help you improve.
- It could also be that your page takes too long to load, and internet users are notoriously impatient.
- It could be that you have great content on the page, but there is no clear path or connection between your PPC ad campaign and your landing page, so the wrong people end up on your page.
- Or, it could be because you have no other links besides your call-to-action on the page, so everyone who doesn’t click your CTA counts as a bounce.
As you can see, you can analyze different metrics in many different ways. So how do you know which “why” is true? The simple answer is: by looking at multiple metrics together and finding a common trend.
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5. Analyze multiple metrics together
One of the biggest mistakes you can make when analyzing your marketing data is to look at them individually rather than looking for logical connections.
For example, you can look at the average visit duration of your website as a single number. That won’t give you much insight, however. Now, if you combine that metric with the average number of pages per visit, as well as the types of devices people use to access your website, you can get a more clear picture of how users interact with your website.
That way, you can notice areas that you need to improve in order to keep web visitors interested and potentially increase your conversion rate.
If, for example, the visit duration drastically drops when you look at people visiting from a mobile phone, then you probably need to work on your website’s mobile friendliness. Having a responsive and decluttered layout for mobile devices is key to success in today’s digital world.
To put that in perspective, let’s imagine your average visit duration is 12 minutes. If you’re selling a high-involvement product, you might consider this too low and a failure to meet your goals. Then, if you look at the average visit duration by device, you’ll likely get a whole different picture.
What if desktop users spend about 30 minutes per visit and 5% of them end up making a purchase? If that’s your general conversion goal, then you’re already completing it, but ONLY for your desktop users. This means your actual problem is with mobile users, some of which leave your website after less than 2 minutes on it. What this could tell you is that you need to work on the mobile version of your website.
In other words, looking at multiple metrics helps you see where you’re doing well and what has to be changed for the better.
6. Segment your web visitors instead of treating them like equal units
In analyzing marketing data, segmentation is key. Group your web visitors in several main groups based on how they interact with your content. This can help you leverage what’s working for the high-performing groups, as well as to identify the low-performing group that is most likely made up of uninterested users that don’t need you to spend as much time and money to attract as customers.
For example, you can segment people based on what device they’re using (mobile device or a desktop computer), where they came from (organic search, referral, PPC, etc.), or which geographic location they’re in, and the list goes on.
In the end, marketing data is just numbers. It’s your job to look at them and give them meaning. Our tips will help you sharpen your focus, identify the metrics that matter to you and your business goals, and apply appropriate analysis techniques to outline areas for improvement and generate better results.
If that sounds like too much work, you can partner with a digital marketing agency that will handle marketing data analysis for you and report the results. We’d love to help you out!
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