As many companies begin to realize the power of data analytics, it is more important than ever to ensure your company is optimizing their data-driven decision making.
With limited access to customer data and a lack of analytics expertise, it can be challenging for early-stage startups to implement a successful marketing analytics plan that yields meaningful growth. However, with the right tools and steps in place, learning to leverage data from the start can completely transform the trajectory of your business.
A study done by McKinsey Global Institute found that data-driven organizations are 23 times more likely to acquire customers, six times as likely to retain customers, and 19 times as likely to be profitable as a result.
We have highlighted some of the simplest, most helpful tips for implementing a marketing analytics strategy into your business plan. Let’s get started!
1. Set Goals and Choose Related Key Performance Indicators
Oftentimes, brand new companies are so eager to see results and growth in the early stages of their business that they skip some of the most essential steps. It’s easy to want to dive right into growth metrics like revenue, ROI, and profit, but these metrics require time before you see your desired results.
So, let’s start from the beginning. First things first, make sure you’re setting realistic, time-bound, and actionable goals for your startup. Do you want to increase traffic to your site? Are you looking to increase impressions to help brand recognition? Do you want to see higher customer engagement?
These are all actionable goals that can be tracked using engagement metrics. These include key performance indicators like page visits, session duration, bounce rate, etc. that let you know how users are interacting with your site and what might need improvement.
While quantitative data like the metrics above are important for growth, some things cannot be quantified, especially as a start-up. Early-stage start-ups may lack the years of data and trends that bigger companies use to make informed decisions.
In this case, focusing on qualitative data gained by listening to your customers and being open to suggestions and change is essential. Not only will this build customer trust and relationships, but it will also allow you to build insights and answer questions that the quantitative data could not.
2. Take Advantage of Free Analytics Tools
Let’s be real, most startups don’t have the bandwidth or resources to take on complex data analytics projects or purchase expensive analytics software. It’s easy to feel defeated and simply give up on the idea of data-driven marketing.
However, there are free data analytics software that make getting the information you need as easy as the click of a few buttons. Here are a few of our favorites:
Google Analytics tracks visitors to your website and allows you to gain insight into who your customers are, where they are coming from, what channels are performing well, and so much more. Once your account is set up and you’ve identified the key metrics you want to track, Google does the hard work for you. You can create reports, identify trends, and optimize your site based on your findings.
While it does cost money to post your ads on Google, Google Ads gives you full control over your daily budget. Startups with minimal budgets can still use Google Ads to gain exposure and reach for just a few bucks a day. Google Ads' Keyword Planner is an amazing tool to find what keywords your competitors are ranking for and discover opportunities for your own ads to show. Also, be sure to link your Google Ads and Google Analytics accounts so you have a comprehensive view of your marketing campaigns.
SEMrush allows you to discover what kinds of searches people are making and optimize your metadata to reach those audiences. You can conduct keyword research, identify backlinks, and find out how you compare to your competitors.
3. Analyze Customer Behavior
Arguably one of the most important steps as a startup is to get to know your customer. What demographics are interested in your product or service? What kinds of searches are they making? What pages are they visiting?
Once you have all of this information, you can cater your content and find similar interest groups to increase your reach. Use Google Analytics to understand your audience, or browse possible target audiences on Google Ads. From there, you can add them to your audience manager and track campaign performance.
Another important step is conducting a competitor analysis to see where your company falls in the market. What are other competitors doing successfully? What are areas your competitors are not capitalizing on that you can?
All of this information can be found by doing simple Google searches or by utilizing competitor analysis tools on sites like GoogleTrends and SEMrush. Staying on top of your competitors’ strategies enables you to be proactive and stand out in the market.
5. Take Action
All of this information is great. It gives you the opportunity to unlock a whole new world of opportunity for your business. However, simply collecting the data only takes you so far. Actually using this data to build valuable insights and achieve actionable goals is a whole different ball game.
Start small and collect data that directly relates to your business's goals. Then, use that information to make changes and test new ideas.
Once you listen to your customers and begin optimizing your marketing strategy using these steps, you are bound to see favorable results. Don't get discouraged when key metrics like revenue and profit aren't through the roof in these early stages. A successful business takes time, strategy, and resilience. You've got this!
Want to learn more about staying ahead of the competition? Check out Everything You Need to Know About Competition in Google Ads
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