You and your team create amazing digital marketing plans, develop world-class online creative and deliver top-quality integrated marketing campaigns on-time and on-budget. 

But the first question you always get from your leadership is: "Where's the data that proves this is working?"

If you can't come up with the information they're looking for, then it's time to check out these seven tools that can get you the data you need to explain how your marketing is performing.

1. Google Analytics

Google Analytics is generally considered the leader in online data collection and analysis. It is arguably one of the most powerful web analytics applications available today. In addition, the free version of the tool is more than adequate to meet the needs of most companies. It also integrates with other popular Google programs, including AdSense and AdWords.

Google Analytics has been around for more than a decade. It's always been popular with web developers, but it took many years for marketers and publishers to understand its value and embrace it. The first onboard were retailers and national media outlets. More and more financial services companies are now catching on.

So what's so valuable about Google Analytics? It can help you track almost anything you want to know about what's happening on your website, including:

  • Where traffic comes from.
  • How much time is spent on individual pages and on the site as a whole by individual visitors and visitors overall.
  • Whether your visitors view your website on smartphones, tablets or computers and which browsers they use.
  • What they do on the site, including how they move from page to page, the actions they take while on it, when they leave and where they go after they leave.
  • Whether website visitors take actions like contacting your firm and purchasing products.

All this information is critical to developing a coherent data story that can help you -- and your leaders -- understand whether your marketing is working or not. It also gives you the power to make real-time changes and optimize your campaigns.

It might seem that Google Analytics could be the ultimate answer to all your online data capture and analytics needs. This might be true for you and your organization. However, many find the interface cumbersome and difficult to use. (The recent update has helped streamline the interface, but it is still not simple to navigate.)

In addition, many companies don't like the idea of entrusting all their web data gathering needs to a single resource, so they maintain a secondary one. 

As robust as Google Analytics is, it doesn't do everything and firms bring on other tools to fill the gaps.

Plus, there is some "anti-Google" bias among Internet professionals and marketers, so many prefer to use other data-gathering software options.

2. Adobe Analytics

Adobe offers a set of tools for predictive and real-time digital analysis called Adobe Analytics. Similar to Google Analytics, it lets you pull data and reports that can help you create a holistic view of your overall digital marketing activities. It transforms customer interactions with your website into data you can analyze and take action on. 

The interface used by Adobe's analytic tool suite is more intuitive and easier to use than Google's. However, unlike Google Analytics, Adobe does not come free. Prices start at $5,000 per month and could go as high as $100,000 per year depending on the complexity of the website. In addition, Adobe Analytics generally requires that you use specialized professionals to install it on your company's website, unlike Google Analytics, which can be implemented quickly by almost anyone.

3. Clicky

If you're not a technology or data analytics geek, and ease-of-use is important to you, then Clicky could be the digital analytics tool you're looking for. However, there's always a price to pay for simplicity and with Clicky, it's that it doesn’t provide the depth of data that more complex tools like Google Analytics and Adobe Analytics do. 

The reality is that most beginners never use all the data and information Google and Adobe make available, so a tool like Clicky will likely meet their needs. Users can move up to a more expansive tool when they're ready.

Surprisingly, Clicky does offer some useful click-stream data and visitor-level information that Google does not, along with heat maps and other features.  Clicky has a free option for single sites with up to 3,000 daily page views. Beyond that, paid packages start at approximately ten dollars per month and go up from there. Annual discounts are available.

4. Mixpanel

If your company's website is designed to convert prospects into customers or clients, then Mixpanel is a data analytics tool you should consider. Like most other similar packages, it lets you review real-time web numbers. In addition, it's relatively easy to analyze sales and conversion funnels leveraging historic data.

Mixpanel can also be a good option if your product sales flow is a complicated one and involves repeat visitors to your site.  

Mixpanel’s pricing structure can be a little complicated. It's based on how many "events" you and your company track on the way to a conversion or sale. They offer a free package that lets you to track up to 25,000 event-related data points. This can go up to 200,000 free events if you give Mixpanel a footer credit and link on your site. Unless your financial product sales flow is a super-complicated one, this could be adequate to cover your firm.

5. FoxMetrics

Is there something very specific that you want to track on your website, for example app installs, newsletter views or video or podcast downloads? Then FoxMetrics could be worth adding to your data analytics tool menu.

FoxMetrics lets you track metrics that are specific to your finance-related business. You do this through specific events that you define.

FoxMetrics can help you super-customize your website by tracking these events along with more standard metrics. By gaining an understanding of these things, you can learn how to serve-up personalized content and offers that will move users through your sales process.

FoxMetrics charges for the number of "events" tracked. Prices start at $300 per year for one million events and a free trial is available.

6. Open Web Analytics

If your financial firm is focused on open-source architecture, then Open Web Analytics could be the perfect tool for you. 

It is not a hosted solution. Instead, it is a downloadable program that you install on your server. That means you and your firm retain control and ownership of your site’s analytics data.

The features offered by Open Web Analytics are very similar to those available through the analytic products offered by Google and Adobe. In addition, it also provides mouse flow tracking and visual heat maps and records movement through web pages. These are critical features when it comes to understanding how users interact with your web content and pages. 

Needless to say, this open source tool is easy to download and install and it's free.

7. Kiss metrics

Does your company care about the long-term value of your online clients? Then Kissmetrics could be the tool you need to visualize and follow your entire user lifecycle. It can help you understand which of your website visitors are more valuable than others. It also allows you to see how individual user behavior changes over time. This can be particularly important if your company takes a customer-centric approach to marketing.

Kissmetrics does not come free. The service charges a $200/month starting subscription and rates go up from there. Again, if your company is a customer-centric one, it could be easy to justify this cost based on your business model.

Which analytics tool or tools are right for you?

The answer to that question is: It depends. You have to consider your business goals and objectives along with the data you want to collect and analyze related to them.

If you find it challenging to navigate through web data and analysis issues, you're not alone. Most marketers find this outside their comfort zone. That's why many turn to an agency like Carpenter Group to help them with these needs. Carpenter Group is a marketing agency that has experience with web analytics for the financial services industry -- and developing marketing campaigns based on numbers, metrics and data. 

Carpenter Group can help you build analytics into your marketing plan so you're always prepared to give your leaders the data they expect when they asks for it. What are you waiting for? Contact Carpenter Group today.