How do you know if a marketing campaign is effective? That is the question at the top of every marketing professional’s mind. Today, most decisions in the business realm are data-driven, and working in the online space has given marketers more metrics than ever to understand what content is connecting with their consumers and driving purchase decisions. Knowing the right digital metrics (can you tell a conversion rate from a click-through rate?) and establishing key performance indicators are critical to the success or failure of a company’s marketing efforts. Different types of software and tools, specializing in marketing automation, CRM, digital advertising and digital analytics can be used to optimize ROI and maximize conversion and sales. Below, we’ve listed the top 10 most popular marketing analytics tools used across the industry to process data and extract insights.
What are Marketing Analytics Tools?
It’s important to understand the role of digital marketing holistically before diving into any specific tools or software. Our 2022 Digital Marketing Bootcamps guide provides an overall summary of the field, but in brief: digital marketing is an umbrella term that encompasses all of an organization’s marketing efforts that occur online. The day-to-day of a digital marketer could range from the management and creation of paid ad campaigns on special media, writing content for a brand’s website or blog, or even creating viral challenges that reach audiences of millions.
Needless to say, these tasks can involve dozens of quantitative metrics, like website visitor and purchase data, cost per lead and more, hence the need for marketing analytics tools. These tools help marketers justify the costs of their efforts with measurable results. Analytics software gathers data from all your marketing channels to provide an output that tracks campaign success and performs competitive analysis.
On the popularity of marketing analytics tools, don’t take our word for it alone; spend on online marketing efforts encompass more than $130 billion globally, with LinkedIn naming Digital Marketer as one of the top-ten most in-demand roles of 2020. The most in-demand skills for the role include mastery of marketing channels, social media and google analytics, so knowledge of these tools is a must for anyone entering the field.
A variety of marketing analytics tools are taught by digital marketing bootcamps and utilized as industry standards across the profession. This list will provide an overview of the different prices, functionality and use cases of ten of the most commonly used. Be sure to have the desired outcome in mind when deciding between any given tool or software.
|Google Analytics||FREE or $100K/Year premium for Organizations||Analytics and Insights for website traffic metrics||-Free and integrates with any website|
-Reliable at goal attribution and top of funnel optimizations
|-Lacks ability to analyze long-term performance and full funnel performance|
-Inability to create “big picture” marketing dashboards
|MixPanel||FREE starter plan and premium plans starting at $25/Month||Track User Behavior Metrics on Websites with custom and prebuilt Dashboards||-Easy to create individual event inputs and track in platform |
-Integrates with mobile apps and can track A/B test performance
|-Weak support system|
-Need advanced knowledge for some specialized data pulls
|Hubspot Marketing Hub||Starter plan at $45/Month Professional Plan at $800/Month and Enterprise Plan at $3,200/Month||All-In-One Marketing Automation Software||-All-in-one capability, can pull all data together from multiple sources|
-Easy to create and schedule social media posts and email marketing campaigns
|-Charges by number of contacts in system, so can get expensive quickly|
-Workflows can be confusing and limited ability to “undo” some functions
|Heap Analytics||FREE, Growth Pro and Premier Plans (Contact for Pricing)||Analytics Platform for Tracking Customer Data||-Full sales funnel conversion data available|
-Easily integrates with other platforms like Salesforce, Marketo and Hubspot and automatically optimizes data
|-Steep learning curve, UI can be confusing for beginners|
-Complex tools to export third-party reporting
|SEMRush||Pro Plan starts at $99.95/Month, Guru Plan at $161.62/Month and Business Plan at $374.95/Month||SEO Keyword Research, Competitor Analysis and Content Marketing Tool||-Reliable competitor keyword research and intuitive “keyword magic” tool|
-Offers numerous tools for SEO, content marketing, market research and advertising
|-UI can be slow to load|
-Base plan only allows one user in platform at a time
|Cyfe||Plans starting at $29/Month for an individual up to $150+/month for an agency||All-in-One Business Dashboards by channel||-Ability to easily break down dashboard view by marketing channel |
-Customizable real-time data integration
|-Interface has not been updated to match competitors |
-Exporting reports can be clunky
|Looker||Request a Quote from Company||Business Intelligence and Analytics Platform||-Provides automated governed data so metrics are predefined and reusable|
-Part of Google Cloud, easily integrates with Google suite and third-party products
|-API can be difficult to use at first and slow|
-Few customization options for data visualizations
|Parse.ly||Three Plans (Contact Company for Pricing)||Content Analytics integrated with CMS platforms||-User-friendly interface allows for customizations and breakdown by channel|
-Easily integrates with most popular CMS systems like WordPress and Google Tag manager
|-Weak social trafficking for individual posts|
-Limited functionality on the mobile app compared to web
|BuzzSumo||Four Plans ranging from FREE to $299/Month for Large Agencies||Content Discovery and research tools and Influencer marketplace||-Influencer marketplace is unique and provides high quality listings|
-API tools and chrome extension intuitive and easy to use across the web
|-High variety of tools does not provide for in-depth functionality across any one use case|
-No integration yet with emerging social platforms like Snapchat and TikTok
|Marketo||Four Plans (Contact Company for Pricing)||Marketing Automation Software||-Large app store allows for numerous third-party integrations to solve problems|
-Owned by Adobe and integrates easily with Creative Cloud suite of products
|-Minimal down funnel advanced analytics capabilities |
-Complex UI requires upfront training
Top 10 Most Popular Digital Marketing Tools and Products
Google Analytics is a free tool provided by Google that allows marketers to track website traffic and includes metrics such as the user’s location, the device they used and where they were referred from. As a free and widely used tool, many companies use Google Analytics for baseline traffic insights and connect it with Google AdWords or Google Data Studio for a more detailed analysis of conversions. The platform also cannot track individual user sessions and organizations need to pay about $100K/year to access the premium version with full support from Google.
The MixPanel platform makes it easy to input events and then track them on your website or app, providing detailed metrics on user behavior. Beyond counting individual users and trends, the tool allows for full funnel views and the ability to track A/B test performance for mobile apps. Major companies that use MixPanel include Uber and Twitter, and the company offers three levels of service: a free “starter” plan, a “growth” plan beginning at $24/month and custom pricing for its most advanced “Enterprise” features.
Hubspot Marketing Hub differentiates itself by providing all marketing tools and data in one easy-to-use platform view. This saves time for marketers stuck tracking down data from different sources and personalizing the view for each company depending on their needs. The basic starter plan at $45/month provides list segmentation, email health insights and ad retargeting, while the $3200/month premium plan adds on numerous features like adaptive testing and full multi-touch revenue attribution. Compared to other CRM tools, some users have indicated a longer onboarding process to understand the software, but have indicated high satisfaction with the email automation tools.
Heap is an analytics platform that boasts “a smarter approach to product,” according to their website. Marketers can view customer data like device type, button click, users by segment and form submit rate, as well as full sales funnel conversions. Heap integrates with other platforms like Salesforce, Marketo and Hubspot and optimizes data so users can get a clean and clear view of the customer journey. The company offers one free and three paid plans, although all but the “Premier” level offer a free trial. Potential customers can also check out a weekly live demo on the Heap Analytics site.
Unlike the above analytics tools, SEMRush is more competitor-focused and useful in the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) space. Users can easily track what keywords their competitors are ranking for and use the “keyword magic tool” to analyze their potential keyword strategy. Other aspects of competitor research are easily accessible through the platform including domain overviews, traffic analytics, and keyword and backlink gaps. Compared to other tools, some users find the UI to be slower and offer less advanced features, but a subscription to SEMRush does start at a relatively affordable $99/month.
Cyfe offers an all-in-one business dashboard view, with data broken down by social platforms including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn. This product is especially helpful for marketers looking to compare their mix by channel. The real-time data visualization they provide is fully customizable and integrates with popular data services. Beginners can take advantage of the platform’s starter and pre-built dashboard templates and automated branded dashboard reports. Their solo plan allowing for 5 dashboards and one user starts at $29/month and an agency plan for up to 10 clients starts at $150/month.
Looker is a business intelligence and entirely web-based analytics software. Used by companies like Moderna and Verizon, Looker provides governed data which makes metrics predefined and reusable. This allows analysts to perform regressions for forecasting and k-means clustering for customer segmentation. The platform supports more than 50 SQL dialects and optimizes workflow solutions via its AI analytical insights. While some users complain of a lag when handling large data sets, the tool is overall highly ranked. Interested users can request a quote from Looker for pricing.
Parse.ly is a content optimization platform, offering several “plug and play” options that integrate with popular CMS like WordPress and Google Tag Manager. The user-friendly interface lets customers visualize the performance of content across all channels and double down on a winning strategy. Unlike general purpose analytics tools, Parse.ly specializes in content specifically, making it a great solution for growing subscribers, page views or a newsletter. Users can also schedule regular reports to their inbox and book a free demo with an expert before choosing from among three pricing plans.
If you’re looking to enter into the growing influencer marketing world, or at least partner with one, BuzzSumo might be the product for you. In addition to discovery and research tools that help users explore high-performing and trending content, BuzzSumo’s influencer marketplace connects brands with online personalities with engaged audiences and genuine authority on Instagram, Twitter and the web. The company’s API tools and Chrome extension allows publishers to track content performance, and marketers from BuzzFeed, Expedia and others are users of the platform. While BuzzSumo’s free plan allows user to search up to one year of data with 8 billion articles, the full suite of features can only be accessed with the $299/month large plan for agencies and marketing teams.
Marketo is a marketing automation software owned by Adobe and used by organizations like CenturyLink and Panasonic. The software will complete repetitive marketing tasks automatically, including lead management and nurturing, web activity tracking and SEO and provide insights into consumer behavior. Parent company Adobe runs an app store for Marketo Engage where third-party providers can provide individual technology solutions that integrate with the software. Users can contact the platform for pricing information on the four available plans.
Learning Digital Marketing and Business Analytics
Overall, each of the above tools brings strengths and weaknesses to the table. Your individual use case might be influenced not only by the problem you wish to solve but also by factors like personal data visualization preferences, client requests, the need for real-time data and pricing. If you’re interested in learning more about marketing analytics tools or the digital marketing field, be sure to browse our digital marketing bootcamps listings.