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How to Establish an Effective Marketing Analytics Process


Data-driven marketing analysis is pivotal to the success of any marketing effort. Without the insights and direction analytics provide, companies are behind the curve ball when it comes to establishing and maintaining a competitive advantage. Based on the information collection and analysis of data, marketers can learn how customers interact with a company’s marketing content. For example, analytics show specifics such as how many pages a visitor clicked through before leaving a website or which ads are most effective. That’s the good news. The bad news comes from the fact that the abundance of information can sometimes make it difficult to know what’s important and what isn’t.

Evolving technologies make it easier for companies to access data about their customers and prospects. Whether using automated technology, Google Analytics, surveys, focus groups or input from salespeople and others, data exists just about anywhere. If your goal is to embark on or improve upon a data-driven analysis strategy to evaluate your marketing and outreach efforts, here’s a step-by-step guide:

  1. Define your goal. Start with the aim of answering key questions. For example: What problem needs to be solved? How can we increase website traffic? What blog topics will engage our target audiences? How can we generate interest from new prospects? How can we shorten the sales cycle? Always start with a clear and defined objective that’s supported by a current baseline.
  1. Develop a plan. With any marketing initiative, there’s a need for a plan, and data analysis is no different. Once you’ve defined your goal, identify potential sources of data. You may require access to your website, social media and email software to determine response, engagement, click-through and unsubscribe rates. Narrow the scope of your plan to target information most suited to your objective. Define metrics, technologies, and strategies you are going to use. Ensure roles are defined for those involved, along with deadlines and open communication about progress.
  1. Collect data. When collecting data, focus on pulling data from multiple sources. Vary and diversify your data pool. Even if your objective is to discover specifics about a particular target market or about use on a certain social media platform, information from many resources helps marketers better understand the whole picture. For example, if you identify trends, habits and concerns of current clients, you’re better positioned to recognize hot prospects with challenges you can solve. Cast a wide net to ensure you collect feedback from many sources, and, as a result, you might discover information you didn’t know would be useful.
  1. Organize data. Before you dive deep into your analysis, take a quick surface look at your data, and make sure it can be accessed in an organized fashion. Your organizational structure is determined by the objective identified in Step 1. Whether you use spreadsheets, a data collection software package, or simple pen to paper, prioritizing data that’s most relevant to solving your problem will free up time and resources to what matters most.
  1. Analyze further. Once you have your data arranged and prioritized, conduct the analysis. Make sure you understand current industry trends and have the expertise necessary to draw sensible and accurate conclusions. Bring in fellow experts and get points of view from multiple departments for a wider perspective. Build tables or graphs and segment results by groups that make sense (demographics, industry, etc.). It is much easier to discover major trends if your data is organized effectively.
  1. Present your findings. Once trends have been identified, arrange and present findings to colleagues, partners, investors and even clients or prospects. Get input and incorporate what’s relevant. Then consider developing a white paper, blog or press release based on your findings. Whatever outreach channel you use, data-supported content is a powerful way to share and distribute your expertise.
  1. Utilize results to make decisions. Now that you’ve organized your results, sought feedback and shared input with outside sources, determine if you answered your original question. Act upon your objective with the data-driven results you amassed, and continue to review and revise as necessary to keep marketing initiatives top-notch.

Marketers rely on data to evaluate their current initiatives and analyze their value, impact, and significance. The careful analysis of this data helps marketers to zero in on what marketing efforts are making the biggest difference. Then, use that data and analysis to tweak current strategies and tactics, do away with poor performing programs, and create new ones to better engage your audiences. When data turns into insightful and responsive actions, you develop and maintain the competitive edge you seek.

    Gerri-Knilans | President of Trade Press Services

    Gerri Knilans
    President of Trade Press Services
    Gerri Knilans is president of Trade Press Services. As marketing communications strategists, serving organizations of all sizes and types since 1995, the company provides writing, media outreach and general marketing support to help clients accelerate growth and generate more visibility, credibility and name recognition in their marketplaces. For additional information,

    please visit or send an email to

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