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The Concepts of Digital Marketing Analytics

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Shows you how to set proper digital marketing analytics goals and objectives, what the key metrics are for digital analytics, and how to align these metrics with traditional tactics.

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This chapter is from the book

Data and digital analytics have accelerated the pace of marketing unlike ever before, pulling analytics experts into the spotlight. The explosion of data-driven decision making has shifted marketing strategies and analyst tools in big ways. In this chapter, we examine the digital analytics concepts that continue to be essential in defining what marketers and communicators need to understand to compete.

Further, the massive insurgence of digital media has pushed the shift in marketer opportunities from messaging campaigns to defining relevant and personalized consumer experiences. So, not only have digital data and analytics further accelerated available data with which to plan better campaigns, more effectively optimized campaigns in flight, and measured performance in a more robust way, but they have also redefined marketing and media products for the industry.

One of the biggest detriments to this accelerated environment is a lack of familiarity with key terminology. A lack of clarity exists around the language and vocabulary surrounding digital data and analytics, what each of the metrics means, which metrics are most important, how each of the metrics is collected, how to develop goals, and which metrics fit those goals. Let’s dig into how to set proper goals and objectives, what the key metrics are for digital analytics, and how to align these metrics with traditional tactics.

Starting at the Top

Before digging into specific metrics, understanding how to determine the right metrics for your campaign is important. Marketing and public relations textbooks have been teaching students for years how to set measurable goals and objectives, but the media and marketing communications landscape continues to change at a rapid pace. Marketing professionals have new channels, platforms, and tactics for reaching customers that might not be covered in a textbook.

However, just because the channels are new does not mean the way we arrive at meaningful and relevant metrics should change. What are the components of a measurable goal? Every practitioner—digital or otherwise—should know three things:

  • Behavior—This is the most critical component of goal setting. Are you trying to increase awareness with your target audience, or are you trying to get your target audience to take some sort of action? Take a moment to sit down and write out what your desired behaviors are from the program.

  • Amount of change—Identifying how much you want the behavior to change is important. It can be expressed as a raw number (for example, the number of new people entering a store is expected to go up by 5,000 customers) or as a percentage (for example, the number of new people entering a store is expected to increase by 10%).

  • Time—Every goal should have a time element. Whether it is a year, a month, or a week, professionals should be looking to identify how long the program or campaign will last.

Many metrics are available to you, but the metrics that you actually use to gauge the success of a program should flow from the behavior(s) that you are trying to affect. For example, if you are trying to raise awareness, an appropriate metric might be impressions, page views, or reach. Similarly, if you are trying to drive consumers to a website, then tracking the number of conversions to clicks and visits would be most appropriate.

Spending the time to map out the specific behaviors you are looking to change, how much you want to change them, and how long it will take you to potentially change them is critical. Without that grounding, a very good chance exists that you will be analyzing too many data points, analyzing the wrong data points, and, most importantly, not truly understanding how your program is performing.

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