Using Web Analytics to Increase Revenue & Decrease Spending
Web Analytics & Your Business
You’ve likely heard the quote “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half” (usually attributed to US Department Store Merchant, John Wanamaker).
Well, you can scrub that one from your mind when it comes to digital marketing because wasted ad spend is a measurement and attribution problem. Companies even as big as Google has been working on the attribution problem for some time now. While there’s no “single answer” for every company, digital marketing attribution has thoroughly surpassed the “50% wasted ad spend” point. In fact, the ability to identify return on advertising spend (ROAS) has become nearly ubiquitous thanks to free tools like the Google Analytics attribution feature.
Do you remember when Watson won Jeopardy? Well, we’re a few years on now with large advances in the application of artificial intelligence and machine learning to marketing – making this often-cited quote less and less applicable by the day.
These fast advances in marketing efficiencies have led to an onslaught of businesses implementing web analytics in order to identify and act on statistics-based customer (and other financial) insights. Let’s look at a few features that web analytics solutions are enabling for millions of websites. Below is a list of practices within the analytics space with direct business impacts:
Customer profiling is the process of construction and application of user profiles. It helps increase revenue.
Conversion rate optimization is a system for increasing the percentage of visitors to a website that convert into customers. It directly relates to increasing revenue.
- Account-based lead scoring
- Predictive Customer Lifetime Value
- Checkout & cart abandonment intervention
- UI/UX continuous improvement (a.k.a. “Adaptive Hypermedia”)
Email marketing optimization involves sending personalized e-mail through a database of personally identifiable individuals or to anonymous recipients identified using email retargeting. Email Marketing directly relates to increasing revenue.
- Email and traffic source (UTM based) retargeting and segmentation
- Attribution Modeling
- Cookie Syncing
Targeted advertising is a form of advertising where online advertisers can use sophisticated methods to target the most receptive audiences with certain traits, based on the product or person the advertiser is promoting. Targeted Advertising primarily decreases spending through the careful calculation and monitoring of return on advertising spending (ROAS)
- Behavioral Targeting
- Return on advertising spend solutions
- Geographic Targeting and segmentation of buying (& non-buying) traffic
Customer retention analysis refers to the ability of a company or product to retain its customers over some specified period. It decreases spending because it’s less expensive to keep an existing customer than to acquire a new one and it increases revenue through increased loyalty & “upselling” identification
- Net promoter scores & survey collection
- Preemptive Customer Intervention (a.k.a. “predictive customer service“)
- Customer Engagement Tools
And the list goes on and on. The use cases for web analytics is so extensive that many thousands of “MarTech” (Marketing Technology) companies have bet their business on this massive technology space. In fact, one study (picture below) by ChiefMartec.com is an extensive (and dizzying) list of MarTech companies and categorized 5000+ companies into market verticals.
Diagram 1: Marketing Technology Landscape (2017) by ChiefMarTec.com (http://chiefmartec.com/2017/05/marketing-techniology-landscape-supergraphic-2017/)
Because marketing and marketing qualified leads (MQL) are such a critical part of sales (which ultimately is responsible for all business progress), going without the sales-and-marketing enabling technologies ultimately means losing business to the competitors who use them. Ultimately, competition is one of the biggest reasons that these technologies will be a normal part of every business that survives in the future and keeping ahead of the competition’s use of technology will be the special domain of those businesses that actually thrive.
Installing Google Analytics is one way to start the data science process of extracting business insights from e-commerce data sets. The increasing adoption of data modeling and data science approaches are pointing thousands of companies directly to their target customers and their target markets. Web analytics and eCommerce data are important sources of large data sets required for finding data insights.
Additionally, thousands of companies now have what’s called a “MarTech Stack” where web analytics and eCommerce data are at or near the core of that “stack”. In fact, the “Stackies Award” is a quickly growing event highlighting the best in national and international exploits by top marketing technology experts in their field.
Start With Google Analytics
So where can you get started slowly if you’re completely unacquainted with marketing technology and web analytics? Start with Google Analytics (the free version). If your business is like nearly 70% of the sites on the internet then you already have Google Analytics (the free version) installed. As the most popular web analytics tool in the world, hundreds of thousands of businesses have had it installed for years but very few businesses know how to exploit its many features to decrease costs and increase sales. Many are shocked just how much important and usable data they’ve accumulated after having Google Analytics installed for just a few months.
Diagram 2: Google Analytics User Flow Source: https://www.datanyze.com/market-share/analytics
So now that we’ve covered some of the “what” and “why” of analytics for business, in the next article in this series we will dig into the “how” of using web analytics to decrease spending and increase revenue for your business.