If you read even a small portion of my articles, then you have probably quickly realized that I’m a big proponent of doing measurement and analytics. If you are going to do social media, emails, content, or any type of online marketing correctly, then you need to set clear business goals. You also need to measure these activities thoroughly to make sure they are up to snuff. With that in mind, when I talk to both marketers and clients I seem to get at some variation of the following six questions. I’ll list and answer them now: 

Question 1: Why is the analytics needed at all? 

Answer: one of the main reasons why you need analytics is because it will tell you what marketing strategies you are doing correctly, and which marketing strategies that you are doing incorrectly. The main thing that analytics does is provide measurement so you don’t have to guess. In a nutshell, analytics help you discover the content your audience really likes and what social media activities drive the most content to your site. Simply put, this gives you knowledge to optimize your social media activities. 

Question 2: What is the minimum amount of tools that we need? 

This question will often have a double meaning. Indeed, a better question for many marketers would be, “What are the free marketing analytics tools out there I can use?” Well, the minimum amount of tools you would need to use to be successful would include Twitter analytics, Google analytics, Google and BING webmaster tools and alerts, Google AdWords, services from Social Mention, and analytics reports from Simply Measured. All of these tools are simply a must.

Question 3: We’re only a small marketing team. Do we really have to spend a lot of time doing this? 

Do you remember that meme circulating of the African American lady who was saying, “Ain’t nobody got time for that”? Well, that is another way of rephrasing this question. And yes, it is quite an investment. However, while it does some time to learn, once you gain the experience and the practice it is much easier. First, you have to set up and learn how to use the tools. Second, you will need to monitor the tools, and then finally, you will need to do a little bit of research each day to stay up-to-date. 

Question 4: Why should we pay for these analytics tools? 

This question usually occurs because many entrepreneurs have seen that ubiquitous “list of free tools” or something similar floating around cyberspace. However, that list is just that: a list. When you pay for analytics tools, you are not paying for a list, but for time and visibility. 

Question 5: Is there one tool that will just do everything? 

Unfortunately, the answer to that question is no. At the bare minimum, you will need different tools for web analytics, monitoring, email marketing, content marketing, and campaign research. Of course, there are more expensive analytic services that will fully integrate everything, but no, they won’t do everything. 

Question 6: What would I get with more expensive analytics tools? 

Of course, this is a question that is impossible to answer, but here goes. There are some elements of an analytics service that will come with a higher price tag. For example, analytics that will offer white labeling, better and/or cleaner data, and more advanced data analysis features will usually come with a higher price tag. 

At the end of the day, the key concern is always going to be about time and money. Entrepreneurs want to make sure they are getting a good return on their investment before they use analytics tools, and that is one of the main reasons why they have questions. Hopefully, this addresses any concerns you might have.