Marketing analytics software allows marketers to combine marketing data from across several marketing channels, including their website, social media, and emails, to gain greater insight into the performance of their marketing channels, understand their overall return on investment (ROI), and analyze campaigns for tactical improvements.
Because digital marketing happens across multiple channels, marketing analytics software platforms are needed to compile datasets, then provide meaningful visualizations and reports that are central to understanding marketing performance. While some marketing analytics tools report solely on the campaign performance provided by marketing, email marketing, or social media analytics tools, their usefulness grows when they can combine campaign metrics from these and other channels.
The most powerful of the marketing analytics software options act more like business intelligence software in that they give marketers the ability to connect, combine, and analyze data and audience growth from multiple channels. They’ll also be able to pull web analytics and social media analytics to provide a complete picture of the organization’s marketing efforts.
Organizations can purchase digital marketing analytics tools as standalone software or as an extension of an existing marketing automation system. Either way, there are a few key features that should be on your Must-Haves checklist.
Multichannel tracking features will combine audience data from several different campaigns on different marketing channels. For instance, a business may combine data from Google Ads, email marketing, and on-site lead forms to understand their audience interactions. Multichannel tracking tools let users combine and compare data from several different sources in a single dashboard, which deepens audience insights.
A note on marketing channels: some marketing analytics tools like Pathmatics can connect to paid media data from Facebook ads, display ads, and video ads, but may not be able to connect to social analytics or audience data from videos. Users should do their research as to the types of metrics a marketing tool can ingest and display in reports.
Return on investment calculations give marketers an understanding of how well each of their marketing channels performs. The calculation of spend per conversion is fairly simple for a single marketing campaign or channel but becomes exponentially more complex as new channels with new budgets and incremental pipeline stages are introduced into the ROI equation. Marketing analytics software with ROI calculator tools will give marketers insight into their marketing strategy’s revenue performance.
Predictive analytics help marketers determine how likely a potential lead is to convert to a sale. By analyzing the way a potential customer interacts with different types of marketing activity, the predictive analytics tool can assign the user a score and suggest the next action a marketer should take to encourage the buyer to act. Predictive analytics is a key part of any data-driven marketing strategy.
Digital marketing analytics tools require that marketers connect their marketing channel information to those sources. Some tools, like MailChimp, that also provide email marketing or content management systems have direct access to those campaign metrics and provide data connections for other popular marketing software.
Marketing analytics software like Looker or TapClicks works more like BI software. These tools will either require organizations to pool their data in a centralized database or make direct API or native connections to third-party software.
Neither approach is objectively better. Instead, consider how current systems work with each potential marketing analytics program.
What is marketing analytics without reporting tools? One of the most popular features of any marketing analytics software is the ability to build marketing dashboards to track daily changes in marketing ROI and reports to report on long-term trends. These features come in varying degrees of complexity, customization, and usability, from business intelligence-style report builders where marketers choose each data point and chart type to pre-made dashboard templates.
Digital marketing analytics software is used by companies and marketing teams of all sizes, from solo marketers to multinational enterprises. The main difference between the tools that serve small businesses and those that serve enterprises is the scope of the tools and limits of the reporting.
Small businesses will find that they may need fewer connections to ad networks and fewer reports generated every month. These companies may only report on a couple of marketing campaigns each month, depending on the complexity of their marketing. Full-service marketing automation platforms with customizable reports may serve these companies best.
Marketing agencies, multinational enterprises, and mid-size companies will all benefit from more robust marketing analytics tools that connect with a wider variety of marketing software and that act more like a business intelligence tool. These companies are more likely to have a range of marketing software to manage websites, SEO, digital advertising, lead generation, and email marketing, and will need to be able to connect to each of these tools.