Marketing analytics are one of the most powerful tools that marketers have access to, because they allow them to determine whether their marketing efforts are paying off or not. For most marketers, the ultimate goal is to achieve a positive return-on-investment (ROI), which means that they’re making more money from their marketing efforts than they’re putting in.
The challenge for marketers is that there are a ton of different types of marketing analytics, and so identifying the most meaningful metrics and setting key performance indicators (KPIs) can be a challenge.
When you’re building a marketing analytics team, you’re going to want to outline each of the key roles that you’re hiring for and to determine the skills people will need, the activities they’ll be responsible for, the key performance indicators (KPIs) they’ll be judged on and the experience levels they’ll require to get the job done. You should also put some thought into when to hire for each position.
In the meantime, we’re going to take a look at a few of the main types of marketing analytics, as well as the steps that you’ll want to follow to create a marketing analytics team. Let’s get started.
The Types of Marketing Analytics
Email marketing platform Mailchimp defines marketing analytics as, “A math-based discipline that seeks to find patterns in your marketing data to increase actionable knowledge that you can use in your marketing strategy to improve your marketing performance. In the world of digital marketing, analytics is critical to understanding marketing impact and predicting marketing trends, user behaviour and optimising the user experience (UX) to drive sales.”
One of the main challenges of wrapping your head around marketing analytics is to understand the different types of analytics that are available. We find that the easiest option is usually to break them down into one of the following three categories:
- Descriptive analytics: Descriptive analytics are all about looking at the past and understanding how your marketing campaigns have performed to date.
- Predictive analytics: Predictive analytics uses past data to make predictions about the future by extrapolating long-term trends. For example, if you know how many clicks your last ten emails have received, you can make an educated guess at how many your next one will get.
- Prescriptive analytics: Prescriptive analytics is a version of predictive analytics that’s used to make proactive suggestions that your team can use to make changes and improve your metrics down the line.
When you’re starting to think about your marketing analytics team, you’ll want to make provisions for each of these kinds of analytics and to understand which areas are the most important to you. Consider working with CJAM so that we can help you to get your marketing analytics team off the ground.
What Does a Marketing Analytics Team Do?
The role of your marketing analytics team is to gather, structure and process the data that your marketing campaigns are generating so that you can provide actionable insights for your marketing team. They can then use these insights to make adjustments to improve performance, generate more sales and ultimately improve your return on investment (ROI).
Key tasks for your marketing analytics team include:
- Analysing the data to find ways to improve campaign performance
- Better understanding current and potential customers
- Carrying out competitor research and comparing your performance to theirs
- Finding new ways to add value to your customers
- Help you to quantify the claims you make in your marketing assets
- Helping your marketing team to gather more (and more useful) data
- Making proactive recommendations for how your team can tackle problems and challenges
- Monitoring brand awareness within your industry
- Reporting to the C-suite to help them to make data-driven decisions about the company
- Segmenting your customer data to dive deeper into individual customer types
- Sorting through the data and cleaning it where appropriate so that it becomes more usable
- Understanding the sentiment (i.e. good, bad or neutral) that customers feel towards your company
- Unifying data from across different sources
As you can see, with so much for your marketing analytics team to accomplish, it can be difficult to tick all of the boxes. That’s why most companies decide on the half dozen or so areas that are most important to them, so that their marketing analytics team can focus on what will make a tangible difference to their business instead of just getting overwhelmed by the numbers.
Marketing Analytics Tools
There are literally thousands of different marketing analytics tools on the market, and many of them are hybrids that offer multiple different tools within a larger dashboard. Rather than trying to list every single company on the market, we’ve broken these tools down into some of the main categories that we see when we look at the marketplace:
- Attribution tools: Attribution tools are designed to help you to understand which channels are driving customers to convert on your website. That way, you’ll have a better idea of where to allocate your budget.
- Behavioural analytics tools: Behavioural analytics tools help you to understand the behaviours of people on your website and within your ecosystem. The goal is to better understand the way that leads and customers make their decisions so that you can more easily sell to them.
- Business intelligence tools: Business intelligence tools process all of the data that you have on your business, as opposed to just your marketing data. They can help you to find new ways to streamline your business across every department, marketing included.
- Customer relationship management (CRM) tools: CRM tools are interesting because they’re primarily used for actually carrying out your marketing, rather than measuring its effectiveness. Still, they provide heaps of data on who your customers are and what they’re doing.
- Dashboard tools: Dashboard tools are designed to provide you with a simple, easy-to-use dashboard that can show you your main metrics in real-time. The vast majority of marketing analytics tools include some sort of dashboard.
- Predictive analytics tools: These tools specialise in offering up predictive and prescriptive analytics and can be used in conjunction with reporting tools to provide you with a holistic view of the past, the present and the future.
- Reporting tools: Reporting tools are designed to provide you with those descriptive analytics we talked about which tell you how your company has performed in the past. They’ll usually allow you to export data-driven reports that highlight key insights to make it easier for your C-suite to understand what’s going on beneath the hood of your business.
- Web analytics tools: Google Analytics is a classic example of this, but many hosting providers offer their own analytics tools. They’re designed to help you to track what people are doing on your website, as well as where your visitors are coming from.
Some of the main players in the industry include Act-On, Adobe, Salesforce and HubSpot. Each tool has different payment plans and capabilities, so be sure to do your research to figure out which tool is best for you and your business.
One word of advice here is to pick out a tool that’s cloud-based and which runs in real-time. That will ensure that you and your team can access your marketing analytics tools from any internet-connected device and that you’ll receive insights that are based on the most up-to-date data that’s available to you.
Marketing Analytics Strategies
The strategy that you decide to use for your marketing analytics team will largely depend upon your goals as a business. If your goals are all around sales, you’re going to use a different strategy to if you’re trying to build a community. That’s one of the reasons why it’s so important to set SMART goals and key performance indicators (KPIs).
Some of the most common marketing analytics strategies that you’ll see include:
- Optimising multi-channel marketing: The idea here is to use your analytical tools to determine which channels are doing what so that you can better allocate your resources. For example, if you know that social media does a great job of introducing people to your brand and email marketing converts them into customers, you can reflect that in your messaging to boost conversions.
- Improving marketing campaign performance: By using marketing analytics to track the performance of each campaign, you can make changes on the fly to trial new approaches and to ensure that your campaign is delivering the best performance possible.
- Simplifying user/buyer journeys: User journeys can often get complex, especially for larger companies, B2B companies and those who have lengthy buying cycles. Marketing analytics can help by providing a more simplified view of what those user and buyer journeys look like in practice.
- Identifying actionable insights: Data is only any good if you can act on it, and so marketing analytics tools can help you to dig into that data and spot the actions you should take to improve your metrics and your key performance indicators (KPIs).
- Aligning marketing with sales: As your company continues to grow, it can become harder and harder to align your marketing and sales teams so that they’re both on the same page. The good news is that your marketing analytics team can help you to do this by liaising with sales and using the data they capture to ensure that the leads you’re providing are as relevant as possible.
- Demonstrating a return on investment (ROI): Demonstrating an ROI is the holy grail of marketing, and if you’re not trying to do it in some way or other, you have no way of knowing whether your marketing investment is worthwhile. There’s a real risk you’ll end up throwing good money after bad.
- Boosting conversions: Conversions come in many different forms, from email signups to social media follows and purchases. Regardless of what your conversion goal is, your marketing analytics team can help you to determine what’s helping to increase that number.
- Enhancing digital advertising: Digital advertising can be something of a mindfield because of the sheer number of different providers. The good news is that if your marketing analytics team is working closely with your implementation team, you can better understand how each different channel is performing.
- Identifying opportunities to cross-sell and upsell: Your marketing analytics team can help you to crunch the numbers and to determine which of your products and services are most closely linked in customers’ minds. You can then use this information to find new ways to cross-promote between them and to increase your overall sales.
If you’re struggling to determine which strategy will work best for you and your company, we recommend getting in touch with us at CJAM so that we can help to point you in the right direction.
How to Build a Marketing Analytics Team
Building a marketing analytics team is similar in some ways to building an inbound marketing team, in that there’s a lot of crossover between the job roles and skillsets that are required. That’s because every inbound marketing campaign requires at least some level of marketing analytics so that the marketing team can understand the impact that they’re having.
When you’re building your team, you’ll need to think of a number of different factors including the size of your current team and how large you want to grow it, as well as what your overall marketing strategy is and how analytics fit in alongside that.
You’ll also want to think about the specific structure of the analytics team. Will they work from a single location or will they be distributed across multiple locations? And will they function as part of your marketing team or as part of a larger business analytics team?
We’ve recently shared a piece on how to hire the right copywriter the first time round, and a lot of the same concepts apply here. When you’re building your marketing analytics team, make sure that you know exactly who you need to hire and what roles they’ll fulfil so that you don’t waste time talking to the wrong people.
You’re likely to want to fill some (if not all) of the following positions:
- Data Scientist: These scientists are responsible for carrying out large-scale analyses, typically using artificial intelligence and machine learning.
- Data Engineer: These engineers are tasked with designing and building the datasets that will be used by your data scientists and other analysts.
- Data Analyst: These analysts typically take the data that’s been processed either by data scientists or the platforms themselves and interpret it to provide actionable insights.
Building a marketing analytics team is all well and good, but they’ll have nothing to analyse unless you build a wider marketing team to carry out campaigns. It’s also a good idea to create a marketing operations team to provide a strong backbone for you to build on.
Other than that, you’re ready to go ahead and get started. As always, we’d love to hear how you get on, so be sure to share your thoughts in the comments so that we can keep the conversation going. You can also follow us on your favourite social networking sites for more.
Build Your Marketing Analytics Team with CJAM
If you still need some help with marketing analytics or building a marketing analytics team, we’d be more than happy to help. At CJAM, we specialise in helping you to find the right people for your business, and we do that by vetting hundreds of freelancers, agencies and partners so that you don’t have to.
Instead of spending hours in front of a computer screen, researching different companies and trying to figure out who can deliver on what they promise, get in touch with our team today so that we can help you to help yourself!
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