Marketing is hard. Daily, marketers have to find new audiences, engage them with creative ideas, test out new concepts, justify their budgets, and defend their efforts from the onslaught of often unhappy sales teams.

The beauty of doing marketing today is that tools like Google Analytics, Omniture, or HubSpot's data and insights  make marketing easier. Data helps drive sound decisions and even settle arguments. Here's how you can use marketing analytics to solve four of your most irksome marketing challenges! 

Problem #1: I don't know what will resonate. Should I resort to scotch-induced content?

Scotch Induced MadMen Marketing Meeting

How do most marketers come up with their content ideas? Okay, it's not really after a nice full glass of scotch, but before keyword research, marketers relied on their 'gut feeling' or costly and time consuming focus groups.

Fix It :

Today's comprehensive online data about keyword traffic ( for the most part ) and website behavior shows marketers what is really driving behavior. Search and analytics are no replacement for talking to your prospects and customers, but you can get a lot more efficient and targeted with keyword analytics.

Before you create your next ebook, blog post, or even email campaign, be sure to check out your (and your competitors') traffic-driving keywords. Doing so will give you the insights to enable you to create more compelling content that focuses on the keywords and topics your target audience wants, thus attracting more of the right prospects to your site.

Problem #2: I don't know where to start. What will have the biggest impact?

Sales and Marketing Funnel

Fix It:

Enter closed-loop analytics . Dissecting your funnel to understand what's coming in at the top and the fallout at each stage along the way will help you identify the 'leakiest' parts of the funnel so you can start to fix it there. If you have stellar website traffic but only .05% of it converts into a lead, and leads close at a 50% rate, you'll pretty quickly know that you need to work on that first conversion and investigate why your offers aren't resonating or if you're driving the WRONG types of traffic to your site.

Now that's a simple example, and most funnels are more complex. But no matter your process, in order to do this, you need your analytics to integrate with your CRM system so you can map that funnel all the way to the end.

Problem #3: I don't know how to evaluate my social media. I'll just swag it.

Social Media Stats

Yes, marketers know they should be participating in social media . But so often, it's hard to justify why . Coming up with a 'swag' or ballpark estimate of value is all you can do if you aren't using analytics.

Fix It:

Not only can marketers use traffic analytics to show the volumes of traffic coming to their site from social media, but if they are using integrated marketing tools, they can also measure leads and even customers generated from a specific channel like Twitter, LinkedIn, or Facebook. Mapping dollars and cents to social media campaigns makes it a lot easier to invest in the best social media channels for your business and spend less time on those that aren't generating marketing results. Even without sophisticated tools, you can use customized, short URLs and specific landing pages dedicated to your social campaigns to track their results.

Problem #4: We missed our number, and I'm in a SMarketing war.


Have you ever seen sales and marketing managers at each others' throats when the team missed quota?  

Sales: You didn't give me enough high quality leads!

Marketing: You cherry picked and didn't work all the leads fast enough!

Sales: I worked all the leads, and even prospected my own ... 

Marketing: We spent more on lead gen programs than ever before. Some of them were even YOUR ideas ... 

Whoa... SMarketing breakdown! Data to the rescue!

Fix It:

In the world of analytics, there is less room for this type of explosion, because data helps to tell the real story. Creating and maintaining a service level agreement (SLA) between your sales and marketing departments and then measuring which type of leads (based on lead scoring) were generated and how many and quickly they were touched by sales is easier than ever. What used to become a knock-down, drag-out battle has grown up into a collaborative business discussion about tweaking lead criteria and optimizing sales processes to make the entire company successful.

If you read this post and thought, "Wait... that sounds like my company's marketing department," don't despair. With some careful implementation of marketing analytics tools, you can turn your organization into a data-driven marketing machine !

What are your favorite analytics tools, and why? What tough marketing problems have you solved with numbers this year?

( MadMenYourself Image Courtesy of AMC - Get Yours )


Originally published Dec 20, 2011 6:00:00 PM, updated July 28 2017


Marketing Analytics