This article was originally published in Inc. To read that version, click here.
Start tracking relevant data to make informed decisions on your marketing ROI.
Almost every company I’ve ever talked to says they have some kind of marketing strategy in place. However, when I dive into the details, I often find out that they are not being as effective as possible. One of the main reasons for this comes down to companies not being able to accurately measure results.
When a company implements a digital marketing strategy, many would assume that it’s easy to track results, and if we lived in a world of complete silos and isolation, they would be correct. However, the reality is it can be difficult to show proper attribution for digital marketing efforts. For example, if someone saw a brand’s booth at a conference, then saw the brand’s ad on Google, then saw another ad on Facebook and then clicked through to become a new lead or make a purchase, it goes without saying there are a lot of factors that contributed to the conversion. Almost every company wants to optimize its efforts and increase its return on investment (ROI) on marketing spend. Leaders will often ask the not-so-easy-to-answer question of what medium(s) drove the best results.
This is a big challenge that many marketers face, and the truth is, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. However, if a brand starts collecting data, they will have more data points to work with, and this will help them make more informed decisions. In this article, I’ll cover the basics every business should have installed on their website to start tracking relevant data.
This tool will allow you to see how much traffic your site is getting, where it is coming from and overall insights on how your site is performing. There are plenty of advanced things you can do -; for example, segmenting audiences for ad targeting.
Google Tag Manager (GTM)
This is a great tool to use on your website to minimize the need for a developer. Install the Google Tag Manager code on your site once and then do the configuration for all other code that needs to “fire” (run) in the Google Tag Manager console by setting up tags and triggers. For example, instead of installing code to track Google Analytics page views, Google Analytics goals and just about everything I mention in this post, you can configure those within the GTM console. Once you have GTM set up, be sure to test and make sure everything is working correctly.
Facebook Tracking Pixel
This is code you put on your site that allows you to use Facebook Analytics and gives you the ability to target ads to people who have gone to a specific page or taken a specific action on your website. If you plan on running Facebook ads, this is a must.
Google Ads (Formerly Known as AdWords) Tags and Conversions
Similar to Facebook, this is a must if you plan on running Google Ads. This provides insight in terms of who has visited your site and when they achieved a specific conversion you’ve set (like completing a purchase or submitting a form). It will also allow you to retarget people who have visited your site with additional ads.
Often forgotten, but still effective, is Microsoft’s version of Google Ads. As with all things marketing, start collecting the data and A/B testing to see if running ads on Bing gives you a positive return on investment.
LinkedIn Ads have become popular (and, in some cases, expensive). However, if you know your product-market fit well and can target the correct people, ads on LinkedIn can be effective. As with the other platforms, install code on your site to track conversions and gain insights.
Every site is different in how you install these analytics and tracking codes. Generally, you will create a business account on the respective site. From there, the sites generate your unique code and install it on each page of your website.
This might seem like a lot, but the good news is that once you set up tracking, you can start collecting new data and insights, such as affinity of users that you might not have had access to previously or the time of day your site gets the most traffic.
You may find that a campaign you thought was effective isn’t generating enough conversions to justify its cost. On the other hand, you may want to invest more in an ad that proved to be more effective than you anticipated. At a later point in time, these data points will allow you to leverage the historic data you’ve passively compiled to run more targeted ads and, ultimately, drive more qualified leads and revenue.