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Making the Most of Web and Marketing Analytics

Healthcare has always been a data-intensive industry. And, as the role of technology in the industry rapidly continues to grow, health professionals are trying to determine how they can use data more effectively.

According to IBM, the available data for healthcare is growing through the introduction of more electronic systems to support the business of healthcare, such as EMRs and EHRs. And, while the actual data in health is increasing, there still are challenges to gaining insights from the data.

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Marketers are facing similar challenges in measuring marketing effectiveness. A 2015 study by Adobe stated that 93% of Chief Marketing Offers felt under pressure to deliver measurable ROI. One contributing factor to that pressure is that, according to the same study, 50% of B2B marketing executives find it difficult to attribute marketing activity directly to revenue. The confluence of these factors is surely making for some very stressed out marketing executives!

So – how does a marketer make sense of their investment in terms of measuring the effectiveness of campaigns and other activities to generate leads and ultimately, sales? And what part does measuring website statistics activity play in the big picture?

HubSpot CMO Mike Volpe notes: “Web analytics measure things a webmaster cares about like page load times, page views per visit and time on site. On the other hand, marketing analytics measures business metrics like traffic, leads and sales, and which events (both on and off your website) influence whether leads become customers.” Furthermore, marketing analytics includes data from your website but also from other sources such as email, social media, content and off-line events. Marketing analytics are usually people-centric (featuring the prospect, lead or customer as the focal point) whereas web analytics usually focuses on the page view.

From a content perspective, this differentiation is significant. Let’s face it – creating content is an expensive, time-consuming process so understanding which elements help attract your ideal lead helps businesses make better decisions.

According to marketing automation company Marketo, today’s advanced analytics tools can help a company drill down to determine whether a visitor becomes a lead as a result of a specific content asset, whether that happens immediately after reaching a website landing page or whether the prospect first browses several pages over a period of time before converting.

Marketing analytics enables marketers to achieve in areas where website analytics fall short, such as:

  • Integration across different marketing channels – marketing analytics provides a clear view into the direct relationships between your marketing channels (e.g. social media, blogging, email, SEO, etc.)  not only in terms of how each one is performing but the impact of multiple channels’ performance together. This enables you to answer questions such as: How many people clicked through from my emails to our website and of those people, how many converted into business leads? Did my email generate more leads than my most recent blog post? From our social presence? 
  • Tracking the interaction of individual prospects and leads within various marketing initiatives and channels over time – for example, how did an individual lead first find your website? Is this lead an active part of your email subscriber base, clicking and converting on email marketing offers frequently? Who is reading your blog? Marketing analytics can provide extremely valuable lead intelligence that can support marketing initiatives such as lead nurturing.

Also, as you analyze all of this information in aggregate, what trends can you identify among your prospects and leads? Which marketing activities are valuable at different stages of the sales funnel? HubSpot notes that having this data makes it possible to implement an effective lead management process that enables you to score and prioritize leads, as well as identify those activities that contribute to a qualified marketing lead for your business.

From the c-suite perspective, perhaps the most significant function of marketing analytics is its ability to tie marketing activities to sales. Closed-loop data can help determine whether individual marketing initiatives are contributing to the bottom line and which channels are the most critical to driving sales.

The bottom line: Relying solely on web analytics will prevent you from obtaining powerful data that can drive marketing strategy, provide proof to company leaders that marketing activities are worth the resource expenditure, and help improve and optimize marketing’s performance, both on an individual channel-by channel basis as well as an overall cross-channel basis.

The bottom line: Monitoring web analytics is an important activity that can provides many useful insights. However, looking at the larger picture in terms of lead generation and sales funnel activity is the key to success.