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Will 2014 Finally Be the Year of the Web Analyst?

josh-braaten
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One of these days, the marketing industry will collectively realize that everything can be measured and will invest in digital analytics resources accordingly. Overnight, campaign ROI will skyrocket, inefficient projects will be cut, and customers will rejoice.

It's nice to think that 2014 just might be that year, but looking at the data – as all good marketers should – there's likely still too far to go to make it a reality.

The Current State of Demand for Web Analytics in Marketing

It's one thing to hear experts at conferences implore their peers to dedicate time to learning digital analytics tools and techniques, but are their pleas being heard? Let's see what the numbers say.

Using real-time job data from Burning Glass' Labor Insight, we identified the number of U.S. job postings for the 10 most common marketing jobs during Q4 2013. The data shows that demand for Google Analytics (the most common web analytics skill found among all job postings) is small, but thankfully growing.

Google Analytics Job Demand

After examining the data, a few insights about the demand for web analytics stand out:

  • Demand for the 10 most common marketing positions increased by 43 percent between Q4 2012 and Q4 2013
  • Demand for Google Analytics skills among generalist marketing positions (shown in green) is surprisingly low at only 3 percent – but the growth of demand for the skill grew 29 percent from 2012 to 2013
  • The growth of the most popular marketing position (marketing manager) out-paced the demand for Google Analytics as a required skill by more than 2-to-1
  • Google Analytics is least likely to be required in the entry-level marketing positions of marketing associate and marketing assistant
  • The largest growth in a position requiring Google Analytics skills occurred at the director of marketing position, with 88 percent growth year-over-year
  • In general, marketing analyst or specialist positions (shown in purple) require Google Analytics as a required skill 2-3 times more often than the average marketing generalist position
  • Social media positions (shown in blue) are twice as likely than marketing generalist positions to require proficiency with Google Analytics

While demand is growing for skills like Google Analytics, we appear to be hiring people into marketing positions faster than we can train them on web analytics strategies and tools.

The good news is that demand for web analytics talent at leadership positions is growing at the highest rate of any marketing position. These new leaders will surely want their teams to embrace and excel at the art of measuring the web and learning about consumers.

3 Analytics Action Items for a Measurably More Awesome 2014

What can you do to stay ahead of the curve when the demand for web analytics as a profession finally catches up with the experts' predictions? Here are three web analytics action items for a measurably awesome 2014.

1. Anchor Your Action in a Digital Marketing & Measurement Model

Google's digital marketing evangelist, author, and web analytics deity Avinash Kaushik says to, "anchor your actions (or lack thereof) in your company's Digital Marketing & Measurement Model." It's surprising – and a bit of a shame – how many seasoned professionals still don't get the fundamentals about acquisition, engagement, and conversions metrics involved in the modern era of marketing. Investing in a measurement model "will make sure you are focused on the biggest most important things," Kaushik says.

2. Focus on Users and Customers

Google's analytics evangelist Justin Cutroni suggests marketers focus on learning more about the actual people they do business with. "Organizations will need to reevaluate their KPIs (key performance indicators) based on their ability to focus on users," Cutroni says. "This will then drive conversations about their analytics infrastructure."

He advises marketers to invest in the tools, people and processes involved in digital analytics. "While this may seem like an intuitive step, the technology and techniques are evolving quickly." If you've never tried tools like Qualaroo, Google Consumer Surveys or UserTesting.com to get to know your customer better, consider giving them a try in 2014.

3. Embrace All the Tools

Web analytics professional and author of the Periodic Table of Google Analytics Jeff Sauer suggests leaning into the new wave of easy-to-use and powerful analytics platforms and tools. "Technical hurdles to measuring website visitors and customers have nearly gone away, which allows marketers to focus more on analyzing performance than ever," Sauer says. Tools such as Google Tag Manager, Mix Panel, and KISSmetrics will encourage a "renaissance of new ways to analyze customer behavior."

Summary

The advice above comes from major players in the world of web analytics. These folks got to where they are because they embraced the power of web analytics at an early stage.

Even if 2014 isn't the "Year of Analytics" for your organization, the proverbial train will one day leave the station. Are you going to have a seat on it?


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