How to use data and insight to drive your marketing forward
To create relevant customer journeys, you need to understand your customers as best and as fully as you can. Data is the vehicle for that. However, with the amount of data now available, it is becoming increasingly difficult to map out the metrics that are business relevant and should be considered for decision making – especially for businesses targeting niche audiences.
Using web analytics tools such as Google Analytics or Adobe Analytics is crucial for B2B marketers looking to gain insight into their customers’ behaviours and preferences, as well as learn how to optimise their marketing strategies and increase sales.
We’ve had a lot of practice. Our clients range from headcounts of 10 to 10,000 and span three core industries: tech, professional services, and industrial. We work across the marketing, development, and creative spectrum, so being data literate is important as we finely tune recommendations to ensure our clients are in pole position.
We have compiled our top ten tips for getting meaningful insights from your web analytics tool.
Track conversions with tags
Event Tracking can be implemented through hard coding by your website developer, but marketeers can also add the event tracking code to the site themselves by using a tag management system such as Google Tag Manager.
This can also be used to efficiently add and update any conversion tags you may want to generate through paid advertising platforms, such as LinkedIn or Twitter.
Follow naming conventions
Try to standardise the way you label your links, events, or campaign names. It will make your life much easier when it comes to reporting and will enable your colleagues to make sense of it should they need to access it.
Add tracking codes or UTMs
Ensure any links pointing to your company’s website from external marketing assets (email, organic or paid social ads, banners on 3rd party websites, etc) are tracked. Add your own custom UTM parameters or create your tracked link using Google URL Builder.
Tracked data will flow into your web analytics tool, indicating how many visits came from your marketing activity and what those people did on your website. This is hugely important to prove ROI from your marketing efforts.
Use Event Tracking
Not all website visitor actions are tracked by default, leaving you with blind spots as to whether your site visitors are doing what you want them to do.
For most B2B websites, the winning strategy is for the visitor to fill in a contact lead form, click on a contact email address, or download a pdf. Using Event Tracking to record these visitor actions and send this additional tracking data to your web analytics tool.
Set up goal conversions
It is necessary to set up goal conversions to enable easy performance comparison across all your channels, campaigns, and audience sets. Set up goals for all key visitor actions – form submissions, downloads, video plays, and outbound clicks to any website sub‑domains.
Establish which metrics are important for you
Understanding which metrics are vital for your business really helps in filtering out the different options for marketers.
While bounce rates and session times are useful in measuring site visitors, cost per conversion (CPC) is considered the best metric for comparing performance across various channels. You may notice that your ads on LinkedIn had a conversion rate of 15% and the same ads on Twitter, a 5% conversion rate, however, cost‑per‑click tends to be much higher on LinkedIn so Twitter would be a more cost‑effective channel.
Familiarise yourself with different analytics metrics
Take time to learn what the different metrics actually tell you in the analytics tool and the various ad platforms. The most useful metrics are not always offered by default, so learn what they mean and pick the right ones for your objectives.
For example, average session duration is commonly used to gauge visitor engagement levels but it's far from an accurate metric. No time is recorded for one‑page visits as Google has no end point against which it could track time. The same goes for the last page view of a multi‑page visit as it’s not included in the session time, which for a site with long blog articles could lead to misleading session times.
Before you drive off…
82% of B2B marketers said that managing the volume, variety, and velocity of data is moderately to extremely challenging. Getting it right is extra hard when targeting a niche audience. Executing these tips will make it easier to focus on what matters in deriving maximum value from your analytics journey.
Always remember, data is only half the story; context is everything – combined with the data, it’s what provides tangible and actionable insights. You could spend hours veering towards so‑called interesting data that, when it comes down to it, means little to nothing for your business. Instead of chicaning through the data obstacle course, take the direct route to the chequered flag.
The question to start with is - what are the key answers that your data should be providing and what are you going to use it for?
Segment your audience
To drive optimum results, we should look at segmenting the audiences, both when analysing performance of your site visitors and when targeting people through paid media campaigns.
In order to get the right messaging across, it’s important to customise content for different audience segments. At the simplest level, this could be separating out prospective new audiences against those who have visited your website already and are therefore further along in the decision‑making process.
Leverage demographics data
Take advantage of the wealth of demographical data available in your web analytics tool or the segment options in Google Ads or Facebook. It will show you, for example, which age group the visitor was in or where they were located. If visitors from certain cities or countries are not converting on your site, you should focus your budget on reaching just those in the places that do.
Don’t overdo the A/B testing
When running & tracking paid campaigns, don’t try to test too much at a time, as it will prevent you from understanding what works. Employ a testing strategy and test one element at a time.
For example, use two different ad creatives with the same ad copy. Draw a conclusion based on results as to which image worked better for your audience and then move on to your second test – the winning image with two different sets of ad copy.