Take a look into the past – analysis of data and results from various marketing tools
The surrounding world is developing very fast and so is the technology. Digitization allows us to improve many processes related to our daily life and work. New digital technologies also mean a lot of new data which collection and analysis is extremely important – especially in the context of marketing. Why is it like that? We explain more in the article listed below.
Data measurement and analysis in digital marketing – why is it needed and for whom?
There are certainly many methods to Internet marketing, but the one that is most effective is the data-driven approach.
For a simple reason – collecting data obtained over months or years of campaigns allows us to analyze their effectiveness. Thanks to this, we can clearly specify which of the actions had a positive result and which completely failed compared to their assumptions.
Despite the fact that these data come from the past, they are a very important clue for the future and should be the basis for building a strategy as well as planning budgets.
As you can guess, data measurement should be important for everyone who deals with digital marketing. For example, these may be people responsible for:
- their websites (e.g. blogs),
- small and large e-commerce websites (own or working in marketing departments),
- activities in the field of own personal branding,
- paid and unpaid marketing activities for clients (as freelancers or marketing agencies).
However, it is not enough to collect data and analyze it out of context. It is also important to set clear goals. The analysis of achievements and the data obtained in relation to them allows us to check at what pace we are getting closer to the assumed results – is it fast enough or we need to speed up?
What does this knowledge give us? Thanks to it, we can get feedback on how to change our financial and time expenditure in relation to the work on achieving a given effect.
In addition to knowing why data analytics is so crucial for success and what true benefits it brings, it is also very important to know how to properly plan the measurement of our results and start analytical activities.
How to start measuring data?
When launching any marketing activities, regardless of whether they are paid Google Ads campaigns, SEO strategy or just running an account in social media – it is worth starting with a specific plan at the beginning.
The basic things to do are: analysis of the competition, as well as market research and checking the demand for the “goods” that we will provide to the consumer. We write theword “goods” in quotation marks, because it does not have to mean specific products in e-commerce. It can also be knowledge, digital materials or services.
It’s also worth looking at what works or doesn’t work for others in the industry. On the web, and especially in social media, there are a lot of entries from people who were at the beginning of the road that we are just entering. It is known that it is better to learn from the mistakes of others, so it is worth analyzing what experienced people say.
An important step – if not the most important at this stage of planning – is also to determine the results that we want to achieve in a given time. Only then will we be able to refer to the data that we will regularly obtain over the course of the campaign. These are called KPIs – Key Performance Indicators.
KPIs are otherwise key performance indicators. Thanks to them, we obtain information that allows us to assess whether we are on the right track to achieve our goals. They also help us understand where we are currently, what is preventing us from achieving success, and above all, what areas need improvement. These are indicators of our goals, which we are aiming for by applying all planned activities. It is worth remembering that each goal we set should be precised, accurate, measurable, time-bound and realistic to achieve, i.e. it should meet the so-called SMART principle.
It is also worth remembering that … human memory can be unreliable and it is worth having limited trust in it. At the beginning, it may seem that the assumed goals and indicators will permanently determine the direction of our actions, and thus we will remember them flawlessly. However, it is worth having them in writing and in a place that allows convenient viewing. Thanks to this, the assumed goals will not be blurred in the depths of memory, and we will be able to relate the analyzed data to them and, if necessary, edit KPIs. Depending on the perspective and how we want to track our progress, different tools can be used. They are perfect for e.g. Google or Excel sheets if you want to collect a series of data, freely edit them and use pivot tables or charts. A good choice may also be project management tools (e.g. Asana), which, with the right configuration, can give an easy overview of the implementation status of a given project and the achievement of next steps. Online versions are so convenient that the whole team can access them at any time and from most devices.
Once we have the initial information systematized, it is time to select specific indicators and tools that will help us gather the information we need. There are a lot of different technologies available on the market that help to organize and collect all the necessary content and metrics.
The last issue that should be especially remembered in collecting and analyzing data is the regularity of their collection. Only such an approach will allow us to draw conclusions that will actually be based on reliable knowledge.
How to choose the right factor that we will monitor?
The answer to the question of what to measure is not universal for every business. Certainly, it must refer to a business goal that is important to us in a given period. For example, if as a company we want to examine how we look in the eyes of candidates and we want to strengthen our position as an employer, we will focus on online opinion research and the essence of the Employer Value Preposition (EVP) indicator that we guarantee to our potential and current employees. It will be different when our attention is focused on acquiring new customers or increased product sales – then we will focus on completely different values, such as conversion on our website or analysis of shopping cart abandonment rate.
It may be problematic to choose too few or too many indicators. It is not worth limiting yourself to just one of them, but precising a few specific measures will be a much better idea than measuring everything we can get from analytical tools. An excess of data that is not of great value can make us miss the information that should interest us most in the news overload.
An adequate strategy is not everything
Besides theory, practice is equally important. Implementation can often be intimidating at the beginning of the analytics journey. One of the biggest problems faced by marketers, managers of websites and online stores, or even people responsible for sales and business development, are: the multitude of complicated functions of analytical tools, their proper use and constantly changing guidelines regarding the possibility of collecting data.
Often, it may be necessary to provide specialist assistance, which will consist in the proper implementation of tools, their configuration and the sharing of reports that contain relevant data and present them in a clear way. At MBridge, we are particularly focused on data, and every decision we make in the context of our marketing strategies and campaigns is backed up with accurate knowledge based on numbers. Therefore, analytics is crucial in our approach, but we perfectly understand that the agency’s support in collecting and analyzing a lot of data from various systems may be important only at a certain scale of business.
So, if you are just at the beginning of this road, it is worth considering what data will be crucial for you, and then answer the question: what tools allow you to collect them? There are plenty of platforms and systems on the market, that’s why we will take a closer look only at a few of the most popular ones. Remember that not all of them are free, but it is worth opting for at least trial versions that allow you to check whether the offered functionalities are sufficient for you.
In our opinion, at the beginning it is worth paying attention to those tools that enable the analysis of industry trends, but not only (more on this below). We are talking here, among others on Google Trends or Newspoint media monitoring. In the case of the Google service, we can comprehensively verify popular queries among users in terms of location and time. There are also trending topics, the ability to look for phrases that interest us and reports based on searches.
In the case of Newspoint, we are dealing with a much larger number of functions and possibilities. The platform created for media monitoring allows not only to analyze topics that are gaining popularity, but above all to track mentions of phrases that interest us. Therefore, it is a great tool to catch the potential for new content for the blog, but also a way to analyze opinions about the brand. Importantly – Newspoint collects data not only indexed in Google, but also available in social media, and even appearing in traditional media (TV, radio or press).
When it comes to the analysis of data from our website – including traffic and user behavior, Google Analytics is the undisputed leader. However, the free service from Google requires configuration and a right approach to data, because it gives really huge amounts of information. Thanks to this tool, we can study traffic and its sources on our website, conversions, shopping cart abandonment, form completions and many other indicators.
For those who want to analyze SEO data, we can start with another solution from Google, i.e. Google Search Console. The platform, known some time ago as Google Webmaster Tools, allows you to check the indexation status of your website, helps in its optimization and offers a number of data on the position for specific queries, the number of views or clicks. Another SEO software is Ahrefs – a powerful all-in-one toolset that provides a huge amount of data, and thus also knowledge. Ahrefs is also very helpful in analyzing the competition. An equally “big” tool – and it’s from the local Polish backyard – is Senuto.
Just as it is important to measure the ingredients when baking a cake, it is equally important to collect data from our campaigns and marketing activities. In order to prepare the perfect plan that is supposed to lead us to success, we must draw conclusions and implement next steps based on what we already know – what works and what is worth giving up, because it is unprofitable for us. Data collection allows you to take a look bak at the implemented solutions. Let’s take advantage of this, and we will certainly be able to save both time and budget.
Author of the article:
Aleksandra Ziemba: Marketing Specialist at MBridge – Marketing Experts. On a daily basis, she deals with the company’s own marketing, and the answer to every task or problem is a creative approach and positive energy. Privately, a fan of Scandinavian crime stories, lover of all kinds of pets and dancing.