What’s working? What’s not working? You’ll never know without a good command of analytics. Learn about what metrics count for your marketing goals, and how to move the needle.

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To Successfully Measure B2B Content Marketing, Get In The Friend Zone

shutterstock_80356969-friend-zone Although it’s almost universally agreed upon that content marketing is necessary, no one can seem to agree on the right metrics to measure its success. The majority of marketers seem to fall into one of two equally flawed camps. The first is the “we’ve heard content marketing is good so we’ll do a lot and call it brand awareness” category. Especially for B2B marketers, this can be a costly and inefficient path. Most B2B marketers only have a limited number of potential customers, so large-scale “brand awareness” is not only unnecessary, but will also never lead to revenue [...]


2 Questions That Will Make You A Statistically Significant Marketer

statistics_shutterstock Yay, statistics! If you run any portion of an online marketing program, you better still be reading. Marketers who don’t embrace the porcupine of statistics over the next couple of years run the risk of becoming insignificant. If you’re still reading, I’m about to put your career or business on the fast track to statistical significance. Let’s consider three scenarios. Scenario One: The Failing Email List Prim just completed sending the monthly email to her company prospect list of 3,000 people. Last month, she got 31 inquiries from the email. This month, however,  she only g [...]


Tracking Intent Data Across Channels For B2B Marketers

shutterstock_102068095-woman-with-tablet-at-airport-web Savvy digital marketers have learned that by now, when it comes to boosting results and efficiency, you can't beat intent data for the ability to reach and engage users who are "in market." For B2B marketers, where the buying process is more intricate and collaborative, intent is an even more important factor in building and nurturing relationships with customers. Knowing just when to reach out to them with exactly what they need is what keeps long term B2B relationships going. Within the B2B buyer’s journey, there are several stages where marketers must actively nurture that rela [...]


Dodge Marketing Plan Doom With A Performance Framework

analytics-600 One afternoon, I was sitting in the CEO's office at a global agency when an urgent knock came from the door. The global account director was leading an emergency meeting with the agency’s biggest client, and he was in a bind. The agency needed to retrofit a performance measurement plan for a $12 million marketing campaign that just wrapped up. The global account director heard I was an "analytics guy" and thought I could help. I joined him downstairs with the client's VP of marketing as well as six agency people. It turns out the VP had a new boss who wasn't around at the start of the [...]


4 Things To Get Right Before You Pay For Traffic

click share by position If you're thinking about starting to pay for traffic or expanding an existing program, there are four core concepts to get right before you start burning cash. Determine: What's a visit worth? Design for Conversion Get Your Message Right Establish an Organic Strategy Determine: What's A Visit Worth? The most immediately actionable analysis for a marketing team is to calculate the value of a visit to the channel you are planning to invest in. This analysis is essential for intelligent bidding in more sophisticated channels such as Paid Search or Programmatic Display, because p [...]


20 Reasons Why Social Analytics Is A Nightmare — And What To Do About It

nightmare-shutterstock Social media managers and analysts have one of the toughest jobs in digital marketing today. Imagine trying to be an expert in content marketing, acquisition and retention marketing, brand management, word-of-mouth, customer advocacy, paid media, reputation management and viral marketing -- all across five different media channels and dozens of accounts. This is a day in the life of a social media manager. Due to its complexity, social media is also one of the least understood of all marketing channels. Learnings around social media management are largely limited to high-level best pract [...]


Ride The Tides Of Your Website To Make More Money With A/B Split Testing

The Traitors' Gate at the Tower of London In medieval London, pirates were often punished by chaining them to a wall near the Thames River (you pronounce it “ˈriv-ər”) at low tide. For most rivers, this wouldn't be a problem. The pirate would simply get wet. [caption id="attachment_89092" align="aligncenter" width="600"] The Traitors' Gate at the Tower of London[/caption] However, the Thames, being an estuary, rises 15 feet, 20 feet or more at high tide. These pirates didn't just get wet. They got dead. You might say that the judges of London used the tides for their work, but the pirates lived and died by these tides. [...]


How Universal Analytics Is Different And What You Should Be Doing Now

logo-ga-upgrade If you've been using Google Analytics (GA) as your analytics solution over the past year or so, you've probably noticed that Google has been promoting its new analytics solution called "Google Universal Analytics" (UA). UA was in beta for well over a year. On April 2, 2014, it was moved from beta to production. While Google is treating this as the "re-imagining of Google Analytics," there are many new features and technologies behind it. How do the new features and technology behind UA impact what you're doing today? For everyone, there is no visible impact beyond the constantly chang [...]


Tablets Vs. Smartphones: Online Engagement Patterns Present Opportunities

shutterstock_200036231-tablet-vs-smartphone Two of the overarching goals for online marketers are maximizing the reach of their campaigns and increasing engagement levels. While delivering on the reach portion of this equation can be achieved through a number of well-known tactics, increasing campaign engagement is a much more nuanced task. The optimum content and delivery method of a campaign will vary from industry to industry -- and with consumers browsing across multiple device types, context (and how that impacts engagement on a larger scale) needs to be taken into account. In this article, we examine a month's worth of No [...]


8 Reasons To Start Using Tag Management, If You Haven’t Already

code-113611_640 At this point in the history of digital marketing, I think it's safe to say that -- for better or worse -- tags are required table stakes of digital measurement. Your analytics solution, your search marketing platforms, your UX tools, your testing platform, your voice of customer solution, your bidding platforms, your retargeting strategies… most, if not all of these, require those little snippets of code to be configured and added to your web properties, your apps, and basically your entire digital footprint. And for years now, we've done it. We've taken the code from vendor X, adapte [...]


Digital Marketing 201: Explore Segmentation To Drive Growth

segmentation_shutterstock Being able to segment your web visitors, buyers, customers and prospects isn't the first thing that most of us as marketers turn to. We understand the need for it, but it's usually not a big focus. Even when teams do pay attention, it is often only to email lists. Segmentation is something that should be considered from the very start because it will help you better understand your customers and their needs which drives sales. Segmentation That Drives Sales There are many ways to segment your visitors and customers. Every business should have its own unique ways of segmenting, but the [...]


How To Do Attribution Modeling & Budget Allocation

mouse-click-money-shutterstock In my last post, I covered customer lifetime value calculations and how to leverage CLV to identity high- and low-value audience segments. One of the most effective use cases for CLV is around budget allocation. Combining channel attribution modeling and CLV calculations, we can make highly calculated decisions around which channels are over- versus under-performing. Audience modeling is about understanding what distinguishes a high-value user from a normal or low-value user on site. The next logical step is to go back and determine which channels are driving those high value visitor [...]


The Secret Sauce Of Marketing Analytics: The 5W1H Framework

5W1H_shutterstock Today, I am going to reveal my secret sauce for marketing analytics. This simple method is so powerful that anyone can start applying it today to any sort of descriptive analysis, and it will start producing results from day one. What’s better, this method does not require any sort of prior knowledge or skill set such as statistics or database querying: anyone from a new grad to the seasoned veteran can use it to get better results. The catch? It’s hardly a secret; everyone knows how to do it. In fact, you probably learned it back in primary or secondary school. The method I am talking [...]


Wearables, Connected Homes, Mobile & The Future Of Analytics

connected-devices The world around us is changing at speeds never seen before. Mobile devices are collecting countless levels of data through innovative technologies like motion coprocessors, gyrometers, GPS, ambient light sensors, application analytics and more.  Consumers are now connecting their physical bodies to electronic devices such as Fitbit and other health monitors. We are also seeing a huge increase in the number of “smart” homes equipped with connected lighting, air conditioning, all the way to internet-connected refrigerators. All this is on top of the numerous connected devices alread [...]


Data Vs. Creativity: The Content Marketer’s False Choice

personas_shutterstock I was at a conference last week where Adobe VP Marketing Insights & Operations David Welch was asked to sum up the future of marketing in six words. His response: "Creative thrills, but data pays bills." [caption id="attachment_85509" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Data and Creativity Should Work Together[/caption] As a writer, I had to respect his ability to turn a phrase. But I also felt a twinge of remorse. We've all accepted that data can and should be a powerful driver of our marketing activity, but most of us continue to prioritize creativity, as well. Of course, we've come [...]


Is It The Site, Or Is It The Analytics? Debugging Google Analytics

The Tag Assistant Extension in the Chrome Web Store As I've said in previous columns, marketers can no longer rely on their communication skills alone to get the job done. They must become scientists of a sort, skilled at measuring and reporting on their digital properties. The tools now exist to help us learn so much about our visitors. But, to paraphrase a famous quote, "With great power comes great potential to screw up." The only thing more heartbreaking than a poor converting website is a high-converting website with broken analytics. Are you getting the credit you deserve? Is a bad analytics setup hiding your true performance? I [...]


What To Expect And How To Prepare As The U.S. Mobile Landscape Matures

mobile-video-tablet-600 Marketers of late have been inundated with the idea of the proverbial rising tide of mobile. But by mid-2014, this idea, while still certainly still ringing true for many emerging or developing markets, has largely run its course within the U.S. The tide rose, we're standing waist deep, and, as the landscape steadies, the short-term shifts have become less dramatic. To get away from the analogies, both the domestic smartphone and tablet markets have largely reached maturity, and more subtle shifts in computing behavior are now on the horizon. Consider that for U.S. markets, analysts h [...]


3 Steps To Factoring In Upper-Funnel Metrics & Predicting Revenue

Multi-Touch & Multi-Action Conversion Funnel Example If you're an online marketer that wants to improve conversions on your direct-response channel(s), this column will help you to create a multi-touch and multi-action predictive model for your conversion funnel that allows you to make better budget allocation and bid optimization-related decisions. Start by focusing on two issues. First, not only should the end conversion numbers be tied back to all touch points in the funnel, but you also want to be able to track conversions across channels and use the adequate technology to do so. Secondly, one should also use any meaningful upper- [...]


Audience Modeling & Customer Lifetime Value 101

shutterstock_184442897-customer-lifetime-value Customer lifetime value (CLV) is at the core of all of our advertising efforts. Being able to distinguish between good customers and bad customers (and all the grey in between) is what enables marketers to build scalable programs without being limited to a direct response. A good CLV model highlights the good and the bad, embracing variance in user behaviors. A bad model assumes a homogenous user -- blurring the lines of actions and events to create an average response, crippling the marketer from ever maximizing opportunity. The foundation of CLV modeling uses a RFM framework. RFM stand [...]


3 Steps To Get Started With Cross-Channel Analysis

analytics-600 We are currently living through a Cambrian-level explosion of marketing channels. It seems like there is a new channel or device popping up every year, each with a new set of metrics, media and strategies. In the future, each marketing manager or analyst will be responsible for managing media across a greater number of different channels, networks and devices. This calls for some changes in how we analyze and report on marketing results: There will be a need to consolidate marketing metrics across different channels: hundreds of different metrics across dozens of channels is simply n [...]


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