The Difference Between Analytics and Lead Tracking

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There is an important distinction between site analytics — like what you get from Google Analytics — and lead tracking which serves as a fundamental building block for sales and marketing automation efforts.

The distinction between Analytics and Lead Tracking is not always intuitive to small and midsize business owners with no previous experience with automation.

A Real World Example of the Difference

Picture yourself on vacation at a big beach resort, sitting on the deck outside your hotel room and looking down at the beach from a few stories up.

From this vantage point, I can see everyone on the beach and their general comings and goings. I can see whether swimming or volleyball is a more popular activity, I can see about how many people bring their own umbrellas vs. renting a cabana, I can see how many people are hanging out by the bar.

This is analytics: understanding how an aggregate of people use your website, which areas are most popular and where the usage trends are.

But, while looking down at the beach from my vantage point several stories up, I can’t pick out an individual and guess what — or who — they are looking at, how they, in particular, are using the beach or if they are even happy. To learn that, I need binoculars and more information

This is lead tracking: Following an individual, rather than a group, to understand how to better serve them in particular.

When you are tracking leads, every individual tells their own story. Picking out an individual behavior can serve many valuable purposes but here are two big ones:

  1. Using tracking data to trigger specific offers or campaigns that meet that individual’s profile. Often, our sites are designed to tell everyone who visits everything about our service, regardless of their particular interest. Understanding their individual behavior allows us to get them the information they actually WANT and increase conversion/close rates.
  2. Facilitating a positive feedback loop between sales and marketing. In many cases, sales and marketing butt heads because sales blames marketing for bad leads and marketing accuses sales of not closing enough. Tracking data allows for leads to be reviewed as individuals using data gathered by both sides.

Marketing automation requires an understanding of both analytics and tracking data. But it’s not difficult once you start seeing both the swimmers and the beach.

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