Understanding Marketing Analytics
Marketing analytics is the practice of measuring, managing and analyzing marketing performance to maximize its effectiveness and optimize return on investment (ROI). Understanding marketing analytics allows marketers to be more efficient at their jobs and minimize wasted web marketing  dollars.
Beyond the obvious sales and lead generation applications, marketing analytics can offer profound insights into customer preferences and trends. Despite these compelling benefits, a majority of organizations fail to ever realize the promises of marketing analytics. According to a survey of senior marketing executives published in the Harvard Business Review , "more than 80% of respondents were dissatisfied with their ability to measure marketing ROI."
Figure 1: A Survey of Sr. Marketing Executives on their Marketing Analytics Effectiveness
However, with the advent of search engines, paid search marketing , search engine optimization , and powerful new software products  from WordStream, marketing analytics is more powerful and easier to implement than ever.
The importance of marketing analytics
Marketing analytics, Internet (or Web) marketing analytics in particular, allow you to monitor campaigns and their respective outcomes, enabling you to spend each dollar as effectively as possible.
The importance of marketing analyics is obvious: if something costs more than it returns, it's not a good long-term business strategy. In a 2008 study, the Lenskold Group  found that "companies making improvements in their measurement and ROI capabilities were more likely to report outgrowing competitors and a higher level of effectiveness and efficiency in their marketing." Simply put: Knowledge is power.
In search marketing in particular, knowledge comes in the form of keywords . Keywords tell you exactly what is on the mind of your current and potential customers. In fact, the most valuable long-term benefit of engaging in paid and natural search marketing isn't incremental traffic to your website, it's the keyword data contained within each click which can be utliized to inform and optimize other business processes.
- Product Design: Keywords can reveal exactly what features or solutions your customers are looking for.
- Customer Surveys: By examining keyword frequency data you can infer the relative priorities of competing interests.
- Industry Trends: By monitoring the relative change in keyword frequencies you can identify and predict trends in customer behavior.
- Customer Support: Understand where customers are struggling the most and how support resources should be deployed.
Marketing analytics: how and where to start
The Web is clearly the only game in town. Statistics show  that almost 75% of the entire North American population is online. The quickest and easiest way to reach out to this huge market is through paid search marketing, for example, advertising on Google AdWords or through other search engines.
Reports and information received from search marketing help in all areas of your business, including offline revenue and product development.
When implementing your search efforts, be sure keep these five tips in mind.
Five Online Marketing Tips:
- Start with Keyword Research: A stagnant keyword list is dangerous as it neglects trends and information on new products or developments.
- Set up some Paid Search Marketing Campaigns: Group keywords in relevant groups and write appropriate ad text to help improve your Quality Score , which will lower your bid and improve ad position.
- Analyze the Results: Displaying your keywords in ad text prove to the searcher and to Google that your ad is relevant to their search.
- Implement Natural Search: Google estimates that 80% of searchers click on an organic result over a paid advertisement. Incorporate your best performing keywords into your website and continue to generate relevant content.
- Repeat Ad Nauseum: Negative keywords  are great because they prevent unnecessary clicks and spend, ensuring your advertisement displays only for applicable searches.
Improve Your Marketing Strategy with the AdWords Performance Grader
A successful online marketing strategy relies on a winning AdWords campaign. The strength of your Adwords campaigns will dictate how well you rank in Google; without a decent ranking, your site will never be seen by prospective clients.
Wordstream’s AdWords Performance Grader  is a comprehensive tool that helps you evaluate how your AdWords campaigns are performing on several key criteria, such as:
- Effective use of negative keywords
- Quality Score
- Long-tail keyword optimization
- Text ad optimization
The AdWords Performance Grader shows you where and how to make improvements to your AdWords campaign that will improve your performance and save you money. It’s an expert analysis, and it’s absolutely free! Consider utilizing this great tool in your efforts to improve your online marketing campaign.
Going beyond marketing analytics: connecting analysis and action
As was published by E-Consultancy Research , it's generally well known that "a paid search campaign  will add prestige and credibility to an organization." Lesser known is the importance of what can be derived from a paid search campaign in a marketing analytics perspective.
The value of search goes beyond marketing, and extends to product development, customer satisfaction and brand awareness. How people search for you indicates how the market talks about you and how your brand and products are referenced.
Commonly searched features signify their importance in the opinion of the market, and that information is helpful when prioritizing product development and attributes. If a product page has a high bounce rate and people are leaving it quickly, you'll know something about that page and/or product isn't resonating with people and that it needs to be renovated. With so much helpful information at your fingertips, the trick then becomes taking initiative and impletmenting the data.
Instead of breaking up your analysis and deeds into two tasks, think of them as related and dependent upon each other. Both are valuable, but together, the sum becomes greater than its parts. In other words:
- Analytics + Actions = Actalytics 
Search campaigns require frequent maintenance for best results, so find a tool that fuses both and allows management from within the same platform.
WordStream has it all!
Now that you've started your search campaign, don't forget about the five online marketing  points above and the relationship between search marketing, Marketing Analytics, and ROI.
Use WordStream's Keyword Discovery Tool  to keep your keyword list dynamic and to find how people are landing on your site. Use this information as a market survey to aid your product decisions.
To create relevant segmentations, use WordStream's automatic keyword relevance ranking  and workflow prioritization  tool. To ensure keywords are included in your ads, they'll be automatically populated in suggested ad copy  for each group. Use keyword popularity  and long tail search discovery as references for organic material on your website.
Lastly, be confident you have a solid list of negative keywords . Keep an eye on keyword performance and search queries for suggestions. Also use Wordstream's AdWords Performance Grader  to see how you stack up against competitors and where you can improve you AdWords campaign.
Unlike most other tools, WordStream marries web analytics  and actions. The software analyzes your search data and prioritizes your actions  so you start with changes that will have the biggest impact. Even better, your analysis and actions are both done from inside WordStream, saving you from opening and navigating a separate tool for each.
To learn and profit from Marketing Analytics, you can:
- Try WordStream Free Today 
- Request a Live Demonstration 
- Sign up for our Search Marketing Webinar 
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