Today’s B2B landscape is too complex to hit your target KPIs without seeing what you’re doing.
If you’ve ever donned a blindfold and swung at a piñata, then you know what digital B2B marketing feels like without data.
And marketing data is the only way to gain visibility of your pipeline, enable more effective decision making and provide a single source of truth for your teams.
But not all data is created equal, and it doesn’t just appear from nowhere.
Instead, you have to set up effective tracking tools to generate and analyze all that vital data.
That’s why I decided to explain how to seamlessly set up marketing tracking tools to help your B2B organization..
While not an exhaustive list, we explore the three truly crucial pieces of software you need for your performance marketing strategy and how to set them up.
As a result, you’ll be able to create a solid foundation for your tracking - and start seeing that pinata much more clearly.
First though, we need to understand the challenges marketers face when setting up tracking tools.
3 Challenges When Setting Up Marketing Tracking
1. Technical barriers
Most marketers don’t have the technical skills to create tracking code from scratch. But a single line of bad code could totally compromise your data or, more likely, stop it from being collected at all.
Many marketers, therefore, rely on Devs to set up their systems. The only problem is that Devs are typically busy and not always able to prioritize setting up tracking tools. As a result, the process gets drawn out and complicated, and you miss out on valuable tracking opportunities while you wait.
2. Market saturation
The global market for tracking tools is worth over $4 billion, and it’s expected to triple by 2030. With so many performance marketing tracking software solutions to choose from - not to mention all the complex content marketing tracking tools! - setting up tracking can be overwhelming.
Fortunately, this leads us to an important principle: your tracking setup should be as simple as possible while producing useful insights. Not all data is equally valuable, and creating a convoluted system with 50 integrations will actually obscure your view of performance, as well as make your life unduly difficult.
Tracking performance is one thing; making the data actionable is another. Data needs to be easily accessible so that individuals don’t have to waste valuable time sourcing and cross-referencing — and can instead focus on making use of it. In fact, 86% of senior executives say that eliminating organizational silos is critical to expanding the use of data and analytics in decision-making.1
The problem is that most companies don’t set up tracking in one go. Instead, they have legacy systems that need to be updated and integrated with their new tools. But this creates more work and complexity, which actually disincentives integration.
3 Steps to Create a Seamless Tracking Setup
1. Setup Google Tag Manager
What is it?
Google Tag Manager is a tool that allows you to put all of the tracking codes from your various tools in one place. It houses third-party tags that track user events such as clicks, scrolls and downloads. When an event takes place, the relevant tag “fires” - altering you to the action and reporting it as data.
Why do you need it?
Marketing data is only valuable if you are able to use it, but this is difficult when data exists across multiple different platforms. Google Tag Manager solves this by allowing you to access all the data you need with ease to gain a comprehensive view of your entire end-to-end marketing funnel. This encompasses everything from Google Analytics to LinkedIn conversions.
Google Tag Manager also removes the technical barriers to performance marketing tracking. Because you simply copy and paste website tags into the platform, the level of Dev involvement is minimal, so you can get up and running more quickly.
As a result, marketers can:
- Act with greater speed and agility
- Collect data more reliably with easy-to-use error checking
- Customize their own tracking using turnkey code templates
- Increase visibility and collaboration across their team with a single source of truth
2. Integrate Google Analytics
What is it?
A free tool that tracks and analyzes traffic on your website. It integrates with two other important tools:
- Google Ads, which tracks your Search Advertising.
- And Google Search Console, which provides insight into your search ranking.
In combination, these tools create a comprehensive view of your website activity.
Why do you need it?
B2B buyer behavior has changed dramatically in recent years: they use more digital channels and spend more time independently researching vendors. Tracking how they find and interact with websites unlocks numerous insights and helps you optimize spend, but only if you can get reliable data.
Google Analytics,along with Google Ads and Google Search Console, gives performance marketers exactly that kind of data. It enables you to see:
- How people find your website
- What channels they come from (e.g. organic search, paid social, display ads etc.)
- How long they spend on each page
- And what action they took on your site
However, it’s important to note that Google Analytics doesn’t have a preset definition of what a conversion is; you have to stipulate what a conversion is for you. You can do this via Tag Manager, and it will greatly increase the accuracy and value of the data you generate moving forward.
3. Connect all your data to a CRM
What is it?
A Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system is a centralized system that collects data on all of your interactions with prospects. It also enables you to view marketing analytics and sales performance with ease.
Why do you need it?
B2B marketing is constantly evolving, which means buyer behavior changes and channels grow or decrease in prominence. But to adapt your marketing in line with these changes, you need to understand what is working — and what isn’t.
A CRM helps you do that. It provides crucial insights into your pipeline, enabling you to attribute conversions to specific channels or activities. As a result, you can adjust your processes, recalibrate your marketing spend and drive more reliable results.
While there are numerous CRMs on the market, we believe HubSpot is the best and most user-friendly platform. We use it with all of our clients, as its customizability enables us to gear our activities to their specific needs.
Next Steps to Optimize Your Tracking
Once you have these three tools set up you have a solid foundation for tracking your marketing activities. However, there is a wide range of sophisticated tools that can unlock more data, including heatmaps, which reveal how customers interact with your web pages at a more granular level, and video analytics.
The key is to focus on tools that serve a specific purpose. Most performance marketers actually benefit from limiting the volume of data they generate, as this makes life simpler and avoids noise. So we advocate for clients to introduce new tracking tools for a specific purpose, with a clear strategic goal in mind.
A few things we recommend:
- Create a regular cadence to assess your tracking systems, determine which systems are no longer necessary and where new tools are needed to cover gaps in your data
- Assign an internal expert to research new tracking tools
- Consult marketing teams to determine what data will best serve their daily activities
Gain Visibility Into Your Marketing ROI With a RevOp Agency
Setting up tracking is not just technically challenging — it also requires strategic expertise. That’s why so many B2B businesses choose to partner with a RevOps agency, like ProperExpression, that can help unlock unprecedented and measurable revenue growth.
Want to learn how ProperExpression’s technical and strategic expertise will help you track, analyze and action the data to drive the biggest impact on your bottom line?