The Difference Between Marketing Analytics & Web Analytics—it Matters

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Page load times and page views are just a few analytics that a web guru may be studying day in and day out. However if you want to learn how to focus in on metrics that affect your business, then you’re in luck. In today’s blog, we’re mapping out the differences between web analytics and marketing analytics and how working closely with your marketing analytics matters for your business.

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Web Analytics Vs. Marketing Analytics—Fight!

As mentioned above, web analytics mainly focuses on data like unique page views or the total time that a given customer spent on your website. Though this is helpful information, it is not useful for business owners to be heavily focused on as they should be on marketing analytics.

However, marketing analytics are important for two reasons. First, this kind of data is focused on your customers, and secondly, it looks at how well you're doing with your blog, eCommerce, your website as a whole, your social media as well as your email marketing campaigns.

In some sense, web analytics are a bit drier in that they just tell you about things that would be of interest to a webmaster, e.g., load times. Yet with marketing analytics, you’re clued into the actions and opinions of your leads and loyal customers while keeping yourself constantly up-to-date on how well you're moving each one through the sales funnel.

 

The strategy is to first know what you don’t know, the tactic is to grind, and the value is to remember: there are plenty of places to innovate.—David Friedberg

Go Full Circle with Descriptive, Predictive and Prescriptive Analytics

With a flood of customer data and the right CRM to make sense of it all, you might still be wondering about the differences between descriptive, predictive and prescriptive analytics.

  • Descriptive analytics
  • Predictive analytics
  • Prescriptive analytics

These terms have been bandied about in marketing circles for so long that their meaning has become a little blurred over time.

The thing to bear in mind is that each successive phase follows from the one before. In that to predict what will happen next, which predictive analytics, you need to know what has happened already, which is descriptive analytics. And to prescribe a course of action to take, which is prescriptive analytics, you should be working with an informed opinion of how your customers are likely to act.

 

Descriptive Marketing Analytics

The most basic level of analytics is descriptive marketing analytics. Descriptive analytics tell you what happened using data aggregation. Meaning, it summarizes a wealth of customer data and marketing trends through statistical analysis and data mining in order to help make more sense of what you uncover.

Descriptive marketing analytics give you more information on all of your social media followers as well as prospects and leads at various stages of your sales funnel. Because as you can probably already tell, descriptive analytics is a huge field that encompasses a wide array of marketing channels, i.e., followers, number of posts, etc.

 

Relevant Business Metrics

For practical purposes, though, most business owners want to know more about how well their website is performing and how they can improve their social media presence.

Descriptive marketing website analytics will give you more information on how well your content marketing is affecting things like traffic, leads, clicks, and page views.

Recalling that descriptive marketing analytics gives you past data and answers the question of "what happened?" Descriptive analytics includes things like your marketing investment across channels and, in turn, the return on investment that your marketing investment in those channels yielded, e.g., social media marketing's ROI for your company.

As descriptive analytics also includes data on your leads, you should be receiving detailed reporting on the number of leads who made it deep into your sales funnel and came out becoming delighted customers.

However, descriptive marketing analytics goes a few steps further than web analytics in that these marketing analytics tell you which of your channels is producing the most leads and ROI, e.g., this month's email marketing ROI > social media ROI as well as relate that ROI back to your overarching business goals.

 

Predictive Marketing Analytics

So if descriptive marketing analytics tell you what has happened marketing wise with your leads and customers, then predictive analytics answers the logical follow-up question: what's presumably going to happen next?

 

See things in the present, even if they are in the future.—Larry Ellison

It's actually now possible to forecast your future content marketing success or the ROI of an upcoming product based on what customers on social media are saying about your brand. Just be careful to focus on what are known as quality metrics like high customer satisfaction ratings and positive retweets rather than quantity metrics like the sheer number of followers you have.

Predictive analytics goes beyond social media, though, and takes a big picture view of your leads. In particular, predictive marketing analytics should give you a very clear idea of the movement of leads in your sales funnel and how likely those leads are moving down the funnel to be converted into customers.

 

Prescriptive Marketing Analytics

The predictive phase of marketing analytics can also be thought of as a sequel to descriptive analytics since you've gone from understanding the data to predicting what your customers will do next. Yet predictive analytics is also a prequel to the third phase of marketing analytics, prescriptive analytics.

Prescriptive analytics will tell you what to do and provide with a playbook for possibly reshuffling your marketing approach, social media presence, lead nurturance, and overall engagement with your customers. Prescriptive is all about finding ways to take action based on the data you collected from both descriptive and predictive analytics.

 

Anything that is measured and watched, improves.—Bob Parsons

All in all, marketing analytics are simply a more strong tool of measurement to focus on than simply just your overall website’s performance. Though your website’s performance does factor into your company’s performance, your content, social media, and email marketing campaign performance become more of a necessity overall in order to attract, convert and delight your leads and customers.

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