Taking Your Analytics & Reporting Beyond Social

Your social data is not telling your entire digital story

The marketing technology landscape has exploded. Just take a look at Scott Brinker’s supergraphic where he lists nearly 4,000 companies providing some sort of marketing technology solution in 2016.

All the marketing technology available in 2016

Being in the space ourselves (you can find Converge under Dashboards & Data Visualizations in the blue column) we understand there are a lot of options depending on what problems you are trying to solve. But what we have also realized is that so much of this marketing technology is now only focused on social analytics.

Social Data Analytics

In 2005, Martin Wattenberg introduced the term social data analytics, which is the analysis of social media in order to understand and surface insights which are embedded within the data. Social data analysis is comprised of two main parts:

  1. Data generated from social networking sites (or through social applications)
  2. Sophisticated analysis of that data, in many cases requiring real-time (or near real-time) data analytics, measurements which understand and appropriately weigh factors such as influence, reach, and relevance, an understanding of the context of the data being analyzed, and the inclusion of time horizon considerations.

In 2005 social media was new, it was confusing and was another channel ready to take a slice of marketing budgets, and as the ability to create content, ads and put spend behind both become available people started to wonder, is social really worth it. In order to answer that question (and increase brand spending) social platforms began to make insight tools available for brand accounts and from there, social analytics tools become part of the marketing technology lineup.

Entire marketing platforms are now dedicated to pulling data from all social sites, putting that data in one place and visualizing it- all in order to make it comparable and comprehendible for analyst and marketers alike. The ability to have all your social data put into one centralized dashboard  (in real-time) cut the time, manpower and money spent on data gathering and monthly reporting. Social analytics tools proved their value because they can track and monitor content and make reporting easier.

It was advanced, it was insightful, it saved time and money and should have been a stepping stone to how other data marketers would start analyzing through these same platforms. Now, over ten years later marketers have held on to their social analytics tools so tightly they’ve left other digital channels, like web analytics, behind. They have settled for painful web analytics data gathering and reporting practices, but we know that marketing intelligence platforms are capable of doing for web analytics what we have seen in social. 

Web Analytics

Social analytics has become the marketing world’s clutch when it comes to proving ROI, monthly reporting and showing understanding of how to use data to guide decision-making. Marketers should not stop doing that, but they also should not end with that either. To understand their entire digital story, web analytics also needs to be included on marketing platforms.

According to TechTarget, web analytics is the process of analyzing the behavior of visitors to a website. The use of web analytics is said to enable a business to attract more visitors, retain or attract new customers for goods or services, or to increase the dollar volume each customer spends. Web analytics is just as important as social and having easy access to that data should be a standard part of the marketing technology you are using.

When thinking about current and future marketing digital channels wouldn’t it be ideal to not only gain easy access to your analytics but also have those different data sources automatically pulled into one location to show engagement and progress? Identify campaign performance, know when to share success, when more attention is required and when it’s time to pivot- as it is happening? How easy would it be to compare content on channels that often seem incomparable? And complete monthly reporting? That is precisely what can happen when marketers start using marketing technology that goes beyond social. When web analytics joins social data on marketing intelligence platforms, you can understand your marketing strategy in a complete way.

Reporting Problems

After realizing you no longer have to spend time gathering all your digital data, the next step marketers struggle with is deciding what reports should look like in order to tell a story that proves value. When you have a marketing intelligence platform you have access to accurate data, all the time, that is displayed visually to make reporting and monitoring simpler. Reporting can actually be efficient and effortless and become a valuable way to spend time.

Imagine it being the end of the month and you don’t have to dread logging into countless sources and pulling endless amounts of data for your digital marketing reports. Can you picture a marketing world where you aren’t spending the first two weeks into the next month pulling old data to justify spending and strategy across all digital channels? With the right marketing platform, it is possible to spend time analyzing data, in real-time, to make insightful decisions that not only impact your marketing efforts but your business strategy.

Marketing Technology That Does It All 

Marketing technology is heavily focused around social, and it should be but CMOs, account executives, and agencies are doing more than just social and realize there is an importance in understanding and reporting on both social and web analytics. Whether it comes from your need to save time on monthly reporting, having access to all digital data in one place or the ease of comparing content and budgets across channels, it is possible to go beyond social, on one platform. As a chief marketing officer put it, “Marketing analytics have allowed us to make every decision we made before, better.”

If this is something you are interested in, then visit us at convergehq.com and get started with a free trial!

And don’t forget to check out other blog content, like this post- Why CMOs Love Marketing Dashboards!

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