Many people believe content to be the central point to any modern marketing strategy. It is certainly a key element but possibly the most important part is your data strategy. Knowledge is power and without it you open yourself to misguided comms and inaccurate targeting.
A major part of your data strategy is your analytics capabilities. If you are running always-on, global,multi-channel campaigns across many products and brands then the data available is enormous but even if you’re running small and very restricted regional campaigns there is still plenty to review.
As part of my Digital 101 series we’ll look at the basics of getting your analytics in shape in line with the trends for 2017.
Big data has been a buzz word for a few years now and has existed as a term for a lot longer. Data scale continues to become more complex and bringing this together is vital. Getting your web, social, CRM and other data sources talking is key but the real secret here is in simplification. If you are reviewing tools in 2017 then look for one that can be used by any user no matter what their data experience. Look to get into the data. Having lots is great but ensure you can really get into the detail down to individual user trends, behaviors and targeting opportunities. The businesses that spend this time and effort pin pointing opportunities will reap the rewards beyond those that are more broad brush.
Google Analytics remains a strong player here as does Adobe. Installation is simple and some of these tools remain free. Consider your tech stack – Adobe integrates best with Adobe and Google with Google. Learn how to set up goals and filters and automate as many standard reports as you can. Here you can gain great insights, even in real-time on your users and then respond quickly to them. Set up and closely monitor your eCommerce funnels and integrate with your paid platforms. Also consider importing your sales data to get a full end to end picture. Other services to consider are Webtrends, Optimizely and Kissmetrics.
This allows you to look backwards for pattern recognition and forwards in the form of predictive analytics. This is a growing area and a key part of the smart technology we see around us now. Look to take advantage of this. The more this area grows the more powerful it will become to the point of you and I having to make fewer optimisation decisions and being able to focus on other areas.
I’d recommend installing a tag manager and there are plenty to choose from again including Google and Adobe. Being able to add tags to your site easily without a tech requirement means moving faster and in digital that can never be over emphasized. If you as a marketer can easily add tags for analytics, personalization and other data and tools quickly then you can react faster and develop your digital experience at pace.
Social media now has a huge number of tools available for understanding and managing your channels. There seems to be a new one every day. With these tools you can understand you users, how is engaging with you, where and when. This allows you to shape your content strategy. Many of the platforms have native analytics built in but to get the full picture you will need others and most are reasonably priced. Brandwatch for example is a great listening and sentiment tool. SproutSocial is a solid management and analytics tool. Social reporting also exists with Google Analytics now. There are many more and I’d recommend doing some research here.
You’ll want to add your site to Google search console for SEO and this can also help you identify some basic trends and behaviors. Beyond that you should look at SEM Rush, Moz, Majestic and Woorank. Keeping an eye on link volume and quality is essential for a good SEO strategy and without using tools here you’re blind as standard web analytics will not help you. This should be a priority.
A lot to consider but this should get you started.
You can read more on analytics in my book, Digital Marketing Strategy.
If you’d like to discuss any of this in more detail just get in touch.