At every stage of business one needs to know the outcome of their efforts like tactics, strategy, marketing and promotion. The best way to measure is by analysing the data using Analytics an get an insight overview of the successes or the failures.
One may ponder upon the right time to deep dive into the analytics, but believe me any time is a good time. I have been using Google Analytics for some time like many of you. So let us begin
One can be a Beginner or Advanced for Google Analytics. It hardly matters.
The most important fact is the Context around who is in the audience, what they are trying to achieve, and how long they have been trying to solve that particular problem. While the beginner- intermediate-advanced paradigm serves as a nice anchor, I would suggest a new way of approaching the same.
Why Is Marketing/Advertising Data Analysis Necessary?
When we analyze the advertisement and promotion before the internet, we would have had a physical store and advertised in Print, TV, Radio, or hoardings. As customers would come into the store, one might have a feeling they came via the Print ad, but not sure. Earlier more emphasis was on traditional media as digital media was nonexistent, learn more about it from an article by Suraj Jaiswal
Today, it is possible to measure everything very precisely. If somebody comes into our eCommerce store, we can see which products they look at, and, very importantly, whether and what they purchase. Then from various links and UTM codes, we can find out the source and the medium from where the customer came.
Currently, around $170 billion is spent on internet advertising, Google and Facebook, are two-thirds of it and that’s not particularly surprising either. Google and Facebook have really great information about their users. Facebook understands who your friends are, what you’re looking at on the feed, what’s your hobby/interest, food and preferences and Google because you’re probably using Chrome, knows what websites you visit and what you’re searching for and can really track you throughout your entire internet experience. These companies gathered information on the maximum population, opened it up to advertisers, and allowed companies, small business owners to target specific demographics of users, allowing them to have really powerful marketing for quite a low barrier to entry.
That’s really the gist of marketing optimization: gathering and analyzing data to improve campaigns, ads, blog, URL and overall company. We can acknowledge that the technical installation aspect of tracking codes, the vocabulary associated with analytics, and the sheer number of tables and graphs available in Google Analytics can feel overwhelming. The key to avoiding that is knowing what your goal is before you go into Google Analytics.
Digital Business Lifecycle
One can begin with a visual representation of the multiple phases of any eCommerce business, and share what type of analytics and metrics are important at each level.
Some over enthusiasts and committed people make money online by creating a blog and getting attention by various giants in the virtual space, normally they are inspired by the success stories of few, but soon realize that the money just drips in rather than flow into the account. Some of them do carry on their flag but 70 to 80% of the start-ups do wind up.
Those who proceed and march ahead try to innovate and incorporate some non-tested strategies and tactics. They try-out tactics like a free subscription, Lifetime access to their learnings, a newsletter sign-up button and experiment with emailing their audience. Some also will offer an Ebook free of cost and ask to join Social Media/telegram groups. All these measures ensure that the traffic is diverted back to the site.
Once there are more visitors on the blog, it’s time to try and make some quick kill by harvesting financial gains. Further moving one starts experimenting with easy to implement/low-quality ads. It works until it doesn’t. So they learn the harder way till the time they graduate to implement/higher quality ads. These ideas work better but the hunger for more grows and leads to the next course of action.
Blogger ( Suggested read for becoming a blogger by Nikhil Parbat) starts generating revenue with all the tactics that we described above ultimately leading to some profit as well, which suggests that he should scale up. In order to scale one cannot be dependent on organic search, he needs to carry out paid Ads and initially with low knowledge and exposure one does not get the desired results, following the corrective measure and selection of the right medium and channel he gets back to achieving a profitable advertisement campaign. The success of the campaign depends on the brand you or one has, the product quality you sell clubbed with the usefulness of the services you offer. One will only proceed ahead and make a final call in case he finds the offer suitable and useful.
Now, the promoter/marketer needs to study the relevant eCommerce funnel, marketing automation, direct-response marketers, and everything they can get their hands on. They study and implement judiciously, soon revenues start rising, and the business becomes profitable. When you start making money the dilemma pours in what now.
The stakeholders/promoters then decide to grow and generate more revenue thereby increasing the profits. Now they realize that optimization will lead to more profit and sales and subsequently will reduce the risk and provide that extra leverage to indulge in new practices. They come to the conclusion that the tested methodologies only will increase the business overnight.
Understand Heart of Analytics
Analytics is embedded in each and every step of Ecommerce or Digital Business. There are metrics that support blog post visits, Youtube views, SocialMedia following, email subscriber growth, revenue generation, advertising results, customer behaviors, marketing funnels and testing.
Metrics that support each of these initiatives can be found in multiple available tools. Some of the AI/ML organisations specialize in developing tools that track down the grey areas and suggest remedial measures. We can look at Google Analytics to advertising platforms to blog software to email vendors.
We need to analyse and consider taking the following steps for successful online business growth
- Exploratory analysis helps investigate an assumption or a belief about a specific subject
- Descriptive analysis relates to the act of making the subject of an analysis crystal clear, transparent, and understandable
- Predictive analysis is references analytics that are executed to predict what may happen in the future. With AI/ML in use in a big way future trends can be predicted precisely in some contexts
- Conclusive analytics attempts to derive a conclusion based on the available data and the relationships between the variables in the data
- Prescriptive analytics involves determining the right course of action to take given a number of variables and potential outcomes. It is an evolution of predictive analytics. It is one thing to predict what could happen, but it is more powerful to tell people what action to take and the impact a particular set of predictions and actions would have on the rest of the business. As such, prescriptive analytics suggests the best possible beneficial action to take after knowing the predictions, and it identifies the implications of each prediction so that the stakeholder is guided.
Analyzing Marketing and Advertising for Ecommerce ( Taken from Judah Phillips)
Digital Marketing uses tactics and strategies for creating a brand/personal brand, driving brand awareness, identifying customers, further compelling and guiding them through a customer journey that concludes with a purchase. In order to analyze marketing and advertising, it’s important, as always, to consider the business goal of the analysis, the type of analysis you are going to do, the customer journey, and the types of marketing within phases of the journey. Taking the above information as a base, one can design and implement a plan for eCommerce marketing analytics as mentioned below.
- Campaign analysis uses the campaign code as the primary dimension for understanding performance.
- Search engine marketing (SEM) traditionally refers to the business and technical processes and work required for bidding on paid search keywords and managing them to maximize performance
- Search engine optimization (SEO) describes the process for ensuring that the content on an eCommerce site is displayed in organic search results in the desired ranking for a specific keyword. SEO also requires backlinking from other sites to the eCommerce site and an assessment of how sufficiently search engines are crawling and indexing site content, I suggest you can read the blog by Smitha for more on SEO/Digital Marketing. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) includes all those methods which lead to increase in website’s ranking on search engine results pages (SERPs) on browsing platforms such as Google, Yahoo, or Bing. … For this, search engines use crawlers for finding all relevant information online and rank them in order of quality and relevance both.
- Affiliate analytics is a way of analyzing the effectiveness of affiliates and affiliate networks in teams of conversion, revenue, and profitability. This a very effective practice to involve influencers in promoting your products and one pays after the revenue is generated. Read here for more on Affiliate Marketing by Pawan
- Social media analytics is about listening, engaging, and participating in social media through conversation, commentary, marketing, advertising, and other forms of multimedia-based social engagement (video, audio, and rich experiences). You can read more about Social Media in an article by Arpit. The goal of social media can be to build brand awareness, strengthen and inform customer relationships, influence prospective customers during the customer journey, create word-of-mouth virality, and drive consumer engagement and direct response. One relevant blog I came across and felt like recommending is written by Sahil
- Audience analysis is about understanding the attributes of the audience from available data. This data can include age, gender, demographic, psychographic, propensity, mind-set, neurometric, psychological, transactional, behavioral, and other data.
- Attribution involves understanding the impact of marketing channels on revenue, engagement, or another quantitative indicator in rank order of their impact
- Online display ad unit analysis informs the creative conceptualizing, building, trafficking, and placing of ad units on external sites by an ad server Marketing-mix modeling is the term used to describe the application of data science and statistical analysis to sales and marketing data in order to understand the impact of marketing on sales, and then to forecast, estimate, or predict future sales based on maintaining or modifying the mix of marketing.
- E-mail analytics measures the effectiveness of e-mail as a marketing channel for causing purchases directly as a result of the e-mail or indirectly from latent visits and buying after exposure to e-mail. Get more on business email by Sankar Prakash
- Customer journey analysis refers to an analysis that tracks prospects and customers as they move through different phases of the customer journey specific to the eCommerce site. Specific metrics can be measured, reported, and analyzed to inform about the count and behavior of prospects and customers with marketing and advertisements targeted to each phase in the customer journey.
The Behavior section reveals what your visitors do on your website. Specifically, the reports tell you what pages people visit and what actions they take when they visiting. One can access Behavior reports using the menu in the left sidebar of your Google Analytics dashboard.
It is a separate domain altogether & For your information, there are nine reporting sections and tools under Behavior in one’s website’s Google Analytics profile which can be explored via the link shared.
Exploring Google Analytics
Google Analytics reveals a lot of data about how visitors engage with your website’s content. The behavior reports give you insight into your top pages and top event interactions, as well as the ability to improve your conversion rates with experiments and In-Page Analytics.
You might be aware that Google just rolled out version 4 and hence called GA4. The biggest advantage of the latest version is that you can measure your App usage and Web usage in a single GA property
The first version of Google Analytics(GA1) was the Classic GA, ga.js
The second version of Google Analytics(GA2) was called Universal Analytics, analytics.js
New norms in the world of data privacy is making it much harder for us marketers to track your own work. When you want to know more about your customers and the campaigns, it is necessary to get the answers to the below questions
i) Is my marketing and promotional activities attracting the right audience? I suggest one can read blog by Jayesh on Digital Marketing for better understanding
ii) How are people engaging with our landing pages?
iii) How are visiors / customers finding us?
iv) How are my different traffic sources working together?
v) Which step in the customer journey is creating a bottleneck?
vi) How should I develop/create my content to get better results?
vii) Which traffic sources should I focus and emphasize ?
Using the GA4 you can get answers to all the above queries for which you need to have a mastery over Analytics( Google ) which will pave way for one to be an effective/efficient marketer.
Analytics with the usage of AI/ML has become more precise and effective, but still short of understanding the human psyche. We are aware that analytics is key to growing a business. It’s has been and will be with us at every step of our path.
The more I plunge into analytics, it appears more complex to me, but somewhere I feel it will be possible to find a solution. The more I travel, the more needs to be explored, that’s what analytics is
Your thoughts in the comments are most welcome, would love to hear from you.