By Anna Condon, Junior Copywriter
Understanding marketing analytics allows marketers to be more efficient, see more success, and minimize wasted advertising spend. Despite these compelling benefits, many organizations fail to realize the potential of analytics to help measure and manage marketing performance to maximize effectiveness and optimize return on investment.
Online advertising can do incredible things for your business, but only if you are willing to put in the time it takes to analyze the data and refine your efforts. But how can you make the most of your time?
Check your marketing frequently.
With traditional marketing tactics like billboards, radio spots, circulars, or print advertisements, the expectation is that by placing the ad you’ll reach a large audience that will eventually come to recognize your brand. Sometime down the line, these ads will (hopefully) generate more sales — but you don’t have to check them every day.
However, an online ad is not like traditional marketing channels. Potential customers can click on your ad and instantly enter your storefront, so online campaigns are doing the work of both marketer and salesman. If you aren’t constantly evaluating campaign performance, you’re leaving potential sales on the table.
Track ROI, not just impressions.
Every time your ad is displayed, there is a chance for conversion. You choose a keyword. Someone searches for your keyword. At this point, securing the sale relies on the customer clicking your ad and sticking around long enough to convert.
According to Shop.org and Forrester’s State of Retailing Online 2016 study, the median conversion rate for retailers is 3 percent and the site abandonment rate sits at about 49 percent. With more consumers comparing prices and migrating across multiple purchasing channels, elevated cart (and landing page) abandonment rates are understandable. But, it means that getting customers to your site isn’t enough — and tracking clicks or impressions isn’t giving you the data you need to make the most of your marketing efforts.
Traffic-focused metrics can offer a lot of valuable data about the appeal of your ads. Conversions can tell you a lot about what happens after someone clicks on your ad, providing insight into the effectiveness of the overall customer journey. But, as helpful as traffic and conversion data can be, neither one tells you whether your campaigns are actually making you money.
If you want to make the most of your efforts, you need to track ads, keywords, and other campaign metrics all the way through to the sales they produce. While tracking ROI can be a challenge — involving extra hours and a good Customer Relationship Management platform — it’s worth it. According to Hubspot , marketers that track ROI are 12 times more likely to generate a greater year-over-year return than those that don’t track ROI.
Get rid of underperformers.
Once customers reach your website you want to make sure they convert to a lead or a sale. The best way to improve your conversions is simple, age-old advice: figure out what’s working and what isn’t.
Still, when it comes to crafting and maintaining successful marketing campaigns, knowing is only half the battle. As you consistently review and reassess your online marketing performance, you need to use that data to find campaigns and ads that aren’t performing and cut them from your game plan. The same goes for your landing pages.
If you find customers are reaching your website but immediately clicking away, it’s possible that your landing page (or lack thereof) is to blame. The easier you make it for customers to see who you are, what you can offer them, and what you’re asking in return, the more likely you are to get the conversion or make the sale. Focusing on user experience by redesigning or eliminating underperforming landing pages can help you generate more qualified leads and increase your sales.