10 outstanding marketing analytics tools

Analytics and metrics are increasingly important for your success. Check out these helpers to make your professional life easier.

The Internet may be flooded with data tools of every size and shape, but not all data tools are created equal.

Because there is no single analytics tool that covers all your marketing needs, you’ll have to use several to fully understand every part of your business or website. Make sure you have your key performance indicators (KPIs) thought through before diving into all the tools, otherwise you risk being overwhelmed by all the data.

To get started, here are 10 data tools every marketer should know:

1. Intercom

Intercom is perhaps best known as a tool for a having conversations with users, but when used to its full potential it can quickly become a valuable data insights machine. Using events and segments can quickly lend insight into the product’s most active users, helping marketers to target various users differently. You can A/B test different messages within its easy-to-use portal, and you can opt to send messages through an in-app messenger (which is a slick must-see) or through traditional email.

Tip: Once you start using it, notice the way Intercom uses it to communicate with you. You can get a lot out of it by adapting the company’s practices for your business.

2. Google Analytics

Google analytics is a great tool that fits in the click stream analysis category. Google analytics is a great way to understand what people are doing on your site and to get an overall understanding of traffic, demographics and acquisition. It’s one of the oldest tools around for Web analytics and has improved a lot since its early days. You can also set up events and customize goals.

It is also worth checking out Kissmetrics, which has more of a user focus; Mixpanel, which will help you get retention analysis; and Omniture, for enterprises.

Tip: Before diving into Google Analytics, make sure you define your KPIs; otherwise you’re likely to get lost in all the available data.

This free white paper explains how to measure your communication efforts, align PR objectives to business goals and prove your value within your organization. Download it here.

3. Qualaroo

On-page site surveys are a good way to target users and get their immediate feedback. Previously known as KissInsights, Qualaroo has non-intrusive surveys, with which you can ask users anything ranging from complex questions to whether they found what they were looking for. You can target certain sections of the traffic, including returning visitors, visitors who remained on a page after 10 seconds, or visitors who met custom criteria outlined in an event.

Tip: Think through the audience you are targeting; though surveys are easy to set up, it sometimes can be hard to get data you can act on.

4. Optimizely

Testing and optimizing your sales process is a huge part of being a marketer. Optimizely is one the best tools in this category. Not only does Optimizely help you run A/B and multivariate tests easily, but it also helps you calculate the statistical significance of the results. Tests can be run without the engineering bottleneck. Quickly adapt to the winning results, and develop them later.

Tip: A similar tool is Unbounce, which is designed to create and test landing pages, as opposed to Optimizely, which tests variations of an existing page.

5. UserTesting

A great way to get qualitative feedback without surveys is by usability tests. This is where UserTesting comes in. Within a day you can get working and see videos on how your customers are using and interpreting your site. It will help you pinpoint and address issues with usability and user experience.

Tip: The downside of UserTesting is that if you have a niche business, the right audience may be hard to find.

6. Buffer

Try using Buffer for all your social media management and analysis. You can see how your posts performed so you can improve your social media content.

Tip: Check out this article for other social media tools to use to analyze your social media profiles.

7. Crazy Egg

Crazy Egg is a good tool to see how people view your site—how they click and scroll, as well as what actions attract them on a page. You can set up multiple pages on your site and see how customers engage with them on a high level.

Tip: Take advantage of the 30-day free trial.

8. Heap Analytics

Relatively new on the scene, Heap Analytics helps you track and define events easily. It’s easy to use for marketers, and instead of providing a long list of events with code snippets to the engineering team, you can easily start tracking events yourself. Once events are defined, you can see retroactive stats on each interaction and segment various users based on events. The best part is that you can easily set up events for your iOS app to capture any interaction.

Tip: Check out their retention reports. You can do time-based cohort analysis and visualize retention across different segments.

9. Custora

Used by a number of e-commerce sites, Custora is great for understanding your customer life cycle value. You can segment users based on their lifetime value and market them accordingly. They also offer some predictive lifetime segmentations so you can identify early on which customers will be the most valuable.

Tip: Take a look at some of their featured case studies to understand how different businesses have gotten value from Custora.

10. Segment

In marketing you will experiment and test a lot of tools before you find the ones that work for you and your business. Segment helps you move quickly and manage all your integrations without consuming precious engineering time for installing and maintaining analytics tools.

Tip: It provides integrations with all the commonly used marketing tools out there.

Romy Misra is the senior director of product at Visually, where a version of this article originally appeared. Previously she ran analytics and operations for the company. Follow her on Twitter @romymisra.

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