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The Ultimate Guide to Marketing Analytics in 2023: Templates, Examples, Case Studies, Reports & Dashboards

As a marketer, working with data is key to tracking your performance and measuring success. It helps you maximize the effectiveness of your campaigns, allocate budget, and optimize your return on investment.

But if you don’t consider yourself particularly data savvy, fear not.

In this guide, we’ll give you the rundown on all things marketing analytics, and explain how you can use analytics to up your game this year.

  1. What is Marketing Analytics?
  2. Who Should be Thinking About Marketing Data and Analytics? 
  3. Are You a Marketing Analytics Master? Find Out.
  4. How to Master Marketing Analytics
  5. Common Marketing Analytics Pitfalls
  6. Marketing Analytics Features and Terminology
  7. How to Set Up Marketing Analytics Tracking 
  8. How to Set Up A Marketing Analytics Dashboard on a Spreadsheet
  9. How to Use Tableau for Your Marketing Analytics Dashboard
  10. Marketing Analytics Dashboard & Reporting Examples for Every Business
  11. How to Set Up A Marketing Analytics Report
  12. How to Make Data-Driven Marketing Decisions.

Disover top 17 marketing analytics tools to get more insights with less hassle.

Read the full list

What is Marketing Analytics?

So, what exactly is marketing analytics? Essentially, it’s the practice of measuring and analyzing the performance of your marketing programs in order to gauge progress and success. Keeping tabs on active campaigns analytics helps marketers uncover key insights into customer behavior, discover trends, and give their sales team important lead data. It also helps them understand which campaigns are driving results, and which ones are falling flat.

The new decade is coming, and many marketers are still wavering on the benefits of data and analytics. It’s increasingly important for marketers to take advantage of analytics in order to stay competitive and get ahead in today’s business landscape.

How marketing analytics can help your business

Before implementing marketing analytics and getting insights from your data, you must understand the challenges you're solving with analytics.

Here are the main problems that marketing analytics can help you with:

Problem Solution
I report on vanity metrics and don't know the true performance of my campaigns. Well-thought marketing analytics goes beyond analyzing vanity metrics. Instead of counting clicks, subscribers, or impressions, you learn the ROI of your marketing campaigns, customer lifetime value, customer acquisition cost, and other metrics that directly impact revenue generation. The metrics you track depend on your business type and objectives. So, make sure that your analytics supports the goals you're trying to achieve.
I run ads across multiple channels and can't capture the holistic picture of cross-channel performance. Merging performance data from multiple channels on a unified dashboard gives you a bigger picture of your efforts. Instead of checking data in tens of different platforms, you get the necessary information laid out in your favorite visualization tool. This enables you to make informed decisions and significantly cust the time spent on reporting and crunching numbers in multiple spreadsheets.
I don't know which channels I should invest in to maximize return on ad spend. With data from CRM systems, email automation platforms, analytics software, and other sources on a single dashboard, you get actionable insights to scale what works and fix what's wrong.
I don't see a direct relationship between marketing efforts and revenue generation. Marketing analytics connects the dots between marketing, sales, and financial data, showing you the impact of each marketing channel on revenue generation and making it easier to report on your efforts to C-Suite.
My reports are useful for the marketing team but lack actionable insights for the C-Suite. Marketing reports should speak to both marketers and specialists from other niches. Healthy marketing analytics ensures that your reports are clear to everyone without regard to their background.

Who Should be Thinking About Marketing Data and Analytics? 

There are dozens of different types of marketers out there, so you might be wondering, “Who benefits most from data?” In short, the answer is everyone—even people who don’t necessarily have “marketing” in their title. Here’s a list of roles that should be keeping a close eye on marketing analytics:

  1. CMO: The chief marketing officer oversees the performance of the marketing team, so they should be tracking data to understand marketing’s big-picture impact on the bottom line. 
  2. Marketing director: The marketing director is involved in day-to-day marketing tactics, so they should be tracking data to determine how campaigns are performing, and if the budget is being spent wisely.
  3. Head of analytics: The head of analytics is in charge of data collection across the whole organization, so they should be clued into what metrics marketing is tracking regularly.
  4. CRO: The chief revenue officer should care about marketing analytics because it can help them determine how new business and revenue is coming directly from marketing’s lead generation programs. 
  5. Marketing analyst: Arguably, marketing data is most relevant to a company’s marketing analyst, because they are in charge of using data to make strategic decisions as it relates to the marketing function.
  6. Head of business intelligence: The head of business intelligence relies on analytics from every department, including marketing, to make data-driven decisions for the entire company.

Are You a Marketing Analytics Master? Find Out

We know that not every marketer is married to data. In fact, you’d be surprised to learn that a lot of CMOs and marketing leaders are very data unsavvy. Some marketers live and breathe data, and for others, the mere thought of a line graph keeps them up at night.

But regardless of the camp you’re in, every marketer can master data and analytics—even if numbers aren’t your best friend. We're seeing that on average, most marketers we talk to are at the "Developing/Partial" stage when it comes to marketing analytics. Meaning they are creating regular reporting on select channels. See the graph below.

The goal is to get to a place where you have automated reporting, meaning that your marketing reports and dashboards update automatically, in real-time, without you spending hours collecting data manually. Improvado is helping marketers automate their reports and dashboards. Learn more here.

Mastering analytics culture

How to Master Marketing Analytics

Below, we put together what we believe are the steps you need to take in order to create the perfect marketing analytics stack. Based on our research and first-hand experience, we think that these three steps are the ultimate building blocks for a master marketing analytics. Download the complete eBook, "How to Become aMarketing Analytics Master."

3 key points of marketing analytics

1 Track data

Tracking data is the first step in using marketing analytics, and it’s an important foundation. If you’re a beginner, maybe you’re using UTM parameters to determine which campaigns are driving the most traffic. An intermediate marketer might be using event tracking or Google Tag Manager. And for the master marketer, you could be using your marketing automation tool to track your data from various channels.

2 Collect data

Collecting data is the next pillar—this is where you pull and eventually store your data from different sources. The beginner marketer is making in-platform optimizations, meaning you get your data from the source it’s coming from. An intermediate marketer might be manually updating an Excel spreadsheet with their recent data. And a master marketer is using a dashboard that gets updated automatically with new data in real-time.

3 Visualize data

The last step in marketing analytics is visualizing and displaying the data. Let’s assume a beginner marketer is creating basic charts using Excel. An intermediate marketer might be taking it a step further, and building Powerpoint presentations with their graphs. And lastly, the master marketer is using a dedicated visualization tool to display their data and create comprehensive—and sometimes complex—reports.

Common Marketing Analytics Pitfalls

Even master marketers run into trouble sometimes when it comes to analytics. And if you’re new to the world of data-driven marketing, it’s important to understand the common pitfalls to save yourself from critical mistakes. Here are some of the dangers to watch out for: 

Lack of documentation 

Tracking your data isn’t going to be very effective without consistent documentation. You should have daily, weekly, monthly, and even yearly views of your active campaigns performance in order to measure granular progress by the day, and bigger progress overtime. It’s also important to note major changes that could impact your data, like a website overhaul, product announcement, or the start of a new campaign. If you haven’t already started documenting, make sure you note baseline metrics so you have something to measure future progress against.

Wasting time

It’s no secret that tracking data manually is a major time suck. In fact, some marketers spend nearly 40 hours every week on data collection and reporting. There are far better ways to invest your time and energy, like optimizing your campaigns and simply thinking strategically about what you can be doing better. Think about whether it makes sense to hire a full-time employee who is dedicated to data management. Or, consider automating parts of the process to save time.

Looking at the wrong metrics

If you want to get the most out of your data, it’s not enough to track surface-level metrics, like clicks or impressions. Knowing those numbers is important, but in order to prove value, marketers need to be able to understand how their efforts are impacting the whole picture, from acquisition to revenue. That might sound complex, but it’s actually pretty simple if you have the right tools to visualize your data and measure company-wide impact.

Lack of visualization

Having your data in number form is helpful, but it’s not the most impactful when you’re presenting to the leadership team or other stakeholders. What is impactful, is charts and graphs that illustrate your data, cross-compare campaign performance, and clearly illustrate where your programs are shining. If company executives are keen on marketing’s data, consider getting a tool that can provide real-time marketing metrics to designated people.

Messy marketing data

The last pitfall is one of the most common, and it’s dealing with messy data. When you’re managing data, being highly organized and detail oriented is a must. So make sure you have consistent naming conventions for your campaigns, and set up tracking pixels for every platform you’re working with. You can also use UTM parameters to group your data based on which channels your traffic is coming from. 

Marketing Analytics Features and Terminology

Before we move onto the next part of the article—how to actually go about tracking your marketing analytics—let’s look at some of the common terms related to marketing analytics. These are words we’ll be using quite a bit later on, so you should have a general understanding of each one before we dive deeper.

UTM parameters

UTM parameters help you see where your web traffic is coming from. Using a special URL, you can determine which channels or campaigns are generating the most visitors, or which offers your leads are clicking on.

Tag Manager

Google Tag Manager is a free tool that lets marketers add snippets of code, called tags, to your website. Tag Manager will track any visitor behaviors you ask it to on a web page, and the information gets sent to Google Analytics.

Tracking pixels

Tracking pixels are what allows Tag Manager to work its magic. A tracking pixel is the piece of HTML code that gets embedded into the website, and tracks visitor behavior. There are three main types of tracking pixels: Impression, click, and conversion pixels.

Event tracking

Event tracking is a feature in Google Analytics that tracks your web visitor’s interactions with the content on your website. An example could be downloading an ebook, watching a video, clicking on an image, or logging into the website.

Marketing dashboard

Your marketing dashboard is the place where all your data will live. This could be a spreadsheet, or a dashboard within an automated platform, like Improvado.

SEO dashboard link

Marketing automation

Marketing automation is a type of software that manages your marketing campaigns and processes, across multiple channels, and it does it automatically. You can also use marketing automation to create workflows, target certain customers, manage lead generation, and more.

Data aggregation

Data aggregation is the process of pulling all your data into a single source, either automatically or manually.


Visualization is the process of illustrating your data using charts and graphs. There’s a variety of ways you can visualize your data, both manually and automatically.

The components of a marketing analytics stack

Marketing analytics goes beyond several charts and spreadsheets with metrics. It includes numerous components that play their role in transferring, storing, and processing marketing data. Traditionally, the marketing analytics stack includes:

Centralized data storage

You need to gather detailed historical data to get actionable insights from your analytics. The required data includes:

  • Historical data about marketing campaign performance
  • Details about each marketing campaign (geo properties, audiences, etc.)
  • Prospects that interacted with your campaigns
  • Campaign budget

Access to this information gives you granular insights that enable better decisions.

Organize your marketing data and learn how to improve ROI of marketing campaigns by up to 10x with our marketing data centralization guide.

Read offline later

Data pipeline

Manual data collection across all platforms is a burden for today's marketers. They spend around 30% of their time copying metrics from different channels instead of testing new campaigns and generating revenue.

The time spent on data collection grows with an increasing number of channels. At some point, automated platforms for data extraction become essential for ad-hoc reports and effective use of marketing analysts' time.

Marketing attribution

With all data in one place, you can understand which channels drive the most revenue and bring prospective customers. However, attributing revenue to touchpoints is no simple task.

Attribution solutions often provide limited insights due to the limitations of the attribution models they're based on. Choose a vendor that works with all of your marketing platforms and goes beyond single-touch attribution models. 

For example, Improvado integrates with 300+ marketing platforms applying custom models that work best for your exact use case. It also builds detailed profiles of all prospects that touch with your brand and maps all contacts from the same account to a single customer journey.

Learn how to connect dots between marketing, sales, and financial data and recreate the customer journey with our guide to marketing attribution.

Download eBook

Data visualization and reporting

Dashboards help you stay on top of all recent changes in marketing performance. Charts and table-like reports allow you to dive into the performance of all marketing campaigns down to each creative. Plus, your data pipeline ensures that data gets updated in real-time, allowing you to spot even the slightest changes in marketing performance.

Stop this sheet! You don't have to be a data guru to set up beautiful dashboards. Get our 12 free dashboard templates to jumpstart your analytics.

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The role of advanced data analytics in marketing

Marketing analytics isn't only about colorful charts and metrics. As with any other dataset, you must prepare and clean marketing data before streamlining it to dashboards. And that's where the complex part of data analytics enters the game.

The main problem is that marketing platforms don't have universal rules for data formatting. Different platforms may have different names for the same metrics (for example, impressions and views). Furthermore, one platform may have fields that are missing in another platform. So, you'll have to clean redundant data and map the whole dataset again.

Not to say that all of these operations require SQL knowledge or experience with R or Python scripts. 

Luckily, today's marketing analytics platforms can help non-technical marketers normalize their data. Let's take Improvado as an example. Its marketing analytics suite includes pre-built data models that automatically normalize data and unify disparate naming conventions. Then, the platform streamlines normalized data to ready-made cross-channel dashboards so you can jump straight into the analysis. 

Improvado's DataPrep allows you to execute SQL-like queries without a single line of code. You can transform data with the help of Excel-like formulas in a spreadsheet-like interface. As a result, you can query data faster and easier. Plus, you're more likely to find marketers that know how to work in Excel than those who know SQL.

How to Set Up Marketing Analytics Tracking 

When you’re first starting to track marketing analytics, it’s important to track your data manually to make sure you’re understanding all the different views and metrics that you should be measuring. That way, you know exactly what you should automate later on. Here is how a marketing master sets up their marketing analytics tracking:

Create a spreadsheet

First things first, you need to create a spreadsheet where your marking data will live. Google Sheets tends to be better than Excel so your entire team can get shared access to the document.


Place tracking pixels on the site

Next, you’ll need to put tracking pixels on the webpages you want to collect data from. Tracking pixels live in your website’s code, so they’re invisible to your visitors. However, tracking pixels are great because they allow marketers to track their visitor’s behaviors—how long they stayed, what they read, etc.

Add UTMs to every link

Adding UTMs is a game changer for tracking marketing analytics. UTM links are used to track traffic from multiple sources in extreme detail. For example, a UTM link can show you how much traffic came from a specific tweet, or from a specific image in a particular email. The data is stored in Google Analytics, which you can then manually or automatically aggregate in your marketing dashboard.

Get the right tools

Lastly, make sure you have the right tools for the job. There are a few tools that I consider to be must-haves for every marketer who is tracking data:

  • Google Analytics for counting web visits and conversions, 
  • Mixpanel or Heap for customer attribution
  • A CRM, like Salesforce, or even just a spreadsheet for tracking lead and customer data
  • Improvado for automatically collecting data from every marketing channel into one dashboard.

How to Set Up A Marketing Analytics Dashboard on a Spreadsheet

If you're already using a visualization platform like Tableau, Looker, Google Data Studio or PowerBI, you can skip to the next section because you're already a pro.

After you’ve set up your tracking, it’s time to create your dashboard where you’ll keep track of all that data. For beginners, many people start out by creating their marketing dashboard within a spreadsheet.

When you’re tracking data manually, it’s best to update the numbers every day so you always have a fresh look at how your campaigns are performing.

But you might be thinking, “What exactly should I be tracking?” Good question—here are the tabs I use in my own marketing analytics dashboard.

Leads daily

Improvado dashboard

The leads daily tab is where I track all of our new leads that come in from various programs and campaigns each day. If you are gathering this data manually, you will need to login to a few different platforms to collect this data. For example, in order to fill out the spreadsheet above, I would need to gather data from:

1 Webflow

2 Mixpanel

3 Salesforce.

Monthly performance

Monthly performance dashboadr example

In this tab, I track all of the different marketing campaigns we’re running at a given time—social, content marketing, paid search, etc. And each month, I track these metrics for each program:

  • Number of leads
  • Cost-per-channel
  • Cost-per-acquisition (CAC)
  • Number of opportunities-per-channel (for B2B only)
  • Number of closed/won deals-per-channel
  • Revenue-per-channel.

At the bottom of each column, I set up an equation to show a summary of the overall results for each month, grouped by paid and unpaid channels, as well as the blended total. I can also see a month-over-month view of the growth in leads, opportunities, and revenue.

Allowable CACs

Allowable CACs example

The allowable CAC, or cost-per-acquisition, is an important one to track. It’s essentially the breakeven cost-per-lead that you can afford to spend on each channel. If you’re acquiring leads for a cost above the allowable CAC, you’re losing money. I rely on this tab to see the revenue by channel, and determine how much money I can spend to acquire a lead within a certain program.

Keep in mind that the overall cumulative allowable CAC number is more important than the allowable CAC by channel, especially if you are running both unpaid and paid campaigns. If your allowable CAC is going up, it means your leads are generating more revenue, and you can justify spending more to acquire them. 

Monthly goals

Monthly goals  example

Chances are, your company’s leadership team sits down every month or year to map out  projections for the year, decide how much revenue they want to bring in, and maybe even set monthly quotas. Based on those company-wide revenue goals, you can use your data to work backwards and figure out what your marketing goals should be.

These are the metrics you’re going to want to track in order to set revenue-oriented goals:

  • Average won deal size
  • Lead-to-opportunity conversion rate
  • Opportunity-to-won deal conversion rate
  • Cost-per-lead.

If you fill out the allowable CAC tab properly, then you’ll already have this data. Use those numbers to work backwards and figure out how many closed/won deals you’d need in order to get a certain amount of revenue each month.

To get to the amount of closed/won deals, you’d need a certain amount of opportunities. To get the number of opportunities, you’d need to acquire a certain amount of leads. And to get to that number of leads, you’d need to spend a certain amount of dollars on marketing, depending on what your average cost-per-lead is.

Mid-month pacing check in

Mid-month check ins are a great way to determine if you’re on track to hit your monthly goals, or if you’re falling behind. Not only does it helps you stay accountable, but it’s also a great way to manage your marketing budget, and avoid overspending.

This tab is pretty complex, and it does take time to fill out. However, I’ve found this tab to be really useful for a number of reasons, and it’s helped me spot red flags quickly. As you get more advanced with marketing analytics, your mid-month progress is something that can be automated to save time.

Weekly overview

Weekly overview example

The weekly overview tab is essentially the same as the monthly check-in tab, but it looks at all of your campaign data on a weekly basis. For some programs, you might want to make changes week-to-week, rather than month-to-month. This is also a great way to manage and control your marketing budget spend, and to make sure you’re on track for your monthly goals. Start by updating this data manually, and later on, you can move to an automated system.


Dashboard example

The last tab in my marketing analytics dashboard is the summary tab. I use this one to visualize all my campaign data, so I can share it with leadership and other stakeholders who monitor marketing’s performance. This is where I store various charts and graphs I make based on the data I’ve collected in the other tabs. 

Now, I wouldn’t recommend you share this data view with anyone outside of marketing—it’s not the prettiest, or the easiest to understand. I recommend creating more visually appealing graphs with the biggest takeaways from your data, and putting them into a presentation deck that acts as a digital marketing report and can be shared with anyone. OR utilize a visualization tool like Looker or Tableau or Google Data Studio.

How to Use Tableau for Your Marketing Analytics Dashboard

We put together a collection of Free Tableau Tableau Templates -- so that you can visualize your marketing analytics reports with ease.

Tableau Templates list

Quickly download any of the following Tableau marketing analytics templates:


Already a Tableau user? Use Improvado's APIs to instantly instantly send data to Tableau from Facebook, Google ads, Linkedin, Bing and 180+ other marketing platforms. Schedule a Free Demo.

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Marketing Analytics Dashboard & Reporting Examples for Every Business

Dashboard examples

Every company will use their marketing data a little bit differently, depending on what metrics they want to track, and what their goals are. In this section, we’ll show you a few examples of what a marketing dashboard might look like for various businesses, and how it can lead to actionable next steps based on those results.

Before we jump in, we’ll be talking about metrics and dimensions, so it’s important that you understand the difference. Essentially, metrics are what you’re measuring, and dimensions are what you’re measuring by. When you think about it in terms of a graph, dimension is on the X (horizontal) axis, and metrics will be on the Y (vertical) axis. The parameters are basically the periods of time for which you’re analyzing the data.

Ecommerce Marketing Analytics

Here's an example where, saved over 400 hours per month and $720k in annual cost by automating their marketing reports and dashboards with Improvado.

Improvado's impact

Let’s pretend you’re a marketer for an ecommerce company, and you’re curious about how the business is performing financially at a high-level. Specifically, you want to know how net sales are trending over the past three months. 

Your report should include: 

  • Data source: Shopify, or whatever platform hosts your store
  • Dimensions: Date
  • Metrics: Orders, Revenue, Refunds
  • Parameters: Start/End Date, Date Breakdown, Comparison Period.

Potential outcome: You decide to kick off a new campaign to drive customer acquisitions.

B2C Marketing Analytics Dashboards and Reports

Here is an example of a B2C mobile app in the healthcare space who worked with Improvado to streamline their marketing analytics. As a result, they were able to uncover some important cross-channel insights that resulted in 1400% increase in clicks and 1500% more downloads on their Apple Search Ads campaign.

Innovative telehealth provider

Let’s say you’re a marketer for a B2C skincare company, and you want to create a marketing analytics dashboard to display user acquisition performance.

Questions you need to answer:

  1. Which channels are driving customers to your website?
  2. How are we converting visitors?
  3. Who are we converting?
  4. What are they doing on our website & why?

Types of B2C Marketing Reports:

  • Traffic Acquisition
  • Paid Marketing Performance
  • User Behavior Trends
  • Conversion Pathing
  • Conversion Overview
  • Benchmarking Alert
  • SEO Performance
  • Content Performance
  • Individual User Level View.

Types of Paid Marketing Reports:

Paid Marketing Overview

  • Channel Level Overview*
  • Cross-Channel Campaign Performance*
  • Cross-Channel Targeting Performance
  • Cross-Channel Creative Performance

Facebook Deep Dive

  • Campaign
  • Ad Set
  • Ads
  • Demographic

Google Search/Shopping Deep Dive

  • Campaign
  • Ad Group
  • Keyword
  • Demographic

Google Display Ads Deep Dive

  • Campaign
  • Ad Group
  • Ad 
  • Demographic

Email Deep Dive

  • Campaigns
  • List 
  • Members.

Potential outcome: You decide to emphasize referrals, since your reports are showing that referrals are driving the largest share of new users to the website who are converting into customers with the highest LTV.

B2B Marketing Analytics Dashboards and Reports

Here's an example of a B2B company that was able to grow their monthly inbound lead volume by 209% after getting their marketing analytics organized in a way where they could properly attribute their sales to the accurate marketing channels. This made it easy to see where to cut spend and where to double down on what was working.

B2B marketing dashboard

Say you’re a marketer for B2B software company, and your goal is to get a deeper understanding of the customer journey to conversion. Specifically, you want to know which channels are resulting in revenue for the business.

Now, B2B marketing attribution can be challenging. That's because a decision maker may come in contact with many of your marketing efforts. One single person might do all of the following things:

  1. See your Facebook ad
  2. Find your blog while searching a keyword on Google
  3. Download an eBook from your website
  4. Receive retargeting ads from Google Display
  5. View your Capterra ad while reading software reviews
  6. Get entered into your email nurture campaign
  7. Click on your branded Google ad
  8. Schedule a demo based off an email from your sales team
  9. Watch a webinar you sent via marketing emails.

Below are the 7 steps you need to take in order to execute B2B marketing attribution.

  1. Choose a source of truth.
  2. Collect event data about leads from your website.
  3. Connect each website lead with the channel they came from.
  4. Connect all leads at the Company level in your CRM or database.
  5. Define your attribution model
  6. Visualize your attribution model
  7. Pull actionable insights from your data
Website actions example

Read the complete guide to B2B marketing analytics here.

Potential Outcomes: Your customers most often begin their journey from a paid marketing channel such as Facebook Ads, so you should increase prospecting investment on Facebook.

Facebook Analytics

Here's an example of the University of San Francisco utilizing Improvado to automate their marketing reports in Tableau. They used to build all their Facebook and Adwords reports manually, but using Improvado ultimately saved them over 95% of manual reporting time.

Facebook analytics

Let’s say you’re a marketer who wants to learn more about Facebook demographics. Specifically, you want to know which U.S. cities are accounting for the largest share of ad clicks.

  • Data source: Facebook Ads
  • Dimensions: Date, Campaign, Age, Gender, Geography
  • Metrics: Impressions, Clicks, Spend, Video Views, Click Through Rate (CTR), Cost per Click (CPC), View Rate (VVR), Cost per View (CPV), Cost per Thousand Impressions (CPM), Engagements, Cost per Engagement (CPE), Engagement Rate (ER), etc.
  • Parameters: Start/End Date, Date Breakdown, Comparison Period, Geo Detail.

Potential outcome: Cities on the coast, like Miami and Los Angeles, accounted for nearly 30% of all ad clicks, so you decide to create specific ads for those regions.

Adwords Analytics

Let’s say you’re a marketer who wants to learn more about Google search ad groups. Specifically, you want to know which ad groups are seeing the highest click-through-rates (CTRs).

  • Data source: Google Adwords
  • Dimensions: Date, Campaign, Campaign Type, Ad Group Type, Device
  • Metrics: Impressions, Clicks, Spend, Video Views, Click Through Rate (CTR), Cost per Click (CPC), Average Position
  • Parameters: Start/End Date, Date Breakdown, Comparison Period, Campaign Type.

Potential outcome: You determine that ad group #3’s CTR is 12% below the overall average, so you need to find out which audience is underperforming and adjust either creative or bids accordingly.

How to Set Up A Marketing Analytics Report

Once you’re tracking and collecting all your data, it’s time to make sense of it all by building reports. Creating reports and dashboards that visually display your data is critical so that you can prove your performance to other people in your organization, and use it to make decisions. You’ve invested a lot of time collecting and analyzing the data, so don’t waste it with poor presentation.

There’s no single method of data visualization that will best communicate insights, data, and analysis. But there are definitely a few ways to get it wrong. Here are some effective ways to create compelling graphs and charts based on your data:

Beginner — Build graphs and charts in Excel

For the beginner level marketer, creating marketing dashboards and tables in a spreadsheet is a great way to get a big-picture view of what is going on internally. But I wouldn’t recommend sharing these tables with your CEO—it’s too granular, and they’ll get confused. Instead, take some time to create graphs and charts that illustrate your data with more clarity.

To present key metrics, like total sales, use single value visualizations. To illustrate a mix of data, like how many new customers came from a certain channel, you want a graph that can show a percent of the total—probably a pie chart. For knowing where people are coming from geographically, you’ll want a map.

Intermediate — Create Powerpoint presentations

The intermediate marketer might take their graphs one step further, and use them in a Powerpoint presentation deck that can be shared with internal and external stakeholders. The presentation can act as a digital marketing report that communicates key takeaways and changes on a month-to-month basis.

If you choose this method, make sure your graphs are telling a story—it should give the viewer a full picture of your efforts. I recommend sorting your graphs in order of importance and group them by general theme. A good report offers transparency to how the results were arrived at, and suggests future actions based on the results.

Advanced — Use a visualization tool

Last but not least, we come to our master marketer, who is using a visualization tool to create real-time, automated dashboards. These dashboard act as data-driven portals into different parts of your business, department, team or individual work. And unlike a static report, a dashboard is always on, and gets updated in real-time.

One of the biggest benefits of a visualization tool is that everything is automated. Instead of manually inputting all your data into a spreadsheet, and building charts from there, a visualization tool will automatically show your data in whatever format you choose. It’s an easy way to create in-depth charts that tell a story of marketing’s overall performance.

How to Make Data-Driven Marketing Decisions

As a marketer, making data-driven decisions can set you up for greater success overtime. But instead of predicting what will work in the future, you can use data to make smarter choices about what campaigns to run, where to spend your budget, and more. Here is a framework for making data-driven marketing decisions.

Gather your data from every channel

The first step is to gather your data from every platform, including Facebook, Twitter, Mailchimp, a CRM, Google Analytics, and so on. Ideally, you’ll want to use a tool like Improvado to do this, which automatically aggregates your data into one place. You can also do this manually in Excel, but it’s pretty time consuming.

List of channels

Store and leverage your data

Next, you’ll need to store all your data somewhere. A CRM, like Hubspot or Salesforce can store the data for you. If you’re not using a CRM, look for a reliable data management platform, like Lotame, Snowflake, or SAS. Once your data is stored, you can start to enhance it using artificial intelligence and machine learning to pull out key trends and important insights.

Create a dashboard

The final step is to put all of that stored data into a dashboard that acts as a single source of truth. You can view your data in real-time, and reduce the amount of time you spend manually analyzing the numbers. The best part is that automated dashboards don’t require any technical training or skills. Even beginner marketers can learn to use a marketing analytics dashboard without any background in data.

Dashboard example

Once all your data is in the dashboard, you can start using it to make data-driven decisions. For example, you can see which channels generated the most new customers over the last quarter, and decide to put more of your budget into that channel, and pull back from others. Or, you can see which color shirts are most popular on your online store, and use that data to purchase more stock of a certain color, and less of a color that isn’t as popular.

How to Automate Your Marketing Analytics 

Until this point, we’ve talked a lot about the differences between manual data analysis and automated analysis. Clearly, tracking your marketing analytics the old fashioned way is a lot harder, more time consuming, and less accurate than automating it. And whether you’re a beginner, intermediate or master marketer, Improvado is a great solution for automated data collection and analysis.

In a nutshell, Improvado aggregates all of your marketing data into one unified source that’s easy to access, helps you visualize your data, and shows you exactly how your marketing campaigns are influencing your business goals. We have over 180 integrations with tools like Facebook Ads, Outbrain, and Hubspot, so you can connect all of your data-generating platforms to a dashboard that updates in real-time. Schedule a demo here.

With a data automation tool like Improvado, there’s no need for manual data entry, clunky Excel sheets or messy data. In fact, some of our customers who were manually tracking and analyzing data have been able to save upwards of 40 hours per week by using Improvado.

How to Collect and Visualize Your Marketing Data

Visualization is the last piece of the marketing analytics puzzle. You’ve collected your data, organized it by theme, and now it’s time to put it into charts and graphs. Here are a few different ways you can collect and visualize your data.

Option 1: Export and import manually

The first way is to manually export your data from all your different sources and import it into a spreadsheet. This is what’s known as ETL, or "Extract, Transform, Load." Typically, you would copy and paste that data into Excel or Google Sheets, and create tables, graphs or charts using their tools. This is definitely the most time consuming method, and it leaves a lot of room for human error, but it works in a pinch.

Option 2: Build out and manage your own APIs 

You could also create a set of unique application program interfaces (APIs) that automatically pull your data into a data warehouse, and then use it with a visualization tool like Google Data Studio.

The main drawback with this method is that it requires help from developers. Any new API integration requests will compete for development time vs. other projects, which could lead to a half automated, half manual ETL process. That pretty much defeats the purpose altogether. 

For example, spent 15 months trying to build and manage their own APIs but the project failed and wasted hundreds of hours of developer time and cost. Improvado solved this problem for them in a matter of minutes.

Marketing APIs failures

Option 3: Use Improvado

The best option is to use Improvado for data visualization or to automatically send your data to your visualization tool (without building and managing your own APISs).

You can create customized charts and marketing dashboards right inside the platform, or use your data with another BI tool, like Tableau, Looker, Google Data Studio, Excel, or a Google spreadsheet.

It’s easy to use, and there’s no need for developers.

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We know that not every marketer is a data whiz, and that’s ok. When it comes to marketing data, there are many different ways you can approach analytics, depending on your comfort level with data aggregation, the resources you have, and your budget. You don’t have to be a master marketer to glean actionable insights from your data. The most important thing is your ability to analyze data and takeaway key findings that will drive future decisions.

The world of marketing analytics is incredibly broad. There are so many possibilities when it comes to data, and marketers today need to start taking advantage of the opportunities data offers. Investing in marketing analytics can give companies a huge leg up against competitors, and it can help them innovate faster across the entire organization.

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Frequently asked questions

What is marketing analytics?

Marketing analytics is a process of measuring and analyzing the performance of your marketing activities in order to scale what works and fix what's wrong.

How is marketing analytics useful?

Marketing analytics shows how your marketing efforts impact revenue generation, helps to stay on top of all changes in campaign performance, allows you to understand your prospects, and improve return on marketing investment.

What are examples of marketing analytics?

  • Marketing attribution
  • SEO reporting
  • Paid ads performance reporting
  • eCommerce marketing analytics
  • Web analytics reporting
  • Social media performance reporting
  • YouTube Ads analytics
  • Email marketing reporting

How do I start marketing analytics?

There are three main steps to start analyzing your marketing performance:

  1. Decide on all activities you plan to analyze (email marketing, organic traffic, paid ads, etc.).
  2. Gather and organize the required data (remember that data from disparate sources should be cleansed and normalized).
  3. Load data to a visualization tool of your choice and create actionable dashboards.

Dashboards allow for ad-hoc reporting and enable better decision-making by displaying cross-channel data in one place.

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