What is Marketing Data Analytics (+ Tips from 40+ Experts)

Katie Holmes
25th February 2022

Get your ultimate guide to marketing data analytics packed with insights and tips to help improve your web and marketing performance. 

If you’ve been looking for a detailed guide to marketing data analytics, look no further. 

As a provider of marketing attribution, we know just how essential marketing data analytics is for improving your campaigns and driving good results. 

So, whether you are new to marketing data analytics, expanding your skills or looking to better utilise your data, this guide is the perfect place to kickstart your journey. 

In this article, we’ll discuss: 

What is marketing data analytics?

Marketing data analytics covers your web performance and collects data from all marketing sources.

“Marketers of all sizes use marketing data analytics to help make decisions, forecast results, analyse the efficacy of marketing campaigns, uncover market opportunities and much more,” says Daniela Sawyer, Founder & Digital Media Manager at Find People Fast

Marketing data analytics is not a new thing.

It has been around for quite some time.

However, when most marketers hear the word analytics, they often think of metrics like bounce rate, sessions and time on page which you would usually find in traditional web analytics tools. 

But marketing data analytics is more than just reporting the results of your web performance.

Related: 10 marketing analytics tools and software for data-driven marketers

Marketing data analytics provides valuable insight to track the efficiency of your marketing campaigns, something that traditional web analytics can’t offer alone.

With web analytics, marketers can measure things like page load times, page views per visit, and time on site.

However with marketing data analytics, marketers can go beyond web metrics and track business metrics like leads, sales, and ROI. 

Additionally, “You can use marketing data analytics to examine the performance of your marketing and use the results to create content that consistently resonates with your ideal customers, ” added Bram Jansen, Chief Editor at vpnAlert

How is data analytics used in marketing and why is it important?

Marketing data analytics is the backbone of any successful campaign. 

With the right data analytics, you can make data-driven decisions to shape your marketing strategies and build revenue streams that drive the profitability of your company.

Here are ways marketing data analytics can benefit your marketing strategies and drive better results:

Closer look at customer interactions and journeys

Customers will embark on their own unique journeys prior to purchasing your product or service. 

Related: Guide to customer journeys and how to track them

It’s believed that consumers use an average of almost six touchpoints during their journey, with nearly 50% regularly using more than four.

Today’s marketers are relying on data analytics to better understand their customer journeys and build more personalised marketing campaigns to deliver better engaging experiences.

Related: 11 customer journey mapping and analytics tools 

“One of the best ways to use marketing analytics is to analyse customer trends and interactions. Reshaping your marketing strategies and marketing campaigns becomes much easier when you know about changing customer trends. You will always be prepared to market based on a trend and acquire new customers,” says Brice Gump, Digital Marketing Expert at Major Impact Media

💡 Pro Tip

Tracking customer interactions across multiple channels unlocks powerful insight which you can use to improve your customer experience and marketing efforts. Download our guide below and learn how to follow the complete lifecycle from awareness to loyalty.

Learn how to track your full customer journeys

More data to uncover industry trends and patterns

Modern marketers are investing more time and money into data to predict future trends and behaviour.

With marketing data analytics, you can identify important trends and capitalise on them to launch new, successful marketing strategies. 

“Data analytics gives you in-depth insights into current market activity, but you can also use the same data to predict future customer demand. Fact-based, informed predictions give you a headstart,” added Nick Drewe, Founder & CEO at Wethrift.

Evidence to prove marketing’s impact on revenue

Marketers have struggled for years to demonstrate ROI, and only a few have managed to crack it. 

Related: How businesses user Ruler to improve their ROI

For a long time, marketers have relied on Google Analytics to track conversions and measure marketing performance.

We found that 90% of marketers consider Google Analytics their go-to tool for tracking marketing effectiveness

The trouble with Google Analytics and other web analytics tools is that they don’t focus on the bigger picture. 

Related: Limitations of Google Analytics and how to overcome them

Google Analytics can tell you where your visitors came from and that a conversion happened because of an ad or campaign, but that’s it. 

In isolation, Google Analytics tells you nothing about your visitors once they convert into a lead and are handed over to the sales team. 

Teddy Jewell, Founder & CEO at Michigan Creative, agrees: “While Google Analytics can be a great tool to measure your site’s performance, rarely does it contain all of the information that you need to know for proper reporting.”

Related: How to integrate CRM data with Google Analytics for closed-loop reporting

But with good marketing data analytics, marketers can close the gap and better understand the effectiveness of their marketing based on actionable metrics such as return on investment (ROI), revenue and cost per acquisition (CPA).

They can see how their marketing campaigns stack up against each other in terms of revenue and make better decisions to eliminate waste and maximise profit.

What are the main challenges with marketing data analytics?

While marketing data analytics can provide valuable insights into your web and marketing performance, many marketers are not getting the full potential due to the following challenges.

The feedback in our survey varied, but many respondents ranked extracting insights from data in marketing analytics as a number one challenge. 


The whole point of marketing data analytics is to come up with actionable insights to optimise and improve marketing outputs. 

Related: How to turn data into actionable insights (tips from the experts)

But, it’s far from easy. 

While some marketers are successfully collecting data and applying insight, there are many failing to review, learn and improve their marketing strategies. 

The problem for most marketers is that they try to measure everything at once. 

While there are many metrics relevant to the success of your marketing, track too many, and you’ll end up with a bunch of insights that have little to no impact on your performance.

Related: A guide to tracking the right stats and actionable metrics

Joining up marketing analytics with other data sources is another challenge that marketers are finding difficult to overcome.

According to another study, 47% of marketers say that data silos are their biggest problem when it comes to applying insight to data. 

Today’s marketers use as many as 13 channels to disseminate their content and turn leads into sales

The upsurge in marketing channels has called for an increase in tools to monitor, nurture and manage people as they move through the customer journey stages

But, the more tools you use across departments, the harder it becomes to manage and connect your data. 

💡 Pro Tip 

Both of these issues can be solved with closed-loop marketing attribution. With closed loop attribution, marketers can capture website visitors on an individual level, store data from multiple sources in a single platform and attribute revenue across each interaction a customer has with your brand.

Download the guide on closed-loop marketing attribution

Tips on how to get the most out of your marketing data analytics

“Once you know how to analyse marketing data analytics, you’ll get a very objective assessment of your marketing performance,” says Howard Gordan, Co-Founder at Custom Plastics

Whether you’re a marketing analytics veteran or just starting out, we’re here to help you get more out of your data. 

We asked data-driven marketers to weigh in and share top tips on marketing data analytics. 

By following the tips below, you’ll find it easier to keep up with your marketing data analytics and go on to achieve much better results for your business. 

  1. Start collecting data as soon as possible
  2. Focus on better data, not more
  3. Know your most important metrics
  4. Don’t be afraid to try new tools
  5. Combine all your key tools
  6. Learn to trust your data
  7. Set up customised dashboards
  8. Never stop learning and experimenting 

1. Start collecting data as soon as possible 

“Start collecting data the moment you launch your business. When analysing marketing data, you want to have the whole picture, not after you start to get the ball rolling,” says Stephen Light, Co-Owner and Chief Marketing Officer at Nolah Mattress

You’ll want to start collecting data as soon as possible, even if you are not ready to. 

If you’re not currently collecting some kind of data on your marketing performance, stop what you are doing and do it now.

Well, you can finish reading this blog first, but it is a priority you can’t ignore. 

The quicker you start tracking, the faster it will be to build a rich source of historical and valuable data.

And, you know what that means?

Better intelligence and faster decision making processes.

2. Focus on better data, not more 

“Focus on more accurate and better quality data. Having better quality data will lead to more accurate predictions related to your future marketing strategy and can make or break your marketing,” says Patti Naiser, CEO at Senior Home Transitions.

Marketing data analytics has made it possible to track everything. All you need is the right tools. 

And while data is helpful for better decision making, it can be easy for marketers to fall into the trap of tracking data just for the sake of it. 

Tina Hawk, SVP Human Resources at Goodhire, agrees: “It can be very easy for teams to gather as much data and detail as possible – especially given the continuous rollout of new technology. However, more data does not necessarily equate to greater understanding.”

Tracking too much data can quickly become confusing.

You can end up with a bunch of insights that aren’t even relevant to your business goals. 

Leanna Serras, Chief Customer Officer at FragranceX, suggests: “focusing on data that helps you predict customer needs, pain points, and preferences.”

That way, you can drive more data-driven insights that are invaluable to your marketing initiatives and create better customer experiences. 

3. Know your most important metrics

“Many companies track metrics for the sake of tracking but might not know why they are tracking them. Place the priority on the most important metrics for the success of your business, says Shawn Plummer, CEO at The Annuity Expert.

Just as it’s essential to track quality data, it’s also important to understand your most important metrics that matter. 

But, with so many metrics to consider, it can be difficult to know which ones to focus on and improve.

There is a lot that goes into this decision, but considering the following factors can help make the process a little easier. 

💡 Pro Tip

Want more on marketing measurement metrics? This guide will walk you through marketing measurement, the key marketing metrics you need to track and how to best measure them.

Download a complete guide to measuring your marketing

4. Don’t be afraid to try new tools 

“Use a platform that makes your findings easy to interpret. Use smart tools that streamline your processes and churn your raw data into powerful, actionable insights,” says Jerry Han, Chief Marketing Officer at PrizeRebel

The quality of your data and insights depends on the right marketing analytics tools. 

Related: 16 marketing analytics tools and software for data-driven marketers

While Google Analytics is the holy grail of analytics software, it isn’t the only kid on the block. 

There are tons of marketing analytics tools out there designed to help measure the effectiveness of your marketing.

“Python, Groovy, SQL, and MATLAB are just some of the few tools dominating the analytical market. We have adapted them to make our infrastructure more flexible when accommodating different types of analytical tools,” says Kevin King, Marketing Head at ICRFQ

When it comes to marketing analytics tools, it’s always tempting to settle for the first option you find.

But, if you settle with traditional and outdated analytics tools for too long, you can end up making poor decisions that go against company strategy.

John Li, Co-Founder & CTO at Fig Loans, agrees: “Even if you’re happy with your analytics software, you should always be staying up-to-date with new breakthroughs and development in the technology.”

Google’s announcement about phasing out third-party cookies is a prime example of why you should always stay on top of the latest tools and embrace analytical diversity. 

Related: All you need to know about first-party and third-party cookies

Analytics tools that rely on third-party cookies will not work as well as before and become ineffective from 2023. 

But, for every change, there is a solution.

For many data-driven marketers, the response to third-party cookie deprecation is to embrace analytics and attribution solutions built to capture first-party data.

Ruler Analytics, for example, allows you to create your own first-party cookies directly on your domain.

You can track users over multiple sessions, campaigns, keywords and attribute leads and revenue back to their initial source using first-party tracking. 

💡 Pro Tip 

Want more info on Ruler? Learn how Ruler tracks your full customer journeys or book a demo, and we’ll show you how Ruler can automatically create first-party cookies to track your website users with no need for third-party cookies.

Book a free demo of Ruler

If you are a marketer not open to change, now might be a good time to reconsider.

5. Combine all your key tools

“Connecting your sources by fully integrating the data—which requires technical expertise—creates a much fuller picture for analytics,” says Zachary Hoffman, CEO at DigitalPR.com.

Your marketing analytics becomes a lot more effective when it’s connected with your existing sales and marketing tools.

Integrating your marketing analytics tools with your CRM can help monitor your customer journeys across many different marketing and sales touchpoints. 

Related: 11 Key CRM integrations you need to implement

You can gain a complete view of what’s working and provide useful insights for future strategies.

Aaron Traub, Owner at HVAC Marketing Engine, agrees: “No platform has all the information you need to make smart decisions. But, when you combine data sets from multiple strategic places, it can provide you with the framework to make the best decision.”


If you are dipping your toe into integrations for the first time, Bryan Phillips, Head of Marketing at In Motion Marketing, believes: “Combining your CRM with Google Analytics is a great place to start.”

Related: How to integrate CRM data with Google Analytics

If you’re looking for something more advanced that can integrate and enrich your entire tool stack with marketing attribution data, you can try a tool like Ruler. 

Ruler connects all your apps, like your CRM, Google Analytics and your ad platforms, allowing you to access details about customer behaviours across the entire buyer’s journey. 

When a lead converts into a deal, Ruler attributes revenue across each interaction a customer has with your brand and allows you to calculate your marketing ROI more effectively.

Related: How Ruler attributes revenue to your marketing

“Proper tracking through Ruler helps us to attribute [revenue] directly to the keyword in Google Ads that led to the enquiry – therefore we can optimise our campaigns based on this – and deliver more success to our clients,” says Suraj, Head of Partnerships at Add People.

6. Learn to trust your data

When you’re confident that you have chosen the right metrics and tools, you must learn to trust your data.

While your gut instinct will serve you well in some circumstances, it doesn’t always have all the answers.

Making impulsive and emotional decisions can sometimes lead you down to the wrong path and lose you a lot of money.

Data allows you to rise above any bias or emotional influence.

However, as humans, we have an obsession with relying on our capabilities. 

“I’ve worked with dozens of marketers who rely too much on their assumptions than they do the data,” says Joey Randazzo, Founder & CEO at SEO Growth Partners

During our survey, we discovered that 72% of marketers base the majority of their marketing decisions on data in marketing analytics. 

CFO at FindThisBest, Alex Williams, believes that there “is no place for gut instincts when analysing marketing data.

Alex added: “You simply cannot gamble on your marketing plans, as that often leads to wasted time and resources. The strongest marketers are always those who base their decisions based on solid data rather than their intuition.”

While more and more marketers are quickly jumping on the data-driven bandwagon, many are sceptical about relying too heavily on data alone.

Founder at Authority Guitar, Lee Atterton, told us that they “base most of their marketing decisions on data, but rely heavily on intuition when it comes to the creative side.” 

Lee added: “Data is a great way to inform your decision-making process, while gut feeling will tell you why and give you the confidence to try something spontaneous and fresh.

7. Set up customised dashboards

“One tip to maximise your marketing data analytics is to set up customised dashboards on whatever software you use,” says Johannes Larsson, CEO at Financer.com. This will save you time by allowing you to see only the information that is relevant to you and filter out the rest.”

The best analytics dashboards are built with their intended audience in mind. 

Most, if not all, companies will have key stakeholders outside of the marketing department that contribute to critical business and marketing decisions. 

“These stakeholders need to understand the data you bring them so they can make well-informed and intelligent decisions,” says James Diel, Founder & CEO at Textel

To deliver key insights and recommendations to key stakeholders, most marketers will adopt reporting and data visualisation technology. 

Rohan Kadam at Biking KnowHow, approves: “My number one tip for getting the most out of data is to use data visualisation to identify trends and patterns within the data and based on that take actionable decisions.”

Amanda Stewart, Founding Partner and Senior Vice President at Vineyard Senior Living, has recently invested in a digital reporting platform that automatically sends dashboards each week on marketing performance. 

“Dashboards can tie in data sources and give a quick comparison to previous performance, which makes viewing reports much more efficient in our busy schedules,” added Amanda. 

8. Never stop reviewing and experimenting 

“Data analytics may assist you in making effective changes to your marketing approach that keep you on pace to meet your objectives. The data you get from your analytics tools, on the other hand, will only make a difference in your marketing plan if it’s correct,” says Daniel Foley, SEO Manager at MCS Rental Scooter

As your business grows and changes, your marketing goals and targeting should too.

You must review whether or not your metrics are still relevant whenever you alter your objectives. 

Daniel agrees: “You need to make sure to review your data collection method regularly. Making constant modifications is the key to reaching your long-term marketing objectives.”

Ready to get more out of your marketing data analytics?

Marketing data analytics is a must for your success, but it requires consistent dedicated practice and learning.

Dan Ni, CEO at Messaged.com, agrees: “As someone who has to go through marketing analytics daily, I can vouch that it has a learning curve to it. Once you understand what’s benefitting you the most it will make understanding analytics easier.” 

But, we hope our list of tips and tricks has motivated you to take the plunge. 

If you need a marketing data analytics tool that helps you orchestrate your marketing stack and works well with other applications, you should look into Ruler. 

We have a blog that shows you everything you can stand to learn if you integrate Ruler into your marketing stack. Or, you can also book a demo of Ruler to see it in action for yourself.