by Daniel Burstein
, Director of Editorial Content
In the MarketingSherpa Ecommerce Benchmark Study
survey, we asked:
- Question #7. Which statement best describes the process your organization uses to plan, execute and measure the performance of ecommerce marketing programs?
- Question #13. How did your revenue growth compare to your goals in 2013?
- Question #19. Which best describes the marketers in your organization?
Dr. Diana Sindicich, Senior Manager, Data Sciences, MECLABS Institute (parent company of MarketingSherpa), combined responses to these questions by identifying a group of companies with similar characteristics based on their responses.
"I created a subset of those who responded either 'Almost all of the marketers know how to access and interpret basic analytics data' or 'Many of the marketers know how to access and interpret basic analytics data' [to Question #19] and 'We have a formal process with thorough guidelines which we routinely perform' [to Question #7]," Dr. Sindicich said.
She then correlated this subset with Question #13 to create the chart below:
Click here to see a printable version of this chart
Investments in advanced measurement programs pay off for marketers
As you can see in the above chart, 44% of companies identified as "high expertise" in analytics and measurement outpaced their industry growth, with only 15% of "high-expertise" companies reporting slower growth than their competitors.
"From looking at the growth of the high-expertise companies in comparison to the other expertise levels, they've outpaced both their own revenue goals and their industry's revenue growth rate," Dr. Sindicich concluded.
Optimizing the company's performance
What sets these high-expertise companies apart? How can you lead your company to becoming high expertise?
"As part of this group, your company is measuring and monitoring the performance of your site and marketing organization proactively, regularly and consciously," Dr. Sindicich observed.
"The company is making changes based on that feedback that might affect all aspects of the business, including sales, marketing, product and other business practices. There is someone monitoring the security of the site, as that's a potential threat to company success. Through this system of feedback, the marketing organization should be able to optimize the company's performance," she concluded.
Using analytics and data to better understand (and serve) the customer
As Dr. Sindicich mentions, one key element of these high-performing, high-expertise companies is that they are able to use their measurement programs to get a better understanding of:
- What customers want and need
- How well they are delivering this value to customers
- How customers want to be communicated with (which channels and messaging)
- What they can do to improve the customer experience (from site security and usability to product marketing and design)
While one marketer responded in the Benchmark Study survey by lamenting, "No analytics [are] set up, so we don't understand our website and how it is used," we received many positive responses from marketers who are using analytics and data to better understand customers.
Here are a few observations from Benchmark Study survey respondents that you might find helpful on your own journey of customer discovery:
- "Using analytics, I focus day-to-day marketing on hottest response levels on social media or email activity."
- "We just hired a third-party marketing and media firm with analytics to assist us in determining what our [media] mix should consist of."
- "Analytics — we then use the data to try and meet customer needs and expectations."
- "We use [analytics platform] and email marketing to create and design emails specific to their location and language."
- "We track our analytics program along with the sales data on our ecommerce system. Utilizing this data, we follow the trends of shopping in those demographics and make changes to our sites and sales process (direct emails and PPC campaigns) accordingly."
- "Using statistical data from [analytics platform] gives us insights in the segments of our customer bases. This can then be used to target specific segments with paid advertisements and TV campaigns."
- "[Challenge was] poor conversions. [We're] modifying user experience based on analytics."
- "We had a very low conversion rate. Based on analytics, we improved site navigation and made it more comprehensible. We also improved and extended the display of product information and made the checkout process faster. We also continuously narrow down the focus of our ad campaigns."
- "We plan to aggressively pursue the social media platforms to tell the world about our product. This strategy will provide us with the most exposure for our marketing dollar. We will then selectively choose where to place more traditional media buys based on analytics and data from the social media campaigns."
- "Always be evaluating the metrics, analytics, etc., and implement change quickly to address and leverage trends."
Related resourcesMarketingSherpa Ecommerce Benchmark Study
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