Why B2B marketers should use Web analytics tools

Website analytics provides B2B marketers with insight into the effectiveness of all marketing strategies. It is a barometer that shows which tactics create strong results, which should be phased out and whether content is contributing to lead generation. B2B marketers will know whether videos, blog posts and graphics are attracting visitors and converting them into prospects and leads.

Data empowers marketers as they know where to focus their time and resources, while reaping the highest level of rewards.There's no use executing a B2B marketing strategy without knowing its impact. With little feedback, marketers could be going in circles questioning if what they are doing matters.

Marketers turn to analytics to track various actions
Many marketers rely on analytics to track and measure the behavior and activities of visits. These may include traffic, click-through rates, time on-site, conversions, views, exits, sales and next page views, among other indicators (1). With this information, B2B marketing professionals can optimize their endeavors and work to improve sales (2).

However, before executing a marketing strategy and measuring the effectiveness of it, it is important to establish goals. Many marketers share similar goals. In fact, 93 percent of the most effective B2B marketers say lead generation is their top goal. Brand awareness and customer acquisition are also cited as important for B2B marketers (3). It is best to ask the right questions so marketers know whether they are achieving their objectives or just floundering with frustrating marketing tactics. 

Marketers should measure number lead generation indicators 
Metrics and numbers should have value to the executive and sales departments. Positive statistics reassure CEOs and VPs the marketing strategy is increasing revenue. The executive department may appreciate knowing if the contact page is generating leads and whether the company is receiving questions via the enquiry forms. This one is essential because these forms ask for buyers' names, phone numbers and the nature of their requests.

Marketers should measure cost per lead, cost per customer acquisition and conversion ratio of qualified leads to sales. Especially for B2B marketers, it would be helpful to gain insight into not just visitor stats, but specific information on that buyer. For example, it would be great to know the buyer's industry type, number of employees, revenue, name and location. All of this data will provide marketers with the ability to target individuals in this demographic.

Based on an analytics of more than 61 million data records, marketers typically get 89.2 percent of email addresses and 77.5 percent of first names (4). However, many do not acquire information on a prospective buyer's phone number. Only 36.2 percent include get individuals' phone numbers and 18.2 percent capture information on a buyer's annual revenue.  

Data should be presented in a captivating way
Charts and spreadsheets are not visually appealing and should be avoided. Instead, create a dashboard, a graphic, illustration or an infographic to show marketing analytics. People resonate with an aesthetically pleasing image, rather than cumbersome numbers and less meaningful charts. CEOs and VPs have little time, so get to the point quickly. 

In 2013, Google collaborated with an array of dash-boarding companies. These businesses coordinated this endeavor with Google by updated their plugins for the search engine's analytics. However, besides Google, many other vendors in the Web analytics sector could be better at sharing data with dashboard vendors. 

What to anticipate in the next year
Some analytics tools track eye movements a buyer makes (5). This year, more measurement methods are coming out. Aside from traditional engagement Web analytics channels, analytics may be implementing and tracking scrolling, zooming, highlighting and others indicators of interest in the content.

Additionally, marketers will be able to track physical interactions. For example, people are interacting with touch screen laptops, tablets and smartphones. These tools would help B2B marketers measure swipes, tilts and other actual movements of the hands. 

In addition, analytics tools may start incorporating the measurement of multi-visit click paths. Many measurement platforms only focus on a single visit, not multiple visits. Marketers may be missing out on crucial information if they don't see the number of visits. It may take a prospect multiple visit to decide whether to buy a product, purchase services or make a phone call to learn more. 

With analytics and measurements, marketers will focus on efficient methods and toss aside wasteful strategies. By only employing worthy tactics, companies attract the maximum number of leads with the least amount of money. This will help B2B marketers make informed decisions and achieve a solid return on marketing investment (6). 

Sources:
1.10 Web Analytics Trends for 2014
2. Case Study: Account-Based Web Analytics Power B2B Marketing To New Heights
3. The State of B2B Content Marketing: 2014 Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends
4. The State of B2B Marketing Data
5. Measuring Data: Whadda Ya Got?
6. Google Analytics: How to Make Smart Marketing Decisions

Sheila Kloefkorn (1029 Posts)

With more than 20 years of hands on marketing strategy and operations experience, Sheila Kloefkorn is dedicated to developing marketing strategies and plans that help clients succeed. Some of the world's largest brands have depended on Sheila for marketing programs that delivered tangible and substantial results. Specialties: B2B marketing, lead generation, lead nurturing, sales strategy, marketing strategy, competitive marketing strategy, social media, search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM), mobile marketing,, email marketing, website design, marketing plans.