This blog post is part one in our three-part series on campaigns in action.

You’re a sharp and savvy marketer, and campaign launches bring excitement to your blood. Each time your organization releases a new product or introduces an exciting offer, your marketing team jumps into action to plan and to execute the best campaign. It’s often in that collaborative planning stage where the creatives and analytics people clash.

 It’s tricky to balance the KPIs of a product launch with the creativity needed to reach and engage with an audience. It sometimes feels like there are two sides of the same marketing coin. One side talks visuals, content, and eye-catching ads. The other side preaches numbers, metrics, and tracking. Both aim for the same goal yet walk different paths.

Creativity drives you.

Maybe you’re a content writer, SoMe guru, or graphic designer anxious to make the next digital campaign shine. A voice that resonates with your audience in its authenticity is the goal of your messaging.

You want proof from the data.

From a slightly different perspective, creativity may not be your thing, but analytics are. Tracking, analyzing, and setting accurate KPIs are what get your blood flowing. For you, data is the underpinning structure for every campaign.

Can creativity and analytics really go hand in hand?

The truth is that the clash between creativity and analytics is perceived. They actually do work hand in hand. The two perspectives don’t have to—and should not—live in dueling, antagonistic worlds. The best possible outcomes are achieved when creativity and analytics move together harmoniously in one symbiotic dance.

It’s pretty evident how creativity in a campaign is smartly crafted to get the attention of an audience. It’s also fairly well understood how just the right word nudges an action that moves a user deeper into the sales funnel and converts them to a lead. However, it’s not always crystal clear how the analytics and creativity marry in a campaign.

Why do you need analytics for creative digital campaigns?

  1. To formulate your campaign strategy
    Every campaign starts with a brief. The product owners know what they want to promote, but the analytics and learnings from previous campaigns provide the initial guidance. What worked before? Who’s visiting your website now? What information are they seeking? How did we know to develop this version of our product? Data provides the starting point.

  2. To know your audience
    You can use analytics to pinpoint who you’re talking to, what part of the world they come from, what device they’re using, and where they go once they hit your page. That’s pretty useful information for any campaign.

  3. To map the customer journey
    What are the customer’s pain points? Do people drop off your campaign when they reach a certain call to action (CTA)? Perhaps several users travel to different pages on your website to find the information your campaign didn’t include.

    Where do those users come from? Where are they going? Tracking the user journey is probably the most valuable piece of information in any campaign. Well-defined UTM parameters with consistent, accurate naming conventions tell you where they came from and where they’re headed. Strong UTMs are your best friend in an online campaign.

  4. To help you test
    With well-planned analytics, you can A/B test components of your campaign to see what performs better. For instance, if you put two versions of the same ad on LinkedIn but give each one a different CTA it can be impossible to know which performed better. Separate users click on each CTA, engage with your campaign, and land on your site. UTM tracking codes can sort which CTA performed better—even when they come from the same source.

  5. To get an overview
    Once you’ve invested the resources it takes to launch a campaign, you must have a good clean overview of what’s going on. A tool with a smart campaigns features, like Siteimprove Analytics, provides a clear-cut overview of ongoing and planned activities. Siteimprove Analytics even includes a calendar and offers the option to compare the performance of six different campaigns, whether active or completed.

  6. To better your future campaigns
    The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior. Credit card companies use the logic that if someone paid their bills on time in the past, they’ll probably do so in the future. The same goes for digital campaigns. Information you collect from campaign to campaign gives you the best indicator of what to see and plan for in future launches. (Remember point #1?)

As marketers, we have one job: to engage the world with our offerings. Maybe we’re the creative coming up with the right messaging, or maybe we’re the data team setting KPIs and analyzing results. No one wants assembly line marketing. Good collaboration from the very start of a campaign avoids that possibility and lays the groundwork for exciting campaigns. And remember, regardless of which view you take, everyone needs proof of how well the campaign performed.

Now that we’ve discussed campaign creativity and analytics, let’s tackle an example: a drip campaign. In part two of our blog series, 10 Steps to Create Effective Drip Campaigns, we’ll guide you step by step on how to set up an effective online campaign. Part two publishes on February 28.

In the meantime, sign up for our webinar Campaigns In Action, Learn to Measure, Analyze, and Evaluate to get expert advice on using campaign metrics.

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