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The value of analytics to better understand your customers

by Rod Jacka, Panalysis

14 September 2017

Financial services is a highly competitive industry and this is reflective of the cost of advertising.

In some cases, the keywords in Google Adwords relating to insurance and finance can be more than $100 per click to get at the top of the list. This cost continues to grow as competition in online search grows. The following chart shows the average cost per click over the past twelve month period for a small group of insurance related keywords measured across a number of our clients.

Average Cost Per Click Generic Insurance Keywords

The costs for these keywords have increased by around 40% in one year which makes attracting the right visitors to your website via paid search engine marketing a potentially very costly exercise.

Now more than ever it is important to implement an evidence based marketing measurement system. Digital analytics can help you understand the effectiveness of your marketing activities across the customer lifecycle.

Most financial services websites use Google Analytics or a similar service to measure their websites, but how many use this data to inform their marketing decisions? In our experience, relatively few.

For marketers to better understand their customers, analytics should be utilised for:

Marketing Measurement

  • Tracking campaign responses
  • Establishing cost of enquiry and customer acquisition costs

Customer journeys

  • Mapping customer journeys
  • Understanding how customers progress through the sales pipeline
  • Identifying and qualifying sales leads

Customer Retention

  • Tracking signals that indicate whether a customer will leave
  • Recency, Frequency and Monetary segmentation

Google Analytics is an excellent tool to assist in what is working and what isn’t, but using multiple sources of data can help build a clearer picture of your business.

To truly understand customers in financial services businesses, Marketers need to utilise multiple data sources, additional tools and ensure accuracy of data. Multiple data sources can build a more comprehensive data story. For example, integrating data from tools like Google Analytics with your CRM data will facilitate a better understanding of the true cost of acquiring a customer.

It is also important to look beyond just the cost to acquire a customer. Measuring and understanding the potential lifetime value of a customer is critical to understanding how much you can afford to spend in acquiring them in the first place. For a very good example of customer lifetime value I recommend this Starbucks Infographic.

Whilst it is very important to measure and analyse the data it is equally important that this is communicated to the right people so that decisions can be made based on the evidence. Tools such as DataStudio or Domo will present and communicate your data visually, ensuring stakeholders can easily digest the insights, creating understanding and buy-in within your organisation. DataStudio is free and Domo offers a free version of its product which provides an excellent platform to grow your company's capabilities to use data effectively.

The effect use of analytics can transform the insights, decisions and marketing activities for your organisation. Relying solely on one source of data may be limiting your ability to better understand your customer.

To increase the sophistication and interpretation of your data, I recommend going beyond Google Analytics. The additional insights may be invaluable to your decision making and marketing activities.

To request a review of your current analytics capabilities and data contact rod@panalysis.com.

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