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Top secrets of digital marketing analytics

There are four top secrets that every marketer should know when using digital analytics for marketing to set marketing objectives.

Marketing practitioners are in touch with digital analytics all the time. But there are a few secrets in digital marketing analytics that they need to know. Some of these may need the disclosure. Others may just be so common that they are left in blind spots.

Secret 1: Before marketers ask for it, analytics has already started

Analytics relies on data. Creation of data does not wait for marketers’ command to go ahead. Neither do processing and analysis of data. In the era of Big Data, data come from everywhere and all the time. They appear in both quantitative and qualitative forms, structured and unstructured, in big volume or in small batches. Analytics happens in real-time as data emerge, or more precisely when things happen.

For example, when one started to create a campaign plan the first question was always about what the situation was. The description of the situation was a result of some analytics that had taken place before the need to know arose. At this point, the marketer just opened the dashboard to look for some analytics to confirm the situation.

What markets need to do is to treat analytics as an on-going process and know where to hunt for the needed data. This requires them to be sensitive as well as informed. Remember, when Mike Bloomberg asks that everyone else bring data, he knows they should already have them.

Secret 2: The APIs are making all these to happen

When using digital analytics, not knowing about APIs is like opening a website without knowing the Internet. Whereas the analytics dashboards are like websites, the APIs are equivalent to the world-wide-web protocols to enable the exchanges of data and information.

API is the application programming interface, which is a group of computer codes to ask computers to exchange data with other computers. Clicademy has another reading to focus on this topic. Today all digital analytics tools use APIs. Scroll down their websites to read their documentation. Here is an example from Ahrefs about its API offerings.

Marketers do not need to deal with APIs directly, just like website users do not need to know what the www protocols are. However, marketers need to know how to discuss APIs and their capabilities with computer engineering teammates and those in partner companies. They need to have a say in what data are exchanged between the data owners and the fetchers.

Secret 3: What you see is mostly vanity

Pageviews, sessions durations, returning users, new users… how do these metrics matter? Sadly, among the several hundreds of measurements that marketing analytics tools show us, most of them are more for vanity than usefulness.

Not fearing to critically analyse our own data, your Clicademist acknowledges that we are in such a situation said above. We are yet to roll out our search engine marketing programmes, so the hits and views we get are the leaves without connections to the roots. What concerns our most is the sign-up rate, with very few site visitor’s journeys ending at the Goal Page.

Then what is not for vanity? The answer is to choose the correct KPI(s) which should correctly measure the current marketing performances of your organisation. Once set, the KPI metrics are the analytics that is useful. Others are just good to have but non-essential. For example, the current performance for Clicademy hinges on building site traffic and signing up members. The visitor-to-member conversion rate, measured by the visits to the Goal Page versus the total traffic is our focus.

Secret 4: Analytics are most useful when helping to create solutions to digital marketing problems

Good numbers and upgoing darts just tell a partial story. Digital analytics is more useful when it shows problems. Being able to see these problems and to make difficult choices to solve these problems make a good decision-maker.

Marketers constantly need to set objectives. After doing this many times enough, setting marketing objectives becomes the second nature. Digital analytics enables the so-called data-driven objectives. Marketing managers should build it into a habit to consider setting marketing objectives means to solve some problems. And they are able to see the problems because of analytics data.

It is a tough call when faced with the choice of to see problems or to see vanity from data analytics. So when next time your boss asked you to bring data, would you bring in problems or good news?

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