Read Between the Lines: How to Analyze and Interpret Your Marketing Data


Marketing Insights for ProfessionalsThe latest thought leadership for Marketing pros

Wednesday, May 4, 2022

Harness the power of your marketing data by performing a focused analysis of your information to provide insights for future decisions.

Article 4 Minutes
Read Between the Lines: How to Analyze and Interpret Your Marketing Data

Businesses are collecting more information than ever on customers, but knowing how to analyze marketing data effectively is vital to putting it to good use. The insights you gain from properly dissecting what you’ve gathered should lead to actionable results, informing the marketing decisions you make going forwards.

In this way you can see which marketing techniques have worked and the ones that need tweaking to meet your business goals. Failing to do so can lead to lost opportunities and wasted resources, which are both costly for any organization.

Techniques for analyzing your marketing data

There are myriad methodologies out there for interpreting your data, so it’s important to select those that have been tried and tested to create best practice techniques for your company. Follow these tips for marketing success.

1. Select the most appropriate metrics

The biggest issue to overcome is the sheer quantity of data at your disposal. Select the metrics that will offer the most relevant insights for your business and focus your efforts on interpreting the information fully. Narrow down your data by identifying your primary key performance indicators . These may include:

  • Conversion rate
  • Revenue
  • Cost per acquisition
  • Quantity of leads
  • Clickthrough rate

2. Watch out for confirmation bias

A common trap many marketers fall into is confirmation bias. This form of selective thinking can introduce statistical errors into the analysis as it seeks to confirm a hypothesis, overlooking the information that suggests the opposite. Approaching your data in this way will prevent you from gaining a true picture of the trends in front of you, so be sure to apply an objective mindset.

3. Analyze the what and why

Interpreting data isn’t straightforward, because there’s more than one way to do it. That means you can get varying conclusions from the same dataset. Your emphasis shouldn’t be on just what’s happening, but why it’s happening too. While there’s sometimes an obvious reason for an action, it’s worth looking deeper to see if there are underlying issues that are leading to an undesired outcome, which could be easily resolved.

4. Perform a correlation analysis

Nothing on the internet functions in isolation and the same goes for your metrics. Looking at information on its own can lead to missing out on the cause and effect of processes that interact with each other. To avoid missing vital insights, perform a correlation analysis that interrogates trends across metrics to show how they influence each other.

5. Assess the quality of your data

When the desired outcome is to make decisions based on your analysis, it’s vital the data you’re working from is accurate and complete. Data standards must be agreed right from the beginning, otherwise you risk getting skewed results and a lack of consistency in your reporting. Creating parameters that input all of your information in the same format and defining what makes a complete dataset will promote accuracy as you interpret your customers’ habits.

6. Factor in ROI

Marketing executives are constantly having to justify their investments to other areas of the business, so factoring in the return on investment (ROI) in your analysis will make this process easier. Quantify the expected outcomes then measure them at strategic points along the way to help make your case for additional budget in specific areas in the future.

7. Select median as opposed to mean as your average

When talking about averages, it’s easy to forget there are a number of different ways they can be calculated. Most people opt for the mean as a default, but it’s not always the most representative. The mean takes the wild outliers of any dataset into consideration, which can have a dramatic impact on the results. Opting for the median, or the midpoint, can offer a much more accurate picture.

8. Act on your findings

Analyzing the data is the time-consuming part of the process, but once it’s been achieved, it’s important to take action based on your findings. This can be particularly challenging if the results aren’t what you expected. Put time aside to ensure you come up with a plan to implement your learnings, as these will lead to improvement and better performance of your marketing activities.

9. Visualize how the data will be presented

How your analysis is presented at the end of the process will have an impact on the methods you use. If you’re going to keep your findings in house, it’s important not to be seduced by impressive looking charts as these can take time to produce without offering any more insight. Keep the focus on clear forms of presentation throughout the analysis to ensure your results are easily understood.

10. Use your analysis to identify your personas

One of the most useful things you can determine from your marketing data analysis is your target personas. Based on accurate information, they will become the driving force behind your strategy, allowing you to put more resources into areas that will give you recognizable results. Your data has the key to understanding how your customers feel about:

  • Your existing content
  • Methods of communication
  • Most suitable channels
  • Browsing habits

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