15 Mind-Blowing Stats About Digital Marketing

new study released earlier this week by Adobe, CMO.com’s parent company, contains important findings for CMOs. Overall, “Digital Distress: What Keeps Marketers Up at Night?” demonstrates marketers’ lack confidence in their digital-marketing know-how, as well as their organizations’. And it’s little surprise given how quickly the marketing landscape has changed.

Here are 15 stats from the study that CMO.com found most sobering for CMOs:

1. Marketing has changed more in the past two years than in the past 50.

2. Fifty-two percent of digital marketers do not feel proficient in digital marketing.

3. Two in three marketers don’t think their companies are proficient in digital marketing.

4. Only two out of five marketers think their colleagues and peers are proficient in digital marketing.

5. Sixy-six percent of all marketers think that, for most companies, digital marketing approaches are a constant cycle of trial and error.

6. Only 44 percent of marketers say their marketing departments have a great deal of influence over their organizations’ overall business strategy.

7. Sixty percent of marketers expect their companies will invest more in digital marketing technology this year.

8. Fifty-eight percent of marketers say their organizations will up their digital marketing spend next year.

9. Most marketers don’t have formal digital training. Eighty-five percent of marketers acquired digital marketing knowledge on the job.

10. Reaching customers (82 percent), understanding whether campaigns are working (79 percent), and proving campaign effectiveness are the top three concerns for marketing staff.

11. Only 9 percent of marketers strongly agree with the statement, “I know our digital marketing is working.”

12. Sixty-eight percent of marketers feel increased pressure to show ROI on marketing spend.

13. Eighty-one percent of marketers believe marketing has value and that it can be measured.

14. High-performing companies are twice as likely to rate themselves as highly proficient in digital marketing (50 percent) than lower performing companies (25 percent).

15. Marketers don’t feel well equipped to execute e-commerce (43 percent), targeting (53 percent), and measurement (54 percent).


Google Updates Analytics With Improved User Segmentation, Sequence Filters

Google today introduced a number of new segmentation features for Google Analytics that should make it easier for users to isolate and analyze subsets of their visitors or app users. Previously, segments were always based on individual visits. While that can be a useful metric, it doesn’t give you any real insights into the behavior of returning visitors. Now, Analytics users have the option to create user segments that allow them to select all of the visits of a user who fits into a pre-defined segment (based on behavior or demographics).

This update now also allows Analytics users to perform cohort analysis. Google says this allows you to “analyze the long-term benefit of specific groups of customers (for example, customers who first visited within a specified timeframe).” Say you want to look at the analytics data for all the people who first visited your site in December and spent more than $100 on it during the holidays. Previously, that was very hard to do, but now it’s just a matter of a few clicks.

All of this, of course, is only possible because Analytics can now track users across multiple session. This now allows Analytics users to create certain metrics based on user behavior during a single or multiple sessions (say somebody who viewed two pages in a row or who abandoned a shopping cart). This, Google Analytics evangelist Justin Cutroni notes, is especially useful “when you need to see how two actions, either concurrent or separate, impact behavior.”

To make these new features a bit more accessible, Google rolled out a refreshed user interface that takes some cues from the “cards” look the company is already using across many of its other products. The new look, Google writes, is meant to highlight “segmentation as a critical analytics technique with better visibility and readability.”

These updates will slowly roll out to all users over the next few months.



Google Analytics’ Real-Time Stats Now Feature Event Reports, Device Breakdown And Shortcuts

Google Analytics’ real-time feature is very useful for those who don’t need more specialized tools like Chartbeat or Woopra, but still want to get a basic overview of what’s happening on their site right now. Compared to the breadth of features Analytics offers, though, it’s still a very limited tool. Today, however, Google is making a few changes to Analytics’ real-time reports that make it a more powerful and easier to use service.

Analytics, for example, now also shows you a breakdown of how many of your current visitors are on a desktop, tablet or on their phone.

The main feature of this update, however, is the addition of event reports. Google Analytics’ event reporting takes a bit of extra work to set up and is also a major part of the new Universal Analytics feature the company launched as a public beta last week. This feature allows developers to create custom events for interactions that go beyond just loading a site, including downloads, video plays, ad clicks and other actions a developer might want to track on a site. Starting today, website owners can track these events in realtime, too. This, Google says, means “you can now not only see the top events as they occur but also filter on particular event categories (and actions).”

With this update, Analytics also introduces shortcuts for real-time segments, so if you just want to see what your U.S. visitors on smartphones are doing on the site right now, you can create this segment and easily recall it from the Google Analytics sidebar.


The ability to create segments and filter your real-time data this way is obviously a major feature of Google Analytics, but the only way to really fully make sense out of this data is to compare it to your overall traffic. Today’s update adds the option to always see a breakdown of your overall traffic in the background, so you can put the data from your segments into the context of your site as a whole.

New mobile app reports deliver insight on app engagement

2013 Trend:  Invest­ment in Mobile Apps

Accord­ing to a sur­vey of mar­ket­ing man­agers by Gart­ner, invest­ments in mobile apps and tablet apps are among the top pri­or­i­ties for dig­i­tal mar­keters in 2013.  Across all busi­ness ver­ti­cals, mobile apps are a key ele­ment of a cus­tomer loy­alty and reten­tion strat­egy that enables con­sumers to con­nect with busi­nesses any­time and anyplace.

Busi­ness Need:

Given the increased invest­ment in mobile apps, exist­ing cus­tomers of Adobe Ana­lyt­ics have requested enhanced sup­port for mobile app ana­lyt­ics across all lead­ing plat­forms (Apple iOS, Android, and Windows).


With the April release of Adobe Ana­lyt­ics, cus­tomers now receive the fol­low­ing capabilities:

  • Easy access to pre-defined mobile app reports within web user interface



  • Mobile app overview report that includes key met­rics for launches, daily engaged users, aver­age ses­sion length, crash rate, top devices, OS ver­sions, and mobile carriers.


  • Under­stand the lifes­pan of your appli­ca­tion through the mobile app “life­cy­cle” reports. Met­rics and dimen­sion include installs, monthly engaged users, upgrades, install date, days since first use, days since last use, hour of day, and day of week, oper­at­ing sys­tem and device name.  Here is an exam­ple of the “days since first use” report that shows the % of vis­its that have taken place since the app was first downloaded.



  • View and ana­lyze mobile app engage­ment in one place within Adobe Analytics.
  • Eas­ily change and cus­tomize the pre­de­fined reports to match your spe­cific needs.
  • Ana­lyze all “life­cy­cle” met­rics and dimen­sions that flow into advanced seg­men­ta­tion capa­bil­i­ties (Dis­cover) and ad-hoc analy­sis & report­ing (Report Builder).  For exam­ple, see the fol­low­ing blog­post that dis­cusses how to setup mobile “cohort” analy­sis with Report Builder.


How to Access:

  • Clients must imple­ment their app with the ver­sion 3.0 App SDKs to receive the life­cy­cle met­rics and dimen­sions in Adobe Ana­lyt­ics.  Visit the “Devel­oper Con­nec­tion” to down­load the SDK or read the doc­u­men­ta­tion for each mobile platform.
  • From the Admin Con­sole inter­face, your Ana­lyt­ics admin can use the “Report Suite Man­ager” to enable the pre­de­fined mobile app reports for view­ing by all users.


Actionable Web Analytics

“What key metrics should I be tracking?”

  1. Metrics that are actionable – why measure stuff you can’t do anything about?
  2. Metrics that help you get stuff done – using data to fight internal battles is vital
  3. Everything else – meh, wouldn’t worry about it too much!

While I love diving into data and getting into the how and why trends appear in analytics, I have to remember that my time is limited, in particular when looking at a clients analytics account. I need to understand as much as I can, but ultimately I need to focus on the metrics that make a difference. Also if you are a bit of a newbie in SEO or analytics, the amount of data available to you can be very overwhelming. Far too many people make the mistake of focusing on the wrong metrics which can be costly to a project. It can sometimes look like you are doing a bad job if you are measuring the wrong metrics.

Metrics that are actionable

If a metric isn’t actionable, then its just fluff that fills up space in a report and doesn’t mean very much. While metrics can be interesting, there is a difference between a metric that is interesting and one that is actionable. Below I’ve listed a number of metrics that I define as actionable.

1. Beat Panda – Measure Content

Whilst the Google Panda updates of 2011 have looked to address a number of quality issues, one of the key ones in my opinion was the amount of good, quality content on a page. Many pages of thin or duplicate content across your site could potentially cause your entire site to fall foul of Panda. One way to assess this on your own site is to use custom variables to measure the content on your page. This works very well if you have an ecommerce site or any site where you collate reviews:

Action to take –

  • Measure the number of reviews on your pages and see if pages with little or no content are as visible in Google

If you want to learn more about using Google Analytics custom variables, checkout this tutorial video.

2. % Visitors who view product pages

The reason this is important is quite simple, no view of a product page = no product sale.

This is one that is usually taken for granted by many ecommerce sites. They assume that because they have lots of product pages, that visitors will automatically find them. However there can be barriers to a visitor getting to your product pages, for example poorly designed navigation, poor internal site search, unclear category names etc. Also lets now forget that many ecommerce sites have other sections of their site such as a blog, a news section, buyers guides, videos and help pages, so a visitor can easily get distracted by one of these and end up leaving your site without ever seeing a product page.

Actions to take –

  • Improve internal site search
  • Improve navigation menus

Pro tip – make sure your internal site search works for both plural and singular product names. A classic mistake I’ve seen over the years is exact matching of queries to product names which means either singular or plural returns no results.

3. % of people who search your site then exit

If a visitor has made the effort to type in what they are searching for on your site and still left without buying, then you should take a closer look into why. So many internal site searches are not only badly designed, but also return bad results. If your website is like this, then you are losing sales. Actively improve your search results pages to make them more relevant and useful. it still amazes me that SEOs obsess over Google SERPs, yet neglect to take a look at the quality of their own despite having control over them!

Actions to take –

  • Test it and make sure it actually works
  • Do the results you see make sense
  • Include special offers or discounts in results
  • Enhance results with images – see Apple for a good example:

If you haven’t got it setup on your site yet, check out this information on setting up site search for Google Analytics.

4. Page load speed

If it isn’t already clear to you, Google is obsessed with speed. I can see why, a faster web is better for everyone and we all get frustrated if a page takes longer than a few seconds to load. Google have confirmed that site speed is part of the algorithm, albeit a small part. They’ve also made it measurable in Webmaster Tools and more recently they made it available in Google Analytics.

Now that we can measure load speed in analytics, it becomes much easier to see the results of the actions you take. Its also easier to see which pages of your site are slower than others, which allows you to try and work out why and fix the issues.

Something I wanted to point out here too is that you shouldn’t be worrying about site speed because it forms a small part of the Google Algorithm. You should be worrying about it because it is important to your visitors, they will not come back to your website if they are left hanging around waiting for the page to load.

Actions to take –

  • Look at which pages or sections of your site are the slowest
  • Focus on improving the speed of your money pages
  • Bug your developers and educate them on why its so important

If you want to learn more about what you can actually to do speed up your site, take a look at Craig Bradford’s site speed for dummies part one and part two on the Distilled blog.

5. Average Order Value

This metric is all about squeezing as much revenue as you can from each order. Quite often, an SEO will start a project and the first thing they do is assume they make more revenue for the client by getting more traffic. Whilst this can be true, the quickest wins can often come from taking a good look at ways to get more value from the existing traffic.

There are actions you can take though if you are looking to drive traffic that will increase your order value.

Actions to take –

  • Add up sells as much as you can to the buying process – Amazon are awesome at this
  • Look at keyword trends to see which ones drive a higher order value
  • Look at traffic sources to see which ones drive a higher order value

6. Measure SEO Variables

Similar to point one above, you can also use custom variables to track various SEO variables of your website such as –

  • Pages tagged with Rel=canonical
  • Pages that are linked to sitewide
  • Tag certain “types” of content across your site

Action to take –

  • Measure things such as the above and see how these pages perform in search results

7. Completion of Tasks

This one falls outside Google Analytics but I still wanted to measure it as it can be a great way of getting quick feedback about your site. I’d recommend taking a look at 4Q survey for this one, they offer a free trial so you can give it a test drive and see what you think. Avinash wrote a pretty in depth review of it on his blog if you want to read a bit more into it.

Quick sidenote, if you are into Analytics and not following Avinash on Twitter or reading his blog, you should be! He is also speaking at Mozcon in July and I’ve heard great things about his presentations.

Actions to take –

  • Ask your visitors questions that matter using this software and feed the answers back into your strategy

8. Share of Search Landscape

I really like this metric. The main reason I like it is that it is a metric that anyone can understand, even people who don’t get SEO will understand this. This is because its very similar to a traditional marketing metric of market share, so it can be used when demonstrating SEO growth and targets to your clients.

Here is an example of how this may look (dummy data!):

9. Form Field Tracking

This is such an easy one to action and can make a big difference to your conversions. If you are able to identify fields that are consistently confusing customers and perhaps making them abandon the form, then you are able to look into why and remove these barriers to conversion. You can even take a step back and ask yourself if that field is even required at all.

Action to take –

  • Identify form fields that are causing problems and either remove them or improve them

Pro Tip – you can use Google Analytics events to track which form fields are causing problems. Here is a good thread over on the Analytics help forum which points you in the right direction for setting this up.

10. Branded vs Non-branded Search Traffic

If you are an SEO, or you employ an SEO agency, you should be measuring this metric. The great thing about measuring non-branded traffic is that pretty much 100% of the credit can be given to SEO efforts. Whilst credit for branded search increases can be credited to a number of marketing channels such as PR, offline advertising or online display advertising.

Action to take –

  • Measure non-branded keywords and see which ones convert best, then focus on increasing rankings for these

11. Conversion Rate

I’m pretty sure you are all looking at this metric, but I bet that some of you are not using it properly. By not measuring it properly I mean that you are probably looking at this overall figure:

You can’t take any actions from this figure. In order to take actions, you need to segment by relevant dimensions such as traffic source, type of visitor, location, keyword etc.

Action to take –

  • Segment conversion rate by best performing dimensions and invest more resource into those dimensions