This is the first of several posts I’ll devote to the topic of inbound marketing metrics. By the time I’m done, I hope you will have a better understanding of how to make the most efficient use of marketing analytics.
The main problem with marketing analytics is data overload. Despite their ability to illuminate marketing campaigns, an overabundance of data can subvert your best attempts to distill a coherent message. One main problem is the proliferation of metric sources, such as blogging platforms, web analytic packages, paid search advertising, email marketing software and social media monitoring. It’s a big challenge to rationalize the data from all of these sources.
To avoid information overload, you need to concentrate on a restricted set of metrics that can immediately help you fine-tune your marketing strategy. You can methodically increase the scope of the analytic data you utilize to focus your inbound marketing once you have a working system based on a careful selection of core metrics.
Let’s begin by pointing out the different marketing channels that provide important analytic data:
- business blogging
- paid search
- social media
Some metrics are used in all of these channels, but others are channel-specific. You need to scope out the most valuable metrics within each channel, and then use that knowledge to help refine your marketing plans.
A popular question is how to divide your resources between carrying out a marketing strategy and gauging the effectiveness of your strategy. The answer depends upon your actual circumstances, but the underlying power of metrics is that they offer specific information that can help you evolve your marketing plan. These three activities are paramount:
1) Determine which strategies are working and which aren’t
2) Look for ways to boost your effectiveness
3) Concentrate more on the successful strategies and suspend activities that are counter-productive.
These activities allow you to make informed, rather than haphazard, decisions. For example, you can choose whether to defer, continue, or enlarge a particular marketing campaign. You can also determine which marketing channels are performing well for you and which ones need further tweaking.
This general introduction should help motivate you to follow upcoming posts, where I’ll examine the metrics related to each marketing channel. In the next post, I’ll focus on how to determine the effectiveness of your web pages.