Marketing Analytics: Definition, Benefits + Career Guide

Written by Coursera • Updated on

Discover marketing analytics as a business process and career path, and how you can get started.

[Featured image] A marketer in a denim shirt reviews marketing analytics from a digital campaign on a desktop computer covered in colored sticky notes.

What is marketing analytics? 

Marketing analytics is the use of data to understand consumer behavior, optimize marketing activities, and drive business results. It starts with collecting data such as: 

  • Website traffic and bounce rate

  • Email open rates

  • Social media engagement 

  • Mobile app use

  • The number of leads generated 

  • Conversion rate

  • The lifetime value of each customer (the total amount of revenue a customer will bring to your company, based on the value of each purchase, the frequency of purchases, and the length of time a customer remains a customer)

After collecting the marketing data, the next steps are to find the patterns and use them to make data-driven decisions to refine your marketing strategy. There are three main marketing analytics models you can use to optimize your marketing efforts: 

  • Descriptive models: Use data from prior campaigns to guide marketing decisions going forward. 

  • Predictive models: Use data from prior campaigns to predict customer behavior. 

  • Prescriptive models: Use data from all touchpoints and interactions to create better customer experiences. 

Benefits of marketing analytics 

Analytics in marketing allows businesses to eliminate the guesswork or over-reliance on anecdotal evidence and help marketing teams make informed business decisions and improve customer relationship management. Here are other benefits:  

Get a 360-degree view of all marketing activities. 

What is happening across all marketing channels, including paid digital ads, email, social media, and web? Have you optimized your marketing mix?

Gain a better understanding of your customers. 

How do potential customers and current customers behave at various points in the buyer’s journey? What drives the actions they take? What are their pain points? What improvements can be made to improve their experience? 

Refine your marketing strategy. 

Which marketing initiatives can you replicate and enhance because they are delivering the results you want? Which ones can you eliminate because they are underdelivering?

Predict the success of future marketing campaigns. 

With predictive scoring based on past marketing campaigns, you may be able to predict how customers will respond to future campaigns and overall advertising and marketing efforts.

According to Statista, the top metrics that marketers use, as of June 2021, to measure the success of marketing efforts include revenue, sales funnel performance, customer satisfaction, content engagement, and customer acquisition costs [1]. 

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What can you do in marketing analytics? 

You may be wondering how marketing analytics can figure into your day-to-day job or your long-term career goals. In this section, explore marketing analytics jobs and using marketing analytics to develop a business. 

Marketing analytics jobs

Are you interested in enhancing your marketing performance in your current role, finding your dream job in this field, or advancing to a leadership role in marketing? Begin exploring the marketing analytics employment landscape, starting with these three roles: 

Marketing analystMarket research analystMarketing manager
Marketing analytics annual salary (US average)
$67,035

$63,110

$78,970
Marketing analytics job descriptionGather and analyzes a company’s internal marketing data to improve marketing efforts.Gather and analyzes what’s happening externally in a particular market: prices, trends, competitors, etc.Manage market research efforts and execute marketing processes, team wide.
Number of US job listings on Glassdoor
2,588

9,160

33,217
Similar job titlesDigital marketing analyst, senior marketing analyst, product marketing analyst, marketing data analystMarket research business analyst, market research and insights analyst, senior market research data analystHead of marketing, customer marketing manager, product marketing manager, marketing analyst & manager

*All job information sourced from Glassdoor, as of October 2022. 

Marketing analytics for small businesses 

If you are starting and developing your own business, you can use marketing analytics to focus on the campaigns that are the most relevant to your audience, create personalized customer experiences, and differentiate your marketing from competitors. 

Here are some real-world examples: 

  • Imagine you have limited marketing dollars in your budget. You can use marketing analytics to determine which campaigns have historically been the most successful and focus your remaining budget on top-performing efforts with a high return on investment (ROI).

  • Imagine you want to increase traffic to your website. You can examine keyword trends on various media platforms, top-performing content on your site, Google Analytics data, and other content marketing analytics to plan the kind of content you’ll produce going forward.  

  • Imagine you want to improve your email marketing and write subject lines that inspire more subscribers to open emails. You could send two versions of a subject line to two subscriber groups, using the A/B testing feature in your marketing analytics software to discover the most open-worthy one. 

Depending on where you are in developing your business, you may be interested in outsourcing the work to a marketing analytics team at an agency. That way, you can focus more time and attention on your business goals, such as envisioning its next growth phase or developing new products. When vetting marketing analytics agencies, look for ones that have:

  • Strong testimonials from previous clients and a track record of success getting them results

  • A team with diverse marketing experience and skill sets, including data analysis, strategy, creativity, content, email, and social media marketing, paid ads, omnichannel approaches, and more 

  • Robust marketing analytics technology stack that gathers and organizes data from multiple sources 

Another possibility is to become an expert in marketing analytics and offer your services to other small businesses, helping them use data to improve their marketing campaigns. 

Read more: B2B Marketing: Definition + Strategies

How to get started in marketing analytics 

Follow the steps below to begin your marketing analytics journey:  

1. Identify your career goals. 

Your first step should be to reflect on the goals you want to achieve overall in your career and identify how marketing analytics can help you achieve these goals. Here are two examples to draw from: 

  • Advance into a marketing leadership position at a large company and use marketing analytics to align efforts across teams within the marketing department. 

2. Take a marketing analytics course.

Taking courses in marketing analytics can be a great way to master the latest skills in this field, stay informed about industry trends, and explore career possibilities. Some marketing analytics courses offer credentials that can make you more attractive to employers or to clients who may be in need of your services. 

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professional certificate

Meta Marketing Analytics

Launch Your Career in Marketing Analytics. Build in-demand skills and gain credentials to go from beginner to job-ready in 5 months or less. No degree or prior experience required.

4.7

(1,300 ratings)

31,044 already enrolled

BEGINNER level

Average time: 7 month(s)

Learn at your own pace

Skills you'll build:

Marketing Strategy, Data Analysis, Marketing Mix Optimization, Statistics for Marketing, Advertising Effectiveness Evaluation, Marketing, Digital Marketing, Python Programming, Tableau Software, Data Visualization (DataViz), Statistical Analysis, Linear Regression, Statistical Hypothesis Testing, Marketing Mix Modeling, Marketing Plan, A/B Testing, Meta advertising, Social Media Marketing, Ads Manager, Marketing Science, Facebook Advertising

3. Explore Marketing analytics tools. 

Because marketing analytics relies on the use of software to compile and organize data, you’ll need to become familiar with different marketing analytics software and how they can improve marketing efforts. Here are some tools to explore: 

  • Google Analytics: tracks and reports website traffic 

  • Hubspot: measures the performance of all marketing campaigns 

  • SEMRush: tracks and measures content marketing efforts 

  • Brandwatch: finds trends, gathers consumer insights, and tracks marketing campaign performance 

  • Salesforce: marketing campaign performance across all channels

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guided project

Introduction to CRM with HubSpot

In this project, we will develop and utilize a CRM in HubSpot and learn how to utilize our CRM to better grow and manage our business. HubSpot is a ...

4.7

(524 ratings)

19,764 already enrolled

BEGINNER level

Average time: 1 month(s)

Learn at your own pace

Skills you'll build:

Data Management, Marketing, Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Customer Service, Sales Operations

Read more: Social Listening: Definition, Tools, and Strategies for Business Growth 

4. Build marketing analytics skills.

As you take marketing analytics courses and gain experience with the various tools available to you, keep track of the skills you’re building and how they line up with the skills potential employers and clients are looking for. Good places to look include job descriptions for open marketing analytics roles, LinkedIn profiles (or websites) of marketing analysts or agencies, and the latest career information on job sites.   

For example, according to ZipRecruiter’s Career Keyword Mapper, top skills employers are looking for in a marketing analyst include technical skills like data analytics and SQL, as well as workplace skills like communication and innovation [2]. 

Other skills to develop include: 

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professional certificate

Google Data Analytics

This is your path to a career in data analytics. In this program, you’ll learn in-demand skills that will have you job-ready in less than 6 months. No degree or experience required.

4.8

(92,128 ratings)

1,231,947 already enrolled

BEGINNER level

Average time: 6 month(s)

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Skills you'll build:

Spreadsheet, Data Cleansing, Data Analysis, Data Visualization (DataViz), SQL, Questioning, Decision-Making, Problem Solving, Metadata, Data Collection, Data Ethics, Sample Size Determination, Data Integrity, Data Calculations, Data Aggregation, Tableau Software, Presentation, R Programming, R Markdown, Rstudio, Job portfolio, case study

5. Apply your marketing analytics skills.

There are many ways to apply your marketing analytics skills at every level of career development, including: 

  • Taking on marketing analytics skills projects in your current role or on a freelance basis

  • Using marketing analytics software to attract more customers to your business 

Start your marketing analytics journey with Coursera

Explore the following professional certificates, offered by industry leaders Google and Meta, to build marketing analytics and digital marketing skills and earn a credential.  

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professional certificate

Google Digital Marketing & E-commerce

This is your path to a career in digital marketing. In this program, you’ll learn in-demand skills that can have you job-ready in less than 6 months. No degree or experience required.

4.8

(7,919 ratings)

211,965 already enrolled

BEGINNER level

Average time: 6 month(s)

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Skills you'll build:

Marketing, E-Commerce, display advertising, Email Marketing, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Customer loyalty, Marketing Analytics, Customer Outreach, Website Structure, Customer Awareness, Google, Search Engine Marketing, Social Listening, Social Media Bidding, Customer Engagement, Social Media Analytics, Social Media Branding, Email Writing, Email list segmentation, Email marketing strategy, Email marketing analytics, Contact management, Digital marketing KPIs, Spreadsheet management, Presenting to stakeholders, Media planning and strategies, Fulfillment and delivery, E-commerce platforms, E-Commerce Strategy, Seasonality, Job preparedness, Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Portfolio preparation, E-commerce store optimization, Building customer loyalty

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professional certificate

Meta Marketing Analytics

Launch Your Career in Marketing Analytics. Build in-demand skills and gain credentials to go from beginner to job-ready in 5 months or less. No degree or prior experience required.

4.7

(1,300 ratings)

31,044 already enrolled

BEGINNER level

Average time: 7 month(s)

Learn at your own pace

Skills you'll build:

Marketing Strategy, Data Analysis, Marketing Mix Optimization, Statistics for Marketing, Advertising Effectiveness Evaluation, Marketing, Digital Marketing, Python Programming, Tableau Software, Data Visualization (DataViz), Statistical Analysis, Linear Regression, Statistical Hypothesis Testing, Marketing Mix Modeling, Marketing Plan, A/B Testing, Meta advertising, Social Media Marketing, Ads Manager, Marketing Science, Facebook Advertising

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Launch your career as a Social Media Marketer. Build job-ready skills for an in-demand career and earn a credential from Meta. No degree or prior experience required to get started.

4.9

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160,676 already enrolled

BEGINNER level

Average time: 7 month(s)

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Skills you'll build:

Performance Advertising, Digital Marketing, Brand Management, Social Media Marketing, Content Marketing, Marketing, Social Media Marketing Strategy, Content Development, content management, Marketing Content Development, Campaign Management, Ad Management, Meta Ads Manager, Meta advertising, Marketing Optimization, Digital Analytics, Marketing Strategy, Communication, Ads Manager

Article sources

1

Statista. “Leading metrics tracked by marketing professionals worldwide as of June 2021, https://www.statista.com/statistics/379580/digital-marketing-success-metrics-worldwide/.” Accessed October 21, 2022. 

Written by Coursera • Updated on

This content has been made available for informational purposes only. Learners are advised to conduct additional research to ensure that courses and other credentials pursued meet their personal, professional, and financial goals.

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