The Internet may be flooded with data tools of every size and shape, but not all data tools are built equal. Because there is no single analytics tool that covers all marketing needs, you’ll have to use several to best understand every part of your business or website. Make sure you have your business KPIs thought through before diving into all the tools, otherwise you will be overwhelmed by all the data. To get started, here are 10 data tools every marketer should know.
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, allowing marketers to target various users differently. You can A/B test different messages within their easy-to-use portal, and have the option to either send messages through an in-app messenger (which is slick and a must-see) or through traditional email. Tip: Intercom is also really good at dog-fooding their product. Once you start using it, notice the way they use it to communicate with you. You can get a lot out of it by adapting their 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 get an overall understanding of traffic, demographics and acquisition. It’s one of the oldest tools around for web analytics and has evolved 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: Especially before diving into Google Analytics, make sure you define your key KPIs otherwise you’re likely to get lost in all the available data.
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, in which you can ask users anything ranging from NPS to simple questions like if they found what they were looking for. You can target certain sections of the traffic like 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, as easy as surveys are easy to set up sometimes can be hard to get actionable data.
Testing and optimizing your funnel 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: Another tool which is similar in this category is Unbounce which is designed to test and create new landing pages as opposed to Optimizely which is testing variations of the existing page.
A great way to easily get qualitative feedback without surveys is by usability tests. This is where UserTesting comes in. Within a day you can get working and see up to 15-minute videos on how your customers are using and interpreting your site. It will help you pinpoint issues with usability and user experience, and address them. Tip: The downside of UserTesting is that if you have a niche business, the right audience/persona may be hard to find.
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 they are drawn to 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 their 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 also visualize retention across different segments.
Used by a number of e-commerce sites, Custora is great for understanding your customer lifecycle value (CLV). You can segment users based on their lifetime value and market them differently. 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.
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: Take a look at their integrations; they provide integrations with all the commonly used marketing tools out there. Romy Misra is the Sr. Director of Product at Visually. Previously she ran both analytics and operations for the company. You can follow her on twitter @romymisra. Image via Flickr user lox