When online marketing first began, it was relatively simple.
You ran some PPC ads, an email marketing campaign, and worked on your content marketing.
Today, however, it’s not just a case of creating these things and seeing how they do. You’ve got to successfully manage your social media marketing, social media advertising, PPC ads, email campaigns – if you’re not careful, it can feel like throwing spaghetti at the wall just to see what works.
Fortunately, data analysis and – more specifically – data blending can make your marketing decisions faster and easier to make, with more impact.
What is data blending?
Data blending is simply where you take data from multiple sources and combine them to give you one united dataset.
This is incredibly beneficial regardless of what data you’re looking at but can be even more so for online marketing.
Let’s take a closer look at the benefits of consolidating your marketing data with data blending.
The benefits of consolidating your marketing data
See results across multiple platforms
If you’re running PPC ads on various search engines and platforms, it’s going to take time to look at each individual ad or campaign and assess all the different metrics. It’s going to be even more difficult if you want to see your overall costs at a glance, your overall conversion rate, and more. This is where data blending steps in.
If you’re using a business analytics platform like Sisense you’ll be able to automatically generate data blended dashboards that will present anyone at any level with easy-to-analyze data. You don’t need to pay for data entry to unite your dashboards, and you don’t need to waste your marketing team’s valuable time. They can see what’s going right – or wrong – and make new decisions.
And for the sake of a visual example, a PPC blended view within Sisense would look something like this:
You can see everything about your PPC campaigns – your cost-per-click, conversion rate, and whether or not there is a problem in your funnel.
In the above example, we can see that the funnel is working perfectly, filtering down from impressions to won opportunities. If that funnel effect suddenly dropped off at leads created, you know you have a chink in your armor.
Create anyone-can-read reports
Reports and dashboards really aren’t worth the money if there are only a handful of people on your team that can read them. Especially if they’re not the people that need the data.
If your data essentially needs translating before it’s useful, it’s not doing anyone any good. Sisense reports can be read by just about anyone – if they understand the terms, they can understand the data. It’s crystal clear, which means the right decisions can be made fast.
Do you know that your Instagram ads almost never get clicks on a weekend? Is it like that for all your ads across the board? Using complex data, you can see which campaigns are most effective – or not – and when.
And to truly see such statistics and trends in action, refer to the visual below.
Save money and increase revenue
To build on my point above, knowing when your campaigns are most effective will help you save money and increase revenue. For example, if you are a B2B organization and you realize that you get almost no new leads over the weekend, you could dramatically decrease your spend over the weekend and save money.
Alternatively, if you identify that you get the most for your money on a Monday, you could increase your ad spend and thus increase revenue. It’s important to remember that your ROI depends on smart spending and marketing, not blanket marketing, so it’s worth using a data blending tool to ensure your marketing budget is being utilized effectively.
Hit KPIs or identify where you’re falling short
Your online marketing efforts are one of the biggest reasons why you will be meeting or falling short of KPIs, such as MQLs, sales revenue metrics, and more. Using one dashboard with a blended view will allow you to see if your online marketing is contributing to the problem.
If you have a sales team, you may find for example that your online marketing gets the leads, but they fail to convert once they’re talking to a member of the sales team.
Even if your sales process takes place entirely online, you’ll be able to see how each marketing activity contributes to your results – you may find your PPC ads aren’t converting, but your content marketing and email marketing are. You can then reassess, make changes, and see how things change for you.
As highlighted by Indeed, KPI metrics within business and marketing may include:
- Dollars spent on marketing over a certain period
- Online traffic (the number of visitors to the company website)
- Organic online traffic (the number of visitors to the company website via search engines)
- Web traffic (to determine how many visitors are new vs. returning)
- Mobile traffic
- Click-through rate (the ratio of web traffic that clicks on a particular ad)
- The number of visits to a particular piece of content
And based on the needs of your business or client reporting, these KPI metrics can scale further in either direction.
Finding the right tools
Blended view analytics tools are the key to success in online marketing, but it can be difficult to decide which is the best fit for you.
Here are two tools you need to know about:
If you’re looking for a tool to manage your complex data, optimize campaigns, and manage your multi-channel marketing efforts, you won’t find better.
Sisense allows everyone in your team to see vital data at a glance, whether or not they have an analytical background. You’ll be able to track the impact of each campaign in one place, see which campaigns and platforms are delivering, and which aren’t. You can then decide if you need to tweak the ad to better suit the audience, or scrap it and double your efforts on a platform that is converting well.
For a complete visual of the platform and it’s many different marketing dashboards (from digital to traditional), you can view them all in action here.
Google Data Studio
If you’re new to using blended dashboards and complex data and are a small business, Google Data Studio is a great place to start. While it is largely a platform that allows you to create reports, you can also use some blended views.
As with many Google tools, it is easy to use but it will throw you right in with no introduction, so you may have to spend some time Googling (ironically) how to get the most out of this tool.
To learn more about the many benefits of Google Data Studio and how to best use this solution, feel free to read over this helpful overview.
If you’re a large organization, you’re not going to find a better tool than Sisense. Their solution is currently being used by businesses in nearly all industries to access the at-a-glance insight they can’t get from their complex data.
However, if you’re new to using insights or are a small business, Google Data Studio is one of the best tools to help you get started and understand what you want to see from your analytics tools.
No matter what solution you end up going with, it’s more important than ever to start using data blending in your business and marketing efforts.
Guest author: Zac Johnson is a world-renowned blogger and entrepreneur with nearly 20 years of experience in the online marketing space and has helped his readers generate millions of dollars online. He shares his story and guidance at ZacJohnson.com