[Posted by Christophe Kuhner, Senior Product Manager, Neolane]
In order to get a better understanding of how marketing analytics can be used to benefit campaigns, we have dissected the process into 3 steps – understand, execute, and monitor. The goal of marketing analytics is leverage customer data for insights into customer behavior, which can then be turned into actionable campaign strategies. Failure to routinely read and analyze this ever-changing customer data can prevent marketers from developing and maintaining campaigns and messages that are relevant to target audiences.
As part of our ongoing series “A 3-Step Approach to Marketing Analytics,” we will conclude with step 3 – monitor.
What to “Monitor”
Depending on the goal of a marketing campaign, there are multiple areas of customer behavior that can be monitored to track campaign effectiveness and glean useful insights can be used to make smarter marketing decisions. Marketers should be continuously monitoring a standard set of KPIs; some of the most widely monitored include the following:
- Site traffic
- Time spent on site
- Inbound links
- Social interaction
- Open and click-through rates
- Conversion rate
- Revenue per subscriber
- Campaign ROI
Common Asked Questions in the “Monitor” Phase
At this point, marketers are largely trying to answer questions that revolve around campaign performance issues such as:
- Which offers have been the most effective over the last three days?
- What was my daily turnover in Paris in June 2010?
- How did different segments react to the last campaign?
Enabling the “Monitor” Step with Technology
Marketers have several platform options to choose from when implementing a marketing analytics system. The best choice is one that can be easily integrated into the current business culture, is easy to learn, and doesn’t require a specialist to decipher the data. The following are various technology platforms used to monitor marketing analytics:
- Data visualization: Marketers tend to be creative and visual learners who are more capable of understanding information through charts, figures, and infographics, rather than a spreadsheet or table. By using visuals as opposed to text or numbers, marketers can analyze and isolate trends in large volumes of data.
- Predictive analysis: A program for predictive analysis incorporates data from past campaigns and provides users with access to models, statistics, and data about specific aspects of marketing. This is especially effective in the monitoring step as it allows marketers to compare past and present customer data to determine what may happen in the future and why.
- Simulation: Simulation-based performance analytics provide alternative outcomes and results for campaigns based on a variety of scenarios and outcomes. Marketers can compare simulation analytics to the actual data points for a broader look at possible outcomes; both sets of data can be implemented in future campaign decisions.
What to Do with These Metrics
Monitoring marketing analytics is only useful when applied to business objectives and outcomes. The data from customer insights should be compared to these two elements in order to determine the leading indicators of business performance. For example, a marketer who is monitoring the marketing analytics of a retail brand should be consistently monitoring KPIs of site traffic, downloads, ROI, and purchases to be evaluated for success, efficiency, and effectiveness. If there is an area that has seen a spike or drop, the marketer is responsible for locating the cause and applying it to future campaign decisions. If there is a spike in customer data in a specific KPI, the strategy being used in that area of success may also be useful in improving another area. If there is a drop in customer data, it can indicate the problem that needs to be addressed.
Integrating the “Monitor” Step with Conversational Marketing
Monitoring marketing analytics opens the door for marketers to turn quantitative data into qualitative data. Qualitative data is information that can be digested and given characteristics and subjectivity beyond the numbers, and then applied to the marketing campaign cycle. Monitoring marketing analytics in conversational marketing requires marketers to concentrate on the outcome of their efforts and justify those efforts through customer behavior and data.
The “monitor” step closes the marketing analytics circle and provides marketers with insight into how to better serve customers to sustain engagement, interaction, and loyalty. By routinely conducting all three steps of marketing analytics, marketers are better equipped to fully harness “big data” and apply it to improving campaign success.