Whether you work in-house or for an agency, in marketing or in another industry, as a working professional your job is to provide value. In the world of marketing where ‘sales’ is considered the end goal, monetary value has historically been considered the key measurement of success.
However, there are a wealth of other contributions that marketers should be providing to their employers and colleagues, which do not have a direct impact on revenue. As an agency, the best clients to work with are those that recognise that our contributions go far beyond profit and loss. In this blog, we explore these additional offerings and show you how your abilities can be used to improve your business’ success, through the eyes of a Digital Marketing Analyst.
Whatever your specialism or industry, we cover plenty of ways that you can contribute to growing your business.
Before jumping into these contributions, we want to emphasise the importance of information transfer in business. Anyone who has read the sequel to Sapiens by Yuval Noah Hurari should be familiar with the term ‘Dataism’. According to the Dataist perspective, humans collectively form a data-processing system, with each of us acting as its chips. Without getting too bogged down into my Orwellian outlook on the future, the concept is clear: information flow is becoming the supreme value.
An organisation functions in the same way as the human species, with the division of labour being split out across different departments that share the same end goal. Of course, it is inevitable for information to become siloed as we separate into our individual teams and projects. Organisations that have more accurate and relevant information distributed to the right individuals are more likely to be successful.
But what can we do as marketers? We have a wealth of data at our fingertips and work with almost every department in the organisation. We should arm colleagues with as much relevant information as possible. This requires a proactive attempt to understand what information someone may need in order to broaden their perception and ultimately help them make better decisions.
Operational efficiency is loosely defined as a metric that measures the split between required resources and results. The easiest way to improve operational efficiency is to reduce the time spent on an activity and increase its output.
Start by considering a report or dashboard that you have worked on recently. Automation would reduce the time spent – have a look online for some existing code that you can copy and paste see how others have dealt with similar reports.
Next, consider who uses the report and how its output can be improved. Are there additional data points that others might find useful?
Consider for example a marketer for an airline company who has reporting views showing organic traffic by country. These could be shared with the regional managers so they can filter to their area to assess performance. This could also be useful for the logistics team so they have an indication of where the planes will need to be grounded based on customer search behaviour.
In the digital age, understanding the behaviour and sentiment of customers has never been easier for marketers to analyse. There are a multitude of ways in which you can gain insight into your customers’ thought-processes. Below we cover some of the top methods and explain how they can be used across your business.
User journey tracking across websites and apps enables us to see which sections of a site are performing well, and which content pieces and products users are engaging most with. This information can then be distributed across teams to inform future strategies. For instance, top blog topics can be shared with content writers or bestsellers to the sales team. Meanwhile, areas of the site which depict poor UX metrics (such as high exit rates or low conversion rates) should be shared with developers to identify potential issues or areas for optimisation. There are plenty of tools out there, but Google Analytics is the most widely used and offers various reports within the platform.
Hotjar is another powerful tool that offers a visual means to observe user behaviour – you can watch session recordings and look at click heatmaps to identify areas of strength and weakness (see example below).
Surveys and forms offer insight into customer sentiment. They allow you to understand more about your market as customers can express their thoughts on your website or your selection of products and services. This is gold dust to product managers or even PR marketers who want to reach out to journalists to share some industry data; in order to stand out you should consider what data you have that your competitors do not. You could even sneak in additional fields to ‘demo forms’ to gain additional data points.
Another key tool for understanding customer sentiment is Google Trends, which allows you to understand the relative changes in search volume over time for your desired search queries. This is vital for SEO managers as they can assess their sites organic performance by comparing organic traffic with search volumes. Your stakeholders might be wondering why organic traffic levels are lower than expected, but it could be that the search intent is decreasing. If you are interested to see how this can be done across multiple search queries, have a look at our previous blog article on the Google Trends and Google Analytics APIs.
Finally, the voice of the people can be well-heard from social media. You can set up automated emails on social listening platforms when there are big spikes in mentions in particular topics. Sentiment can then be studied as these platforms measure emotive language to identify positive, negative and neutral sentiment.
The power of these extends far beyond deciding what to post on your social accounts. Suppose you notice a spike in negative sentiment in the industry – you can counteract this with a positive blog story to re-engage potential customers. Or you could even gain insight into potential markets. Is there a particular product that your target audience are interested in and displaying positive sentiment towards? Also, consider the PR opportunities from these social listening tools – was there a big change in social posts on a particular topic after a recent event? See below an example from social listening platform Meltwater on kombucha sentiment.
Brand reputation is crucial for every business. If you are starting from scratch as a new business, it’s all about building brand awareness and making a name for yourself, and if you’re an established brand, you’ll need to manage your rep through the highs and lows.
As a marketer, you have visibility over how your brand is portrayed to your customers and reacting to how your brand is perceived. It’s your job to ensure that all your marketing is aligned with your brand guidelines and works to build a strong presence that sheds a positive light on your brand.
More importantly, you should constantly be monitoring brand perception. Stay on top of what your audience thinks of you and, if needed, consider how your brand needs to change to align with your customers’ beliefs. The reality is that your brand must evolve over time. Is your target audience changing? Maybe you are seeing a shift in your demographic. And, if the answer is yes, alert your brand strategist!
A great example of a successful rebrand is that of Burberry. Remember in the noughties when Burberry suffered an image crisis as the 150+ year old luxury British brand became iconic to a younger more mainstream demographic. Burberry began to resurface its historic British heritage fashion, bringing in supermodel Kate Moss to represent the face of the brand. As you can imagine this was well received by the affluent fashion enthusiasts, causing their revenues to increase significantly in the 2010s. This is a brilliant example of how effective celebrity marketing can help you regain control and give you the power to shape brand perception. And, this is just one instance. There are a number of different methods you can use, from influencer marketing to clever content marketing.
To summarise, the role of a Digital Marketing Analyst goes far beyond generating a direct monetary return to an organisation. Proving value to your organisation can be done in a multitude of ways. A proactive attitude and lateral thought process is required, as well as a deeper understanding into the roles of your colleagues.