Digital Marketing Bootcamp: The DL on Analytics

As a content marketer and brand storyteller, I talk with marketers at my clients’ companies every day about their priorities and how I can add value. To better understand what the VP of marketing, head of product marketing and partner marketing manager are juggling, I wanted to get inside a marketer’s head, so I signed up for a digital marketing bootcamp.

During this day-long session hosted at General Assembly, Julian Scharman, head of customer acquisition and traffic at Betabrand, taught my 15-person class about digital marketing analytics, how to activate and retain users, email marketing, social media marketing, growth hacking, and budgeting and planning.

While I can’t cover content from the entire bootcamp in one blog post, I’d like to share lessons learned about analytics since proving the value and ROI of ghostwritten articles and whitepapers is a common challenge among content marketers.

Let’s start with a definition of digital analytics: the discovery and communication of meaningful patterns in data. It includes three major components:

1. Raw data — the unformatted numbers exported from digital tools, often in .CSV or Excel files

2. Metrics — numbers that give you information about one piece of your business, such as bounce rate, conversion rate and visits

3. Reporting tools — software and services that help make sense of raw data and metrics, often by turning them into visuals and making them searchable and sortable


How to Effectively Communicate the Significance of Analytics

Whether you have raw data, metrics or visualizations from your reporting tools, the difficult part is knowing how to share these with your internal team or client. Scharman says there are five key ingredients to analytics reporting:

1. Who (the origination of inbound traffic)

2. What (the metrics)

3. How much (the values)

4. When (the time period)

5. Where (the channel)


When communicating metrics, be sure to include these five elements as well as a time comparison to contextualize the data. For example, say “Email drove 10,000 visits this week, a 15 percent increase compared to last week,” rather than just “Email drove 10,000 visits this week.” This helps people who aren’t as deep in the data understand the significance of the numbers.

When focusing on digital marketing analytics, here are a few guidelines that Scharman shared:

  • Determine the KPIs that matter to your team (i.e., conversion rate for e-commerce company vs. registration rate for B2B company)
  • Become familiar with your typical daily, weekly and monthly numbers, so you can evaluate analytics on the fly
  • Dig deeper if something deviates from your normal range, as you may discover a problem or new opportunity
  • Compare and contrast performance on various channels


Understanding how to communicate the impact of content will help content marketers make a case for bigger, bolder programs.