Why Marketing Management Must Master Deep Digital Analytics

Posted by James Obermayer on Mar 19, 2018 5:04:12 PM

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“But why,” she asked, “do I need to master deep digital analytics? I have people to do that and we get website stats. We know geo distribution, client and platform by user.”

It wasn’t an easy conversation. The director of marketing, 20 years into her career, was confronted with a bewildering cornucopia of reports, making her heretofore creative life difficult.

It’s no longer enough, she realized, to just take the CRM or marketing automation system stats and determine where to spend the company’s growing marketing budget in order to find qualified leads and buyers. She needs a bigger picture of the marketing return on investment, which is only available by looking deeply into the digital analytics.

Her time is now spent wallowing in superficial spreadsheets, managing the conflicting software results from media and a budget with a requirement for a direct correlation to revenue. 

The budget has grown because of: the new software tools she purchased in her chase for buyers, annual maintenance fees, multiple agencies that execute her programs, and new employees for marketing operations, content management, and analytics.  

She now has a quota for raw inquiries, qualified leads, and revenue by product tied to marketing campaigns and various website stats. It is the deeper digital marketing analytics knowledge requirement, however, that has her so intensely pulled in different directions. “What does it all mean and what actions should I take?” is a familiar refrain.

Digital analytics, as stated in the glossary of AT Internet, “…encompasses the collection, measurement, analysis, visualisation and interpretation of digital data illustrating user behaviour on websites, mobile sites and mobile applications.”

“An important component of digital intelligence, digital analytics enables brands and website owners to understand how their sites and apps are being found and used. Using digital analytics data, companies can optimize the customer experience on their websites, mobile sites, and mobile apps, and also their marketing ROI, content offerings, and overall business performance.”

True, most of the articles on marketing analytics demand that the topic requires immediate attention, and in so doing, they imply that their (fill-in-the-blank system, software, consulting, book, blog) will teach you how to do it. Disregarding that and taking the subject seriously, the time has come for marketing to worry not only about marketing ROI, but to have the skills to make good on the promise. At this point it should be a major part of every job description that marketers know how to measure the revenue contributions of their creations.Of course, marketing analytics is not new and neither is digital analytics. It’s just a restating of the obvious need for marketing to be accountable, but it’s getting more attention. Marketo’s The Definitive Guide to Marketing Metrics & Analytics is a place to start (at 66 pages it isn’t brief, but it’s comprehensive). While this document is a firm grounding in marketing metrics and analytics (I printed and bound my copy), Part 5, page 49 has a comprehensive list of 46 program-specific metrics on what you should measure and track. AT Internet also has a wide range of white papers to guide and teach the uninitiated.

I have no axe to grind on this subject, but I do know that:

  • Talking about ROI isn’t enough
  • Reporting on revenue created by marketing sources is the only truth that counts
  • Marketers who acquire the tools and skills to measure marketing metrics and the deeper digital analytics footprint, and analyze the results, will make better decisions
  • Better decisions lead to a competitive advantage when, at any time, 50% of your competitor’s marketing departments are making marketing decisions based on hunches, guesses, intuitions, feelings, the stars, presumptions, and speculation, to name a few.

So, my advice to this marketer? Learn the metrics crucial to marketing’s creation of revenue, buy the tools for measurement, and use the digital analytics at your fingertips to out-market those who use hunches, guesses, intuitions, feelings, the stars, presumptions, and speculation. While it isn’t easy, nothing worthwhile is. Which must be true because it’s attributed to hundreds of leaders, authors, and athletes.

You may also like:

Salary: Digital Marketing Manager: Salary.com, PayScale and glassdoor

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White Paper Review: Marketo's Marketing Metrics Guide - Must Reading

About the Author

Obermayer is the founder of the Sales Lead Management Association, publisher of the Funnel Media Group and live Radio/ Podcast Host for SLMA Radio Today and CRM Radio Today


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