As you know, inbound marketing is rapidly changing the way organizations compete. As leads search out information, engage with you on social media, and access your website content, they leave behind a rich trail of lead intelligence as marketing metrics.

Marketing analytics is the practice of managing and studying metrics data in order to determine the ROI of marketing efforts, as well as the act of identifying opportunities for improvement.

It’s impossible, of course, to discuss analytics apart from metrics, but it’s also crucial to define the difference. Marketing metrics are the data points themselves. Analytics is putting that data in the context of your brand and market, telling managers and investors a complete story about how your marketing efforts are driving revenue.

Why do I need Marketing Analytics?

Your “To Do” list is long enough. You’re building awareness, launching campaigns, scheduling follow-ups, and driving and nurturing leads. As long as your campaigns are keeping the sales team is flush with qualified leads, you’re golden, right?

Wrong. You might have a gut feeling about what works and what doesn’t (and you might even be right), but measuring and monitoring your campaigns is the only way to prove it. With that being said, a thorough marketing analytics program will help you to: Understand big-picture marketing trends, Determine which programs worked and why, Monitor trends over time, Thoroughly understand the ROI of each program and Forecast future results.

The executive team won’t support or finance good feelings or trending marketing techniques without numbers behind them. Nor are they interested in bare metrics—spreadsheets full of numbers that don’t tell a story and don’t clearly relate to the revenue stream.

Tracking your marketing metrics is a necessary first step, but metrics don’t speak to the corner office without analytics to interpret them. This is why you need marketing analytics.

In conclusion, marketing and business analytics are really a two way street – without marketing data business analytics simply wouldn’t tell the whole tale, and vice versa. Marketing analytics lean on business data from other departments, primarily sales, to provide feedback about the downstream impact of marketing efforts.

Businesses that take advantage of analytics are positioning themselves for success. Can you identify what is working? What needs help? What demands a pivot? If you keep going with the status quo will you ever have the full picture of your business performance?