Eye on Marketing: 3 Steps to Revamp Your Analytics

For most small-business owners, big data analysis has either been very costly or too complicated to consider. But times have changed, and if you are relying solely on web analytics — just how many clicks your webpages receive, for instance — your company may be dangerously behind the changing times.

A flurry of new marketing analytics tools might help small-business owners know how effectively their marketing turns browsers into buyers. "There is absolutely no excuse now for devoid of basic marketing analytics on a website," says Elea McDonnell Feit, executive director of the Philadelphia-based Wharton Customer Analytics Initiative, a study center that targets applying big data to corporate decision-making.

Listed below are three steps to revamping your marketing analytics and choosing the program that’s right for you personally:

1. Select a new e-commerce platform: Online store-building services such as for example Shopify, Magento and Highwire now also offer users the opportunity to analyze user-engagement. The interfaces are not difficult for the non tech-savvy, and may help design customer rewards programs, discounts and gift cards.

Most include free mobile features and integrate with tools such as for example Google Analytics to actively measure their effectiveness. Magento, now owned by eBay, offers a free of charge open-source version (created for developers), and a less strenuous to use commercial product for $15 monthly. Shopify’s software starts at $29 per month and Highwire’s starts at $20 monthly.

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2. Control your social chatter: Driving and monitoring interest in this content you publish on your own company’s blog, Facebook and Twitter accounts is called "inbound marketing." Companies such as for example Hubspot might help monitor and compile the info from those social channels in a single location, while tracking which customers build relationships your social activity and which platforms drive the most user interest.

Hubspot may also let you know if a follower is a "social influencer" based, for instance, on how big is their Twitter following. In addition, it lets you setup automated email messages to check out up with these "power" followers.

Hubspot’s basic package starts at $200 monthly. Similar tools include social media dashboard Hootsuite (basic accounts are free), U.K.-based social media monitoring and analysis tool Sentiment Metrics (starts at $475 monthly) and SocialMention, a free of charge program which allows you to track what folks say about your company, your products or any keywords you set.

3. Start merging online and offline data: Tracking your visitors to get and online could be ideal, but services offering such a 360-degree view often come at high prices. Still, there are affordable work-arounds for smaller businesses.

Offering e-mailed receipts — using companies like Third Solutions — can save paper and help translate in-store customer information into digital data which you can use to send coupons, promotions and messages right to those customers. Additionally, it may help provide you with a more complete knowledge of purchasing history and sales trends. Pricing varies, though a simple package including marketing capabilities starts at around $500 each year.

Implementing digital punch cards or loyalty programs may also help offline retailers collect the same data in-store because they would online. RewardLoop, for example, allows users to scan their in-store receipts to get points — a gamified way to incentivize future purchases, but also to get the purchasing history of every individual customer. Prices start at $40 monthly.

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