5 Marketing Analytics Tips to Optimize Brand-to-Local Marketing Strategy
Do you know how your brand-to-local marketing campaigns and promotions are performing? What’s working? What’s not? Using marketing analytics to uncover local marketing performance for campaigns run through a large network of channel partners can seem daunting to many brand marketers. That’s because most of the critical data on the success or failure of marketing campaigns is often dispersed across countless local vendors with systems and processes that are incompatible, outdated, and inaccessible to brands. Without real metrics to analyze, brands turn to other indicators as a proxy, including using historical adoption as the primary source to guide brand-to-local marketing investment or surveying channel partners to self-report their own local marketing performance. This gives brands an incomplete view at best.
Brands need accurate and reliable local marketing analytics to make data-driven decisions about investing in local marketing, Co-Op Marketing funds, and Market Development Funds across their channel partner network. With the right solutions in place, navigating marketing analytics for relevant and timely data is simple. The key lies in being well prepared in advance. Before ever pulling an analytics report or perusing metrics, it’s important to ensure the data you’ll be looking at is structured to deliver relevant and timely insights. Here are 5 tips on how to use marketing analytics to help drive better brand-to-local marketing results:
1. Move local marketing execution into a measurable environment
Brands invest millions in Co-Op Marketing Funds and Market Development Funds each year. But unfortunately, most of that investment is not measurable because channel partners use it on creative, campaign execution, and marketing fulfillment through local marketing vendors. Pulling usable marketing performance data from hundreds or thousands of local marketing vendors is frankly impossible.
Channel Marketing Automation solves for this by moving all that local execution into a secure and measurable environment and creating an ecosystem of campaigns pre-integrated with world-class vendors for local execution. Funding used in this environment eliminates fraud and misuse, but more importantly, it makes it possible to measure the performance of every campaign launched.
Brands that use a Channel Marketing Automation platform can customize the experience they want for their channel partners and frontline employees. When all local execution is handled by vendors integrated into a local marketing automation platform, every campaign can be tracked and measured. This gives brand marketers the ability to really see what’s happening with Co-Op Marketing budgets.
2. Get more out of marketing analytics data by investing time in attribution
Tagging is essential when you’re making brand marketing assets, campaigns, and messaging available to channel partners and employee end users. It’s important not only to attribute tags to local marketing assets, but to also tag the components that compose an asset — such as themes, headlines and descriptions. This creates layers of detail within an analytics report, allowing you to slice and dice the data. Beyond determining whether a particular marketing piece or campaign is successful or not, tagging can also show whether a specific theme, or message, or offer actually resonates with the target audience in a given market.
3. To understand how tactics are performing in market, use a tracking mechanism
If you want to quantify the success of a marketing tactic, you need to choose the right tracking mechanism.
For paid digital media, such as websites or paid search ads, metrics such as impressions and click-through rates are typically embedded into the process to help evaluate success. For industries that inherently invite potential customers to call in to set appointments, request quotes or ask for more information, call tracking numbers are essential. With Channel Marketing Automation, brands can tap into advanced technology that allows tracking mechanisms to follow a consumer throughout their online session, so the analytics will show which ad or message triggered a given response.
4. Know the in-market and out-of-market dates for every local marketing campaign and tactic you’re tracking
In-market and out-of-market dates may be dictated by the type of tactic deployed or by the length of time an offer is valid. The lifecycle of any given marketing piece may vary. Understanding that a Media Buy may be relevant to its target audience for a different length of time than perhaps a Direct Mail piece is important.
For Media Buys (radio, TV, newspaper and outdoor ads), in-market dates are typically very clear: You only need to refer to the run dates, when a given ad begins and ends its run. However, with a Direct Mail piece, shelf life can vary dramatically depending on the type of industry and the offer. For instance, in the cruise industry, consumers can refer to Direct Mail piece offers for several months, whereas in the medical device industry such as hearing aids, shelf life can be as low as a week to a month depending on the offer or the event. The average shelf life for a Direct Mail piece, as reported over the years, hovers around four weeks.
5. Timing is critical when pulling analytics reports
When you’re pulling reports, knowing when to look at data is as important as knowing what to look for.
So, if you pull a report on a Direct Mail piece only one week after its initial distribution in a particular zip code or by a specific channel partner or within a given region, then — depending on your industry — you may want to consider it a preliminary report if the data is likely to change significantly from Week 1 to Week 4. And if you were asked to pull another report on that same Direct Mail piece after, let’s say, six or eight weeks, then that would be a waste of time and resources for industries where the data is not likely to change significantly after Week 4.
Once you’ve invested time in attribution, deployed the right tracking mechanism, understand the in-market dates and pull the reports at the optimal time, then you’re poised to use your data strategically. Understanding the difference between the industry average acquisition cost per sale and what your data reveals to be the actual acquisition cost per sale is one factor in determining how well a tactic or campaign performed in market. Once you’ve identified the most relevant factors for a campaign’s success, the analytics will reveal what’s working and what’s not. Measuring the performance of tactics, campaigns, and channel partners can help you determine what recommendations to make to your channel network. And those recommendations may vary by geographic region, partner tier or campaign. Whatever the data reveals, the point is to replicate successes and quickly course correct when goals aren’t being achieved.
This level of in-depth insight allows brands to help their channel partner networks invest only in what works — to drive more traffic, leads and sales.