If you trust your marketing instincts more than metrics, you’re in good company. A recent study of chief marketing officers* reveals that more than 60 percent of the time, top marketers don’t use analytics in their decision-making.

But don’t pat yourself on the back just yet. This might be an instance where being in the majority isn’t such a good thing. Know what’s loaded in your pistol before you start shooting from the hip.

Analytics Schmantalitics

If you relegate most marketing evaluation to post-effort determinations of ROI, ask yourself what’s keeping you from tapping into analytics sooner and more often. Maybe you’re unsure how to best use analytics or don’t trust what they reveal. Analytics can change the way you think. Convinced that Friday morning is the perfect time for a direct mail to hit? Analytics may reveal something quite different.

Measure Twice, Cut Once

Every part of your marketing mix benefits from analytics or measurement. This becomes even more important with ever-leaner marketing budgets and staff. Plot your attack before spending precious resources. Research. Survey your customers. Tap into existing data.

Start with your digital tools. Their wealth of marketing intelligence begs for analysis and action. Not just after your AdWords campaign ends. While it’s going. Monitor and adjust. Make your campaign dynamic and nimble – with results that’ll make you proud.

Invite Change

Most companies consider their websites their No. 1 marketing tools. Providing anytime, anywhere information. Yes, you can build it and they will come, but watch and learn. Your site will work harder and smarter if you use analytics to track how people use it – where they’re coming from, where they enter, what they do once they get there, how fast they leave – and from what page.

You value your customers. You want them for life. And you want more just like them. Tracking their loyalty could reveal unexpected insights. Ones that affect your future plans. And deliver stronger performance long-term.

But, of course, don’t just trust your gut. Listen to what the numbers say.

*February 2012 CMO Survey