B2B Marketing Analytics
Confidently use B2B marketing analytics to focus on what matters and demonstrate your success.
What is B2B marketing analytics?
B2B marketing analytics is the process of capturing data, reporting and then analyzing your business-to-business digital marketing activity. In digital marketing everything is measurable, despite this, analytics is the one area where all marketers seem to struggle. Be it because of the volume of data, difficulties in reporting or inconsistencies between platforms, understanding the B2B marketing metrics that matter is a constant challenge.
In this section, we lift the veil on B2B marketing analytics enabling you to use data within your decision-making and giving you the ability to demonstrate success.
Why do B2B marketing analytics matter?
In the modern business, it’s important to be able to understand what works and what doesn’t. There are now more channels and tactics available to marketers than ever before, and businesses need to prioritize where they focus, that prioritization relies on understanding wich tactics deliver the best ROI.
Watch now: Marketing analytics for beginers
Web Analytics for Beginners
Tracking four basic metrics (total traffic, source of traffic, bounce rate, and conversion rate) can help small business owners fine-tune their web strategy and, ultimately, increase profits.
There are countless things on your website that you can measure and analyze, but in this video, we focus on four key metrics for beginners.
Total Traffic — The number of people visiting your site is a strong indicator of its overall health. This measurement can also help you identify what you’re doing right. For example, if you get a huge spike in traffic after publishing a guest post, you know your visitors liked the content.
Source of Traffic — This measurement tells you how people are finding your website online. This can help you create a strategy going forward. If you find that most of your new visitors come for your social media posts, you’ll know that you should direct your efforts at creating more social content.
Bounce Rate — A bounce is when a visitor leaves your site before clicking on another page. A high bounce rate can mean that the people coming to your site aren’t sticking around to make a purchase. This could be for a variety of reasons, including unappealing content, unattractive website design, or a hard-to-navigate menu.
Conversion Rate — Conversion rate is the percentage of visitors who actually do what you’re asking them to do on your site, such as buy your product or subscribe to your blog. The higher your conversion rate, the better your site is doing. A low conversion rate can signal that your content and call to action are weak.
Tracking web analytics does require time and effort, but carefully deciphering the data can lead to a more effective website — and more sales.
B2B marketing analytics best practices
Reporting shouldn’t be a hindrance quite the contrary it should be something you trust and rely upon to make decisions. Here are some best practices to help you start on that B2B marketing analytics journey.
What does success look like?
Before you start any campaign, you should define what success means. Are you generating more leads, more visits or something else? Whether you are establishing a strategy or executing tactics, you need to be clear about your definition of success.
Align success to measurable analytics
Once you understand what success looks like, align these to measurable metrics and key performance indicators. Ensure in advance of campaign launch that the metrics you want to measure are measured and recorded. Avoid the typical scenario of discovering what you wanted to measure hasn’t been captured.
Steer away from vanity metrics
Vanity metrics are the metrics that seem to get a lot of attention, particularly at senior management level, but in reality, don’t align with your definition of success. Vanity metrics can quickly get you into the trap of focusing on metrics that don’t impact the bottom line. Setting goals in advance, and agreeing key performance indicators, helps avoid getting lost in vanity metrics.
Focus on Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
Once you agree your objectives and how they can be measured you should focus on those KPIs, only including additional metrics where they are leading indicators. You have lots of data, but you don’t need to report on everything. Avoid analysis paralysis caused by data overload.
Have a single view of the truth
Gathering data isn’t the problem, the challenge is often having a consistent view of the data. Your website analytics, marketing automation tools, and even your social media tools will present a different view of data. Agree with relevant stakeholders in your organization which data sources you will use as your one source of truth.
What metrics should I report on a B2B website?
B2B websites exist to help meet business goals. B2B businesses survive on leads and websites can help businesses attract visitors and convert these visitors into leads. As a result success on a majority of sites boils down to three questions:
How much traffic did my site attract?
Before you can generate conversions, your website must have visitors. The more visitors you have, the more likely you are to generate conversions. A website with no visitors isn’t going to meet any goals.
How many visitors did my site convert?
A conversion is the completion of a business goal. Your website exists to support business goals, for example, lead generation for sales.
How much did those conversions cost?
With an endless pit of money, any website can be successful. The reality is that businesses have limited budgets which they must focus on the tactics that work, enabling them to deliver a positive ROI.
What are common B2B marketing analytics challenges?
It’s difficult to find any organization where there isn’t some B2B marketing analytics challenge. Everyone wants to achieve closed loop marketing and even start moving towards predictive analytics. The reality is that very few businesses regardless of size have basic reporting in place which is reliable, consistent and actionable. Here are some of the common challenges business-to-business organizations face:
Ensuring data quality – Data quality can be poor for many reasons, including difficulties in excluding external traffic.
Managing data from multiple sources – Every digital platform has a reporting option. There are challenges in bringing this data together under one single view.
Providing consistent and timely reporting – Where reporting requires human intervention it can result in inconsistencies and can’t be accessed in real time when decisions need to be made.
Delivering analysis and actionable insights from reporting – Data alone is meaningless and requires analysis to pull insights. Analysis needs to be performed by people who have expertise in the field.
Understanding what metrics matter – In B2B marketing analytics, data gathering date isn’t the challenge, the challenge is knowing what is important and actionable.
What is the future of B2B marketing analytics?
The near-term future of B2B marketing analytics is predictive analytics. The current approach to analytics is to look at the past. We report of how many visits we had to our website or how well our campaign worked. With predictive analytics, B2B businesses can analyze large amounts of data to predict what will happen. The Pareto principle states that, for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. Predictive analytics attempts to predict the 20% in future activities based on the data we have today.