Performance Marketing
August 21, 2023

Everything you Should Know About Analyzing Historical Performance Data in Performance Marketing

How do performance marketers analyze historical performance data?

Performance marketers must be adept at analyzing previous performance data. They can recognize trends, comprehend what has worked effectively in the past, and use this information to inform their future efforts. The following are some of the steps in this process:

  • Data collection: The first step is to compile all the necessary information. This could come from a variety of sources, such as CRM systems, email marketing tools, social media analytics, and Google Analytics. Metrics like impressions, click-through rates, conversion rates, client acquisition expenses, and customer lifetime value could be included in the data.
  • Data segmentation: Segment the data according to different categories, including marketing channels, campaigns, demographics, regions, devices, and time periods. This can assist in bringing to light particular ideas that a higher-level study would have overlooked.
  • Identify Key Performance Indicators (KPIs): Define the metrics that are most crucial to your business objectives. Your analysis will mostly be focused on them.
  • Trend analysis: In order to understand how the performance has changed over time, look for trends and patterns in the data. This entails looking at measures like impressions, clicks, income, and conversions to find seasonal or cyclical patterns as well as long-term trends. Marketers can tailor their campaigns in accordance with these tendencies by knowing them.
  • Compare against benchmarks: Compared to industry standards: Examine your performance in comparison to industry standards or to past results. This can indicate if your performance is good or bad in comparison to a pertinent criterion.
  • Identify successful strategies: Take a look at your most effective campaigns or strategies. What do they have in common? This might offer perceptions that can be used in future strategies. 
  • Identify areas of improvement: Similarly, look for areas where performance was weak. Try to understand what went wrong and how it can be improved.
  • Test and learn approach: Test your campaigns to determine what is most effective. To determine what you should test, use past data.
  • Leverage analytical tools: Complex datasets can be processed and interpreted with the aid of data visualization tools (such as Tableau, Power BI) or statistical software (such as R, Python, or SPSS). Predictive analytics, which predicts future performance based on historical data, can also incorporate machine learning.

What are the most common approaches that performance marketers use for analyzing historical performance data?

  • KPI analysis: Key performance indicators (KPIs) including click-through rates (CTR), conversion rates, return on ad spend (ROAS), cost per acquisition (CPA), and customer lifetime value (CLTV) are the main emphasis of performance marketing. These indicators give an overview of the success of a campaign and enable performance comparisons between other campaigns or distribution channels.
  • Cohort analysis: You may compare how various groups behave and perform over time by categorizing people into cohorts (depending on when they first interacted with your business, a particular campaign, etc.). This can provide insightful information and aid in client lifetime value optimization.
  • Funnel analysis: Marketers may determine the many steps consumers take before converting by examining the conversion funnel (e.g., ad impression, click, landing page visit, conversion). Funnel analysis helps in identifying conversion bottlenecks, enhancing the user experience, and improving overall campaign performance.
  • Attribution modeling: With attribution modeling, marketers may give recognition to various user journey touchpoints that result in conversions. To comprehend the effects of various marketing initiatives and spend resources wisely, a variety of attribution models, such as first-click, last-click, linear, or time decay, are utilized.
  • Time-series analysis: To find trends, seasonality, and other patterns, performance marketers examine historical data over time. This aids them in tracking campaign performance across predetermined time periods, comprehending the effects of outside variables, and making wise judgments about budgeting and scheduling of campaigns.
  • ROI analysis: ROI analysis compares the income produced or desired actions done with the costs invested to determine the return on investment for performance marketing programs. By determining the profitability and effectiveness of campaigns, this research enables marketers to allocate resources wisely.
  • Data visualization: Present performance information in formats that are both aesthetically pleasing and simple to grasp, such as charts, graphs, and dashboards. Data visualization aids in spotting trends, outliers, and opportunities for improvement.

When analyzing historical data, what do performance marketers look for?

Performance marketers frequently search for trends, patterns, and anomalies when examining previous data to help guide their future plans. These are some essential items performance marketers may search for:

  • Successes and failures: Knowing which methods or approaches were effective and which ones weren't will help future efforts. To guide future choices, they can consider the success rates of certain marketing, content, or communications kinds.
  • Trends over time: Marketers frequently search for trends in historical data. Changes in user behavior, fluctuations in performance indicators, or seasonal trends could all be contributing factors. This can help in planning future campaigns and budget allocation.
  • Anomalies: Unexpected spikes or declines in the data may point to opportunities or difficulties, such as a technical fault or an unexpectedly popular piece of content. Data analysis includes identifying and comprehending these anomalies, which is crucial.
  • Segment performance: Analyzing the data by various segments (such as demographics, geography, or device) can provide information about which populations are more profitable or highly engaged. This may help when choosing an audience to target.
  • Customer journey: Marketers can gain a better understanding of the customer journey by evaluating data from various consumer touchpoints. They might search for trends in the paths taken by customers from awareness to conversion to repurchase.
  • Performance metrics: To fully evaluate a campaign's performance, key performance indicators (KPIs) including click-through rates, conversion rates, cost per acquisition, and customer lifetime value are essential.
  • Competitive analysis: Marketers may examine their previous performance in relation to that of their competitors or industry benchmarks as part of a competitive study.
  • Channel performance: Knowing which marketing channels, such as email, social media, or SEO, have produced the best results will help you decide where to put your efforts.
  • ROI analysis: Understanding profitability and making wise budgeting decisions depend on being able to calculate the return on investment for various campaigns, channels, or methods.
  • Tests and experiments: If the business has conducted A/B tests or other experiments, examining this data might provide insights into the factors that have the greatest impact on customer behavior.

What are top 10 mistakes that performance marketers make when analyzing historical performance data?

  1. Ignoring seasonal trends: Performance marketers occasionally overlook seasonal variations or other cyclical characteristics in their data. This may result in erroneous conclusions and exaggerated predictions.
  2. Not establishing baselines: Data comparison without a baseline might be deceptive. To determine if changes in metrics are meaningful or merely random variations, marketers should set benchmarks and collect previous performance information.
  3. Overlooking statistical significance: When analyzing A/B tests or other experiments, failing to assess statistical significance can result in inaccurate results. To make sure that any discovered changes are statistically significant, marketers should employ the proper statistical methods.
  4. Cherry-picking data: The analysis may be skewed if some data points or time periods are chosen at random to confirm assumptions or desired outcomes. To maintain neutrality, marketers should examine the complete dataset rather than cherry-picking.
  5. Lack of segmentation: When data is not analyzed according to pertinent dimensions, such as audience demographics or marketing channels, important insights may be lost. Data segmentation opens up chances for more focused analysis and optimization.
  6. Inadequate attribution: Ascribing conversions or revenue to certain marketing channels in error can result in inefficient budgeting and tactics. To truly understand the impact of each channel, performance marketers should employ appropriate attribution models and take into account the complete customer experience.
  7. Focusing only on top-level metrics: Without looking deeper, relying only on top-level data like clicks or impressions can hide underlying problems. To pinpoint particular areas for development, marketers should examine detailed metrics like conversion rates, cost per acquisition, or lifetime value.
  8. Ignoring multi-channel impact: Marketers occasionally examine each channel separately, which might result in missing the "halo" effect, or the combined impact of multiple channels.
  9. Not taking into account lag effects: Some marketing actions can have long-term repercussions that aren't immediately apparent. Ignoring them could result in a lowered estimation of the success of these activities.
  10. Lack of actionable insights: Finally, analysis ought to result in data-driven decision-making and actionable insights. The analysis could be useless if no useful recommendations could be drawn from the data. Marketing professionals should concentrate on converting findings into actionable optimization plans and testing ideas.

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