Stepping out of the data silo - the evolution of digital marketing metrics and analytics
May 9, 2019
Anyone tackling digital marketing today knows that they are responsible for finding the right balance of art, science, and magic to maximize the value of their marketing spend. It stands to reason, then, that the more insight that can be gained from digital marketing analytics and the more timely these insights can be made available, the better decisions one can make when allocating where, when, and how much — or little — to invest in digital marketing spend.
How digital marketing metrics were first measured
Early on in digital marketing, success was measured by the number of eyes that could be attributed to a given ad. If you could get an ad in front of an increasing number of people — or even better, get them to click on it — the campaign was considered a success. Metrics like Number of Impressions, Cost per Thousand Impressions (or CPM), Clicks, and Cost Per Click were among the key metrics used for determining the effectiveness of campaigns and accuracy of marketing KPIs. However, it soon became apparent that there was not always a direct correlation between increasing the number of clicks and the impacting bottom line.
To complicate things further, the number of digital marketing channels continued to increase to include Google Ads, Facebook, Yahoo, YouTube, and so on — each with its own completely separate set of metrics. To get the full picture of the data, digital marketing teams were left with the choice to either work with disparate silos of data, or go through the painful process of manually combining data into spreadsheets.
To make better use of digital marketing data, today’s marketers need to be able to look at more than just impressions and clicks. Marketers need to know what happens after a person clicks on an ad and understand what — if any — value that provides to the business overall.
Digital marketing attribution changes for sales and marketing
Ideally, any action a person takes following a click on a digital marketing ad will lead that person further into your business’s funnel. Measuring the impact of that action as you get further into the funnel can vary based on your sales cycle. For a standard business-to-consumer website, this isn’t too difficult to do with the correct attribution. But for more complex sales cycles where a click may result in a lead being created in a CRM, followed by a product trial, then a purchase, etc., tracking attribution can quickly go from easy to confusing.
When done correctly, the ability to measure the success of a campaign throughout the entire customer journey with data attribution is priceless. Realizing this, Google and Salesforce teamed up to give marketers a unified view of their Google Marketing Platform products alongside Salesforce. In addition, Google created products such as GA360 to help minimize siloed views of data for better analysis. Because of these advancements, it’s become possible for marketers to focus on metrics that show them how their digital marketing efforts are affecting the bottom line and driving success for the organization throughout the entire customer journey.
Centralizing digital marketing metrics, attribution, and analyses
Another challenge associated with digital marketing is the ability to aggregate data in a way that makes analysis seamless yet still reliable. Many times, moving data can result in lost time or information, neither of which help marketers understand how their efforts are or are not working. Using Google BigQuery is one way to solve this challenge.
By moving data from the Google Marketing Platform into BigQuery, marketers have the ability to perform complex analyses that may not have been possible with other solutions. And when you combine this data with data from mission-critical systems beyond Salesforce, the insights that can be gained are limited only by the imagination. This results in being able to better answer questions such as:
- Which campaigns result in customers with the highest Customer Support requirements?
- Which campaigns result in customers with the highest renewal rates?
- How does the effectiveness of our Google Ad spend compare to what we are spending on other advertising platforms?
Digital marketing analytics with Looker
Just as data needs to help tell a full story, metrics need to do more than report — they need to provide insight and drive action.
To empower marketers with the necessary data to drive those actions, Looker’s pre-built applications, made for specific marketing use cases such as Digital Marketing, allow for analyses and reporting across digital marketing sources such as Google, Facebook, Bing, Pinterest, and LinkedIn. With one, centralized location to assess active campaigns, conversion rates, and ad spend, marketers can make real-time decisions based on the most effective methods and messages to help improve upon their marketing approach and strategies.
Increase the impact of your digital marketing efforts
While every organization’s digital marketing strategy is different, by having ready access to the digital marketing metrics that impact the business as a whole, real dollar ROI can be accurately assigned to the campaigns that work and help shed light on those don’t.
Download the Analytics-Driven Marketing for Action ebook or reach out to our team to learn more about increasing the impact of your digital marketing efforts.