“Numbers have an important story to tell. They rely on you to give them a voice.” 
-Stephen Few

In dealing with multiple communications channels, a number one priority is to pull as much data from each channel that is physically possible before making strategic decisions in marketing a brand.

While data is key in integrated marketing strategies, you should always be critical of the data sources that you contrive information from and ensure that they are giving you more than numbers – they’re telling a story.

In an SEO lesson with our integrated marketing team, my colleague and myself discussed the importance of telling a story behind the numbers within reporting. In doing this, we presented our top tools for pulling data for brands to help tell such a story.

Here are our favorite data tools to utilize when reporting on an integrated marketing campaign:

1. Google Analytics & Webmaster Tools

Google reigns king when it comes to website analytics, but it is up to the user to dig for all the right pieces. Abrupt movement in traffic, whether increases or decreases, should be researched by looking at Webmaster Tools impressions or page views on specific blog posts through the content drilldown in Analytics.

Concerned about the changes in Analytics during Google’s Hummingbird update? Utilize the user behavior tools in addition to the growing number of metrics in Webmaster Tools.

2. Hootsuite

The popular social media management dashboard also offers great reporting features for Enterprise members.  We’ve previously written about our love for Hootsuite in terms of its community management features and the reporting metrics should not go unnoticed. While Facebook Insights offers a granular view of a social community’s activity, a third party application such as Hootsuite offers much help when in comes to looking at Twitter success.

3. Cision

The mecca for every public relations professional, Cision is a media relations software that allows your team to connect with the right media sources and track your campaigns. The multipurpose tool where you can research, build, and track your PR results in one spot is key!

4. Compete.com

A free analytics tool to pull traffic info from millions of websites when you’re assessing which bloggers are right for your brand. Compete.com allows you to analyze the performance of websites and check out related sites so you can expand your outreach.

5. Google Trends

The above tools will tell you a lot about what’s happening with your own brand, but what about real-time information on what’s happening within the industry? Google Trends shows you “hot” searches in real-time (great in terms of content creation) and additionally you can assess how specific search terms are used by your market over a specified period of time.

Seeing a sudden increase of traffic to your website that can’t be explained in Google Analytics? Put that term in Google Trends to find out the whole story.

What are your favorite data tools that you use to track your integrated marketing campaigns? Share with us!

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