Marketing Analytics Challenges: 6 Tips on How to Solve Them

Clever marketers know the value of data. By studying and learning from data, you can discover if your marketing efforts are paying off. When you look at individual metrics, you can pinpoint areas for improvement.

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Analyzing data for marketing purposes falls under the heading “marketing analytics.”

When you do it right, you can get a greater return on investment (ROI) and smash your marketing goals. But analyzing data also comes with challenges. Small business owners may even feel overwhelmed by the volume of data and the price of marketing analytics software.

To help you navigate the world of marketing analytics, we’ve put together the following guide.

Read on for a list of common marketing analytics challenges, with tips on how to solve them.

1. The Challenge: You Don’t Have the Infrastructure

There’s an increasing demand for data. Businesses want to learn more about user behavior, but storing this information requires the right infrastructure.

Protecting your customer’s privacy and storing data can use a significant amount of bandwidth.

If you don’t have the budget or hardware for your own data storage and management system, you may say goodbye to the idea of marketing analytics.

What’s the solution?

Before you give up, we have found a solution.

If you’re serious about marketing analytics, there’s a way to safely store data without having to invest in infrastructure, power, and cooling. Colocation data centers are reliable data centers located off-site.

You can lease the data center space that best suits your needs. You only need to pay for what you need, and you can access your analytics at any time.

Coalition data centers are increasing in popularity. They give you the security and flexibility you need to expand your business without a large financial outlay.

2. The Challenge: Your Business Processes are Confusing

Marketing analytics can be time-consuming. Analyzing data, creating goals, and testing strategies require organization.

If you feel overwhelmed by the statistics and customer data in front of you, it may be tempting to put marketing analytics in the “too hard” basket.

What’s the solution?

The good news is, there’s a way to make your life easier. By creating clear business processes for your marketing analytics, you can perform tasks in a specific order.

You can use business process design in all areas of your operations to maintain consistency. With a streamlined approach, you can structure your marketing in a way all employees can understand.

What should your marketing analytics business process look like? Your processes will vary depending on your business, but here’s a simple example for your online marketing:

Step 1: Make measurable marketing goals

Step 2: Create a spreadsheet to track your outcomes

Step 3: Record your data in your spreadsheet

Step 4: Prepare a report

Step 5: Use the data to make changes

You can expand and adapt your business processes as required. We suggest compiling your processes into a comprehensive guide that you can share with relevant members of your team.

3. The Challenge: There’s a Lack of Skills and Experience

Marketing analytics is a big deal. In fact, some companies hire data scientists as full-time employees.

Not everyone has the skills and experience to analyze their own marketing data. This is a challenge many small businesses face, and it may discourage you from creating new goals.

What’s the solution?

The solution you choose will depend on the size of your company and how much you rely on marketing data.

If you run a large business, recruiting employees with experience in this area could be worthwhile. The right team can help you boost your campaigns and grow your brand.

The investment may even pay itself off. When your promotions are targeted with a high ROI, you can spend your advertising dollars more effectively.

For smaller companies with IT and marketing savvy staff, upskilling may be the answer. Your employees may benefit from short courses, online training, online growth resources, seminars, and industry events.

With the support of technology, your existing team may have what it takes to manage your own marketing data.

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4. The Challenge: Analytics Software Can Be Expensive

Over time, the data you record and analyze can be extensive. Some marketing professionals use Microsoft® Excel® spreadsheets. It’s affordable and suitable for monitoring small campaigns.

Unfortunately, as your data grows, spreadsheets can be difficult to manage. You may struggle to find the right information and your sheets may be clunky and slow to load.

Making the switch to marketing analytics software may be something you’ve already considered. But, it may come at a high cost with a suite of features you’ll never use.

What’s the solution?

Can you see the benefit of streamlined, automated processes, but you’re unsure if a software solution is worth the money?

The solution starts with research. You’ll also need a clear budget. How much can you afford to pay, and what features do you need?

Before you commit to a lengthy subscription, take advantage of free trials. Software companies will often have a trial that lasts for a week or month. When you try before you buy, you can decide for yourself if the analytics tool is worth the money.

During the trial, think about whether the software fulfills your needs. Can it help you meet your goals?

If there isn’t a trial available, you can read customer reviews. Compare different options and plans side by side to eliminate tools that don’t match your budget.

Make sure that you choose a reputable software company with a clear privacy policy.

5. The Challenge: There’s Too Much Data

These days, we all want more. It’s easy to assume you can’t have too much of a good thing. But when it comes to data, sometimes too many details can hinder your marketing efforts.

Overwhelming amounts of information can leave you with too many unrelated niches to target. Sorting through that data can take time.

You may even forget to focus on customer relationships and behaviors as numbers and statistics become your primary concern.

What’s the solution?

If you’re concerned that you have too much data, it’s time to go back to basics. Simplify your data collection and analyze only what you really need. A hundred lines of targeted data will be much more valuable than a thousand lines of irrelevant data.

When you focus on the right data, you’ll have more valuable insights into your marketing campaigns.

Don’t get us wrong, big data can help you optimize your marketing campaigns. But only if it’s relevant.

6. The Challenge: Your Data is Inaccurate

Another challenge marketers face is inaccurate or incomplete data. For example, data may be collected with missing fields or without attribution.

There may also be missed opportunities for reporting, such as incorrect tracking links. When you have inaccurate information, your marketing analytics will be watered down.

When you don’t have all the data, you won’t be able to create accurate goals or measure your success. You need to be able to rely on your data.

What’s the solution?

To help fix this issue, you should make sure any new data records are added correctly. For example, you can include mandatory fields on your website forms.

You may need to delete portions of the data if it doesn’t contain anything valuable that you can use.

You can also take advantage of free online tools. Regardless of whether you’re using marketing analytics software, Google® Analytics can give you additional insights. It has a range of tracking and planning features to help you set achievable goals.

When you create marketing campaigns, you should use unique URLs. You want to know the who, what, where, why, when, and how. You can also analyze your URLs to understand what works and what doesn’t.

Trackable, unique URLs and other data collection methods will help you answer these questions:

  • Who is visiting your website?
  • What are they looking for?
  • Where are they coming from?
  • Why are they staying or leaving?
  • When are they visiting your website?
  • How did they find you?

You may even find you’re spending too much in one area and not enough elsewhere. Successful marketers understand that this information is worth its weight in gold.

Solving Marketing Analytics Challenges

Marketing analytics is worth pursuing if you want to improve your marketing and spend your money wisely.

While analyzing data can be invaluable for your business, there are a few challenges you may face.

In this guide, we gave you a list of six marketing analytics challenges and how you can solve them. Lack of infrastructure, lack of skills and experience, expense, excess data, and inaccurate data all made the list.

Are you ready to take your small business to the next level? Browse more articles like this one on the small business blog.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: The SmartBiz® Small Business Blog and other related communications from SmartBiz Loans® are intended to provide general information on relevant topics for managing small businesses. Be aware that this is not a comprehensive analysis of the subject matter covered and is not intended to provide specific recommendations to you or your business with respect to the matters addressed. Please consult legal and financial processionals for further information.

About the Author

Axelle Dervaux has experience in digital marketing with a focus on B2B marketing for SaaS companies. She’s working in various marketing fields such as SEO and SEA, social media, lead nurturing, customer retention, product marketing. She is the Marketing Manager at Clic Data®, a cloud-based business intelligence, and data management platform. You can connect with her on LinkedIn®.

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