Take a Bite Out of Analytics

It’s the 30th Anniversary of Discovery Channel’s Shark Week! We’re using it as a chance to have some fun and talk about the wilder side of B2B marketing.

For many marketers, being able to prove marketing ROI remains a mystery. Navigating the murky waters of reporting and analytics can be a struggle, and our marketing metrics sometimes leave us feeling lost at sea.

Similar to how ocean researchers use sonar and hydrographic surveys to understand parts of the ocean that have yet to be explored, B2B marketers rely on technologies to give us insight into the data that lies beneath our campaigns.

Enter B2B Marketing Analytics. Combining Pardot and Salesforce data and using a simple, point-and-click interface, B2B Marketing Analytics is the app for which marketers have been waiting. With the right mindset and a few simple pointers, you should be ready to dive in and take a bite out of analytics!

The Key to Great Marketing

Reliable reporting is key to good marketing – it summarizes campaign performance, separating the good initiatives from the bad, and shows us the state of our marketing efforts. Reporting is essential, but if you want to really up your marketing game, analytics will take you to the next level.

Beyond giving you a snapshot of where you are, analytics can explain the “why.” It’s more than just summarizing data — with analytics, you can interpret and explore. You’ve heard of making data-driven decisions, analytics is your chance to do just that.

If reporting is key to good marketing, then analytics is key to great marketing.

So why isn’t everyone leveraging analytics in their marketing strategy? The short answer is that it’s intimidating. Most analytics tools are made for data scientists and require years of experience in data analysis. This makes sense, reading and analyzing data can be complicated. It can be difficult to know where to start, how to combine information from multiple data sources, and understand how to get the answers you seek.

Find the Right Questions

One of the biggest challenges with utilizing analytics is knowing what to ask. B2B Marketing Analytics is a powerful tool and you have probably amassed a great deal of data, so how do you sort through it?

The first step is to identify your goals. This could be as broad as your organizational goals, think lead generation or conversion; but it could also be much more granular, for example, you may want to track email performance over time.

Once you have those broad goals, consider which specific metrics would be useful in addressing them. If you are looking at lead generation, it may be helpful to understand which of your marketing assets are resulting in the highest number of conversions. Or if you are looking at email performance, you may measure click-through rates and bounce trends.

Now that you’ve identified specific goals and the metrics that apply to them, consider if there is any variation between teams in your organization. For example, both sales and marketing teams may want to see information on lead generation, but the change in perspective may mean that data is represented in different ways (e.g. a chart versus a summarized number) or that different filters may be helpful in zeroing in on useful information.

Ensure You Have the Data You Need

Whether you’re working in Pardot, Salesforce or an Excel spreadsheet, clean data is always key to successful analytics. Before you set sail on any significant analytics project, consider scrubbing your database, getting rid of out-of-date or duplicate information. You may also opt to enhance your data, for even more precise results. Whatever your data needs, check out our Lightning Data Storefront for some excellent recommendations.

Once your database is ready for exploration, determine exactly what you’ll need based on the questions you’ve already identified.

B2B Marketing Analytics comes with several out-of-the-box datasets, using both Pardot and Salesforce data. In many cases, these datasets will be sufficient to get some key answers. Going back to our examples earlier, you may utilize the Form or Landing Page datasets to track lead generation efforts, or the List Email and Email Template datasets to explore your email performance.

However, if that’s not enough, you also have the options of building your own datasets, either by uploading a CSV file, importing data from Salesforce, or combining two or more existing datasets for an even more customizable experience. B2B Marketing Analytics gives you the flexibility to manipulate your data in a wide variety of ways.

Review, Track and Update

As you get comfortable in B2B Marketing Analytics, you may use your queries (a.k.a. lenses) as building blocks for custom dashboards. A dashboard is a great way to explore overarching themes in your data and allow various teams in your organization to keep track of the metrics that are most important to them.

If you decide to build your own dashboards, don’t forget to check in on them often. Your data is always evolving, which means that your lenses and dashboards should follow suit. To ensure that you are always getting the best results, consider the following best practices:

  • Use the Preview tool when building dashboards to ensure everything behaves as expected
  • Create a feedback loop to source suggestions/improvements to your analytics strategy
  • Adjust lenses and dashboards as necessary, based on changing business priorities

Visit Getting Started with B2B Marketing Analytics for the most up-to-date analytics resources.