In the age of big data and AI-driven businesses, it’s no surprise that marketers are getting more analytical. Not only are they tracking an ever-growing number of metrics, but they’re also using more sophisticated tools to do so.
Marketing analytics has become more complex, and the tools used to support it have not always kept pace. Marketing teams are starting to feel the pain as prices go up and features lag behind.
As a result, they need more sophisticated tools to measure marketing performance and return on investment. That’s why you may have considered moving past basic marketing analytics tools and switching to a more generalized business intelligence tool.
With a business intelligence tool, you can dig deeper into your marketing data and get answers to questions like “Which blog posts got the most views?” or “Where do our visitors live?”. The data you can get from a BI tool can help you identify patterns, optimize your marketing campaigns, and make better decisions about where to allocate your resources.
Whether you manage a tea shop or a tech startup, if you’re looking for robust marketing analytics capabilities, you need a BI tool. This blog post will introduce you to marketing analytics tools in general, highlight their pros and cons, and explain why you’d be better served by a BI tool for your marketing analytics.
What is a marketing analytics tool?
The first question you might have is, “What even is a marketing analytics tool?”
A marketing analytics tool is software that captures, stores, and analyzes data related to marketing activities. It enables you to make better decisions by showing you insights you couldn’t find out otherwise.
For example, a marketing analytics tool can show you what content resonates with your audience, which social media channels to focus on, and which types of leads are most likely to convert into customers. It’s all about data—and the better your marketing data, the better your decisions will be.
For marketing analytics data to be useful, you need to measure the right things and have the right metrics in place. But nowadays, basic marketing tools are starting to lag behind more powerful and more general tools for measuring marketing metrics.
Basic marketing analytics tools can rarely give your business an omnichannel experience. They’re usually only meant to track one channel or category of channels at once. For businesses that want to use multi-channel marketing, this is insufficient.
These smaller tools can’t handle data at the scale that’s necessary for success. Even just a decade ago, a mid-size business may only have needed to track a few tens of thousands of marketing data points. Now, it’s rare to see businesses collect anything less than a million.
As data sets have gotten bigger and big data has started to drive the marketing industry, marketing analytics tools have failed to keep up. That makes using a tool of this scale a slow, laggy, clunky experience.
However, businesses still need to access marketing analytics insight, which gives them three choices—keep using their terrible, inefficient tool, upgrade to something bigger and better, or go without entirely.
Why do you need marketing analytics?
To inform your marketing efforts, you need to keep track of your leads’ journey from awareness to purchase. This way, you can understand what’s working and what isn’t, so you can make adjustments as necessary.
For example, let’s say you’re trying to grow your email list so you can build long-lasting relationships with subscribers and create a source of recurring revenue. To do this, you may decide to run a giveaway campaign.
You can use marketing analytics tools to see how many people you’re attracting to the giveaway, where they’re coming from, and whether or not they’re signing up for your email list. This way, you can see which elements of your campaign are working which aren’t, and decide what changes to make based on that data.
When you lack the necessary data, making assumptions about what your customers want is easy. But when you have marketing analytics in place, you can make changes based on actual customer behavior—not just assumptions.
For example, you might think that your target market is interested in a certain type of content. But if your analytics show that they’re not engaging with that content, you know to pivot and try something else.
This takes all the guesswork and intuition out of marketing. Now, businesses can always make the most optimal marketing choices.
Why should I use my BI tool for marketing analytics?
Since marketing analytics is so essential and the standalone tools that try to do it are so bad, that only really leaves one solution—upgrade to a bigger, more general business intelligence tool.
BI tools are the best choice for all sorts of data analytics, not just marketing analytics. They empower your whole business to leverage data towards insight, not just your marketing team. Of course, your marketing team will see a clear benefit.
First, BI tools allow marketers to get a real omnichannel marketing analytics experience. A robust BI tool can connect to all of your marketing data sources, not just a few select channels. This allows your marketing team to access all their marketing data at once.
This allows them to compare channels and analyze campaigns in ways that would be impossible with basic, standalone marketing analytics tools. Your team could even compare their marketing data to the data of other departments, like sales, to get an even broader view of success.
Next, BI tools can handle data at the sort of scale that growing businesses need. Unlike barebones marketing analytics tools, which struggle to handle data sets with hundreds of thousands of rows, BI tools can handle data sets of hundreds of millions of rows without breaking a sweat.
Furthermore, BI tools offer data visualization features that let your marketing teams automatically turn their data into charts and graphs. This way, team members don’t need to pore over columns in a spreadsheet to find insight; they can just see it.
From there, visualizations can be built into dashboards, which allow marketing teams to see all their key metrics, represented as easy-to-understand visualizations, in one place. This, coupled with omnichannel marketing management, allows for much better marketing management than with other sorts of tools.
These are just a few of the major benefits of using a BI tool for marketing analytics. There will be other benefits, and businesses are generally very happy that they made the switch.
What features should you look for in a BI solution for marketing analytics?
When you’re shopping for a BI tool for marketing analytics, there are certain features you should look for:
Data visualization: The ability to visualize your data in an easy-to-understand way so you can quickly identify trends and make decisions based on that data.
If you’re not careful, BI tools can pose a security risk. Make sure you only give access to the data to people who need it and that you have proper security measures in place.
When BI tools are properly managed, they’re much safer than other data management and storage solutions. Implementing a BI-based data governance strategy that controls access to information is one of the best choices you can make as a business.
Despite these risks, BI tools are essential for teams that want to make data-driven decisions. The key is knowing how to take the right risks and use the data wisely.
Start making better marketing decisions today
There are plenty of benefits to using a BI tool for your marketing analytics. For one, it’s scalable, meaning you can use it to track your entire business, not just marketing efforts. This allows you to see the big picture and make data-driven decisions.
It also helps you stay compliant with data regulations since it gives you control over what you store and share. With data security risks on the rise, this is more important than ever.
If you want to improve the way you market your business, it’s essential to know what is working and what isn’t. There are plenty of business intelligence tools to choose from, so it’s up to you to decide which one is right for your business. Consider a tool that offers a free trial so you can test it out before committing to a paid subscription.
Once you have a BI solution in place, you’ll be able to track your progress, identify areas for improvement, and make better marketing decisions that will help your business grow.
Cloud-based, market-leading BI platforms offer plenty of features to help you make better marketing decisions. With a BI tool, you can track leads, attribute sales to specific marketing campaigns, visualize your data, and more.
Check out some related resources:
Harnessing the Power of Data to become a better Credit Union
Creating modern data experiences that help your customers succeed
Domo for Marketers: Tips and tools to seamlessly manage marketing data
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