Marketing Data Tracking Approach: Data-Driven Marketing from Start to Finish

data driven marketing

Marketing Data Tracking Approach: Data-Driven Marketing from Start to Finish

Tracking marketing data has become a mostly straightforward process. This is in party due to the fact that social media and marketing platforms now include built-in analytics tools, such as Google AdWords and Twitter Analytics.

Google Analytics makes tracking all of your marketing data easier, and as a bonus, it’s not too difficult to get set up. This article will demonstrate a step-by-step marketing data tracking approach, so that you can start worrying about the bigger things.

First things first.

Start by setting up Google Analytics to track where your website visitors came from and how many of them are “converting” /making a purchase / taking your desired action

Why You Should Use Google Analytics to Track Your Marketing Data

Possibly the biggest reason why you should use Google Analytics to track your marketing data is the simple fact that the tool is free. It’s a powerful tool that offers important information you need in order to track your marketing efforts. These analytics can give you insights into what’s actually working and what areas may need improvement.

One key reason why Google Analytics works so well is because as a Google program itself, it works very effectively with other Google programs that are helpful for your marketing efforts, like Search Console, YouTube, and AdWords.

How to Set Up Google Analytics

1. Add the Code to your website

The first thing you need to do to set up Google Analytics is to go to and create your Google Analytics account. After you create an account, you will be given the code to add to your website that lets Google track the data. You will need to copy this code onto every single page of your website.

2. Set Your Goals

One crucial thing to remember when looking at analytics is that traffic to your website doesn’t necessarily mean sales.

While you may have tons of traffic coming to your site from many sources, but if none of that traffic is converting into sales, sign-ups, or whatever conversion you’re looking for, then your efforts aren’t really working.

Setting up Goals in Google Analytics can help you keep track of what the traffic coming to your website is actually doing.

Goals track conversions, such as requests for reports, submission of contact forms, and of course, online sales. The easiest way to set up a Goal for your site is to use Destination Goals. Follow these steps to set up a Destination Goal in Google Analytics:

    1. Sign in to your Google Analytics account.
    1. Go to Admin at the bottom of the left side panel. 
    1. Once on the tab, choose the account, property, and view you want to add a goal for.
    1. Click on “Goals” under the appropriate view.
    2. You should see a button that says “+NEW GOAL” at the top left corner of the chart. Click the button.
    3. You can select one of the Goal templates if you’d like, but to make a more specific Goal for your website, scroll down and select “Custom.” Then click continue.
    1. Name your Goal with something descriptive, such as “Sign Up Form.”
    1. Select Destination as the Type and then click Continue.
    1. Enter the “thank you” page URL , confirmation page URL, or whatever other page URL visitors will reach once the conversion is complete into the Destination field.
    1. (Optional) Create a funnel. Add as many steps as you want before the final destination page.
  1. Verify your goal to ensure it’s set up correctly.
  2. Click “Save” when you’re finished.

 Use URL Builder for Tracking Marketing Campaigns

Google Analytics can track quite a number of your marketing campaigns automatically without much effort on your part. It won’t be completely accurate unless you use a specific URL for marketing campaigns, which will let the tool known exactly where your site’s traffic is coming from.

The Campaign URL Builder offered by Google makes it easy to create specific campaign URLs. To use the URL builder tool:

  1. Go to
  2. Enter the information about your campaign.
  3. A URL will then be generated that will let you easily track your campaign more effectively. The URL will match the fields in your reports on Google Analytics.
  4. Google also provides examples and information about each parameter further down.

How to Track your E-Commerce Marketing Data

If you have an e-commerce website, it’s crucial that you add Google Analytics e-commerce tracking to your site so your reports will show your online sales. Instructions on how to add e-commerce tracking can be found on here:

Since Google analytics only tracks the number of website visits from each channel, how do you figure out who came from where?…

Next, use Heap to figure out which channel your new customer just came from and every click they’ve made along their journey.

Using Heap for Customer Attribution Marketing Data

One critical part of any successful marketing strategy is knowing where your customers are coming from and and how attribution relates to conversion rates. Customer attribution is crucial to generating demand, increasing quality leads, and nurturing those leads into sales. With Heap, you can automatically capture this attribution data

IMPORTANT: Using Heap’s Attribution Channels…

With Heap, you will need to define the attribution channels yourself. The “Initial Referrer” is a page that linked to your website and started a visitor’s session. If someone visits your website directly, then the value will show as “direct.”

The initial referrer can be used to determine the customer attribution channel, such as organic search, paid search, or social media. The UTM parameters with Heap are based on query parameters attached to the URL through manual tagging.

How to Differentiate Between Organic and Paid Searches

The URL from a paid search will appear a little bit differently from one from an organic search, unless you have manually tagged the UTM source. You can differentiate between the two easily on Heap by creating a filter for paid search.

How to Use UTM Parameters to track your data-driven marketing

It’s considered to be best practice to use UTM parameters for every link to your website, including source and campaign. Fortunately, Google provides manual tagging instructions to make things easier for you. Heap doesn’t require the Google Analytics required fields to track UTM parameters. This means you can just add a UTM parameter of campaign or source and be perfectly fine. The UTM parameters of every session is automatically captured by Heap by pulling the query parameters from the URL. If you set the UTM source, you can use the parameter to determine a session’s attribution channel.

Using Heap you can also track funnel analytics because you will be able to see every touchpoint a user has made in their journey.

Increasing Conversions with Data-Driven Insights

Being able to see all of the touchpoints a visitor has made through a funnel can help you turn visitors to your into conversion, or sales. If you know your conversion rate, you can begin to understand which marketing activities give you the highest return on investment.

Heap provides the flexibility and tools you need to analyze the funnels of user flow, giving you data that can show you which referrers are more likely to become conversions, which actions increase the chances that leads will convert, and which UTM campaigns are successful.

Using this information, you can take actionable steps towards figuring out how you can be more successful with your marketing and increase your ROI.

How to Start Tracking Your Marketing Data with Heap

In order to start gathering this data with Heap, you will first need to define the conversion.

As mentioned before with Google Analytics, a conversion can be an online sale if you’re an e-commerce site, a sign up confirmation for a free trial, newsletter, etc., or anything else you are trying to get visitors to your site to do.

You can define events that complete the user flow to conversion with Heap’s Event Visualizer, where you can easily define clicks, page views, and form submissions.

How to Measure Conversion Rates with Heap

The Funnel tool can help you track the number of visitors who complete a conversion on your website.

It’s simple to add, substitute, or remove events to represent the possible paths that lead to conversions. With the funnel tool, you can see where visitors drop off, create ad hoc queries, and test various event sequences.

You can also group this information into a user level property. For example, in the conversion flow shown in the image below, the data is grouped by initial device type.

How to Track a Specific Campaign or Channel with Heap

With Heap, you can easily filter data for a specific channel or campaign that initially brought a visitors to your website, along with comparing the data to others.

The example below is comparing the different initial UTM mediums. This filters out untagged links and direct traffic. The query will provide you with the conversion rates for each of your UTM campaigns, letting you compare the results of against one another.

How to Aggregate your Data-driven Marketing 

Finally, aggregate all your data about website visitors, conversions, channels, and spend into one dashboard so that you can see which channels are performing best and make optimizations to improve ROI.

Over the past 10 years, the marketing technology landscape has vastly expanded, meaning there are endless ways to reach our customers. While this is great, it also means our data lives in silos across each of these platforms. Bringing the data together has been a tedious and manual process for all of us in order to get a comprehensive view of our marketing performance.

In 2019, having an automated system to aggregate all your marketing data will become the new standard, and anyone wasting employee time on this task will be left behind in the dust. Tools like Improvado are already helping marketers eliminate 90% of the time spent building manual reports and marketing dashboards.

If you’re just getting started, you can do this process manually, it just takes a lot of time. This includes logging into every platform where you are running ad campaigns; such as Facebook, Adwords, Linkedin, Pinterest, Outbrain, Taboola, Mailchimp, etc.; and exporting performance data. That includes data about clicks, click through rate, spend, conversions and more.

Next, you will want to upload that data into one place so that you can compare the performance of one platform to another, side-by-side. You can do this manually by uploading the data to a google spreadsheet and creating a dashboard like this one (I created a blank marketing dashboard example for you, simple download and click “File”, “Make a copy…” to use this for yourself).

How to Automate your Data-Driven Marketing

You can automate this process of collecting all your data with a tool like Improvado. Improvado syncs with all your marketing platforms and instantly pulls your data into automated dashboards and reports.

It does all the time consuming manual work so that you can do what you do best as a marketer: analyze and take action. Improvado can be used Extract, Transform and Load your marketing data into your preferred visualization tool like Tableau or Data Studio.

Or you can use Improvado’s robust and highly intuitive marketing dashboard.

Pros of using Improvado:

  • Full support with a customer service rep included
  • Marketing integrations are deep and granular, so you can see data at the keyword or ad level
  • Ability to create custom metrics and map data across platforms
  • Great for ad agencies managing campaigns for multiple clients or in-house marketers who manage campaigns across multiple platforms
  • Aggregate all your marketing data into one place, in real time.
  • Reduce manual reporting time by 90%.
  • No developers needed.
  • Plug and play
  • Completely customizable and will build out any custom integration

Improvado Integrations

90+ Integrations, plus, they will build out custom integrations for any data source you need.

Learn more about Improvado here


Now that you know how to track all of your marketing data from start to finish, you’re on your way to easy optimizations and higher ROI!

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