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Insights vs. Data: Using Marketing Analytics for Growth

The Big Idea

In the post-pandemic world, being data-driven isn’t enough. Organizations must be insights-driven. Marketing analytics bridge the gap between data and insights to engineer powerful action plans rooted in evolving consumer behavior. 

Even if your employees are currently reporting on campaign performance data while measuring ROI, it’s not enough to prevent churn and ensure meaningful engagement. You may be missing fundamental opportunities to leverage analytics to gain insights. If your reporting lacks informed predictions and pathways forward–or you’re in a startup environment that is still establishing best practices during hyper-growth, implementing analytics could lead to impactful insights that could change the course of your marketing efforts and even expand your business offerings. In this article, we’ll break down marketing analytics, the benefits, and how you can begin the process of using analytics successfully for the greatest impact.

What is Marketing Analytics?

There is data. There is analytics, and there are insights, so what’s the difference? 

  • Data refers to your quantitative and qualitative information. For example, how many visitors came to your website? What is your bounce rate? What is the average time per session? What are the demographics of your current customers, and what information have you gathered from surveys? Who are your competitors? Data is the answer to these questions, and it explains the characteristics of your current customers and where your organization stands in the marketplace. 
  • Analytics consists of the procedures and technologies that use computational analysis to find meaningful patterns and trends in the data. Analytics reveal the untapped value within the data that can be unlocked for optimization.
  • Insights are the key discoveries from understanding the analytics in ways that can be applied to your goals, strategies, and communications. Insights can evolve target personas, reshape segmentation, redefine messaging and pricing, and steer marketing efforts in new directions that cast a wider net with enhanced relevance.

Let’s look at three types of analytics: 

  • Descriptive analytics reveal patterns and meaning through the collection and analysis of historical data. Examples include campaign performance and ROI that require simple computations to improve bottom-line profits. 
  • Predictive analytics uses machine learning, data mining, and statistical modeling to forecast likely scenarios based on trends and historical data. If you’re using Google Analytics for ppc search marketing, you may be utilizing predictive analytics to test and improve campaign performance. Predictive analytics can be used to segment leads in nurturing campaigns with customized content and identify the likelihood of success when entering new markets. 
  • Prescriptive analytics utilize large data sets to recommend the best path forward with descriptive and predictive analytics. In action, examples of prescriptive analytics include the ability to choose the best performing social media image to increase engagement, handpicking price modeling and cost-effective procedures, and determining the best marketing channel for specific campaigns.  

B2B marketers are 2.9 times more likely to experience above industry average revenue growth rates when using predictive analytics to develop their marketing strategies, and their organizations are 2.1 times more likely to be industry leaders, making the case that descriptive analytics alone will not deliver impactful results. Using descriptive and predictive analytics for insights to drive experimentation is vital to success. Since the pandemic changed almost every aspect of daily life, from working to shopping, your historical data collected before and during the pandemic could be useless, so now is the perfect time to evolve your process. 

Why Analytics is Important

When your team can present insights, it gains stakeholder buy-in and builds transparency into the impact that marketing provides to bottom-line profits, erasing any ideas that marketing exists as the party planners responsible for promo and social media. Notably, analytics enable insights that can activate innovation and growth. These insights can reveal attribution, increase personalization, and evolve your business as the needs of consumers constantly change. 

Can you determine which ads or collateral influenced conversions? Whether your marketing is entirely digital or you’re using a mixture of online and offline tactics, marketing analytics can help shine a light on the best use of your dollars and efforts, as well as customer sentiment, optimal purchasing decisions, or even new revenue streams. You may discover that consumers use your products completely differently than intended based on where they live in the world. This insight could shape location-specific marketing efforts that lead to increased sales. 


Utilizing analytics for insights will reveal the most meaningful ways to connect to your audience and grow your business. By understanding where in the sales process consumers convert and ways you can personalize their experience with your brand, consumers will experience greater relevance and satisfaction, and you may be surprised by the opportunities for innovation that are revealed. 


Attribution is the process of measuring and assigning credit to specific marketing touchpoints for sales, leads, or conversions. With attribution, you can determine where in the path to purchase an individual decided to convert. This can lead to insights on your branding, messaging, and abilities to experiment and refine tactics with your teams across creative, paid digital, media planning, and more. With this information, your organization is capable of investing more dollars in testing and experimenting while reducing budgetary risk.


The ability to provide personalization is one of the most important goals in marketing, and it’s a key benefit of utilizing marketing analytics for insights. By providing consumers with what they need at the right time, you’re showcasing your relevance to their pain points, cutting through the noise from the competition. 

91% of consumers are more likely to shop with brands who recognize, remember, and provide relevant offers and recommendations, and 83% of consumers are willing to share their data to enable a personalized experience.

If you want to create unforgettable experiences, you need to implement personalization, and the fastest way to supply personalization is through the use of analytics that offers insights into what’s relevant to your consumers. 


Insights fuel innovation and this sentiment should be the backbone of your organizational roadmap at all times. If you’re not empowering every employee to try to disrupt your industry, your business will be disrupted by another organization that figured something out that yours missed. Gaining insights into your consumers and marketplace are often the most promising sources of growth, as well as the most likely to be overlooked. 

Analytics provides insights into the consumer experience to understand the behavior at critical points of the buyer journey that can lead to more impactful branding, segmentation, and revenue. Additionally, analytics can reduce the risk for experimentation and improve campaign accuracy. Informed predictions can be made for pricing, product design, and niche value propositions, reshaping how companies enter new markets, communicate their offerings and build new products.

Tips for Implementing Analytics for Insights

The best place to start is by asking questions. What is the problem you are trying to solve, and what are you trying to discover? What untapped information exists on your customers, competitors, or the market? Try to focus on answering one question and break down any complex systems into smaller ones. You may be swimming in data and need a group of experts to come in and identify what’s useful, as well as the next steps. 

The objective is to use analytics to communicate actionable insights that can be realistically achieved through strategy and tactics, such as S.M.A.R.T. goals. When you start reporting your efforts with analytics that speak to actionable insights, your CEO and the board will be more likely to validate and invest in opportunities that could dramatically evolve the business through heightened attribution, greater personalization, and unexpected innovation that sets you apart from the competition.


Upon collecting data, apply various types of analytics to discover insights. Don’t just prove ROI. Use analytics to understand attribution to better reach your consumers and deliver improved personalization on their path to purchase. Empower employees to tap into insights to deliver innovative strategies and informed execution. 

Explore how analytics can uncover insights that evolve your organization. Schedule a time to talk with our experts now.

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