Awash in Data

Awash in Data

Are your digital marketing status reports more confusing than they are useful?

Reporting Versus Analysis
You can have all the data in the world and it won’t do you one bit of good if you’re not getting the right insight. Or don’t know how to analyze it. Often professionals will make what they do sound more complicated than it has to. You should always look for professionals that offer clear, actionable insights along with the most sophisticated data collection.

Forrester Research reports 74% of firms say they want to be “data-driven,” but only 29% are actually successful at connecting analytics to action.

Here are 10 things you can do today to get your digital marketing on the right path.

1. Ask the right questions to the right stakeholders.
Take the time to get everyone’s input. If you don’t know what’s important to all your stakeholders you can never know how to answer their concerns.

2. Know what data to turn on.
Many people are not aware that Google only tracks the data you tell it to track. Many of Google’s most useful tools are turned off until you activate them. Knowing the questions you want to ask will help you activate the right tools in Google.

3. Segments are often more informative.
By grouping customers with similarities together you can go beyond superficial characteristics when determining behavior. The answer to the question, “Who are my customers” is less valuable than answering the question, “Are my male customers more likely to live in a city or the suburbs?” By segmenting your audiences you get to useful information more quickly.

4. Who, what, how and why
Your data needs to tell a story. If the story isn’t clear then the person telling the story is either trying to hide something or doesn’t know how the story ends. Again, only by staying laser focused on the data that is important to your business will you get the true story you need to make educated decisions.

5. Dig deeper
People tend to believe the first plausible answer which agrees with their preconceived ideas about a subject. Once that happens, we all know that changing someone’s mind (even your own) is almost impossible. Guard against this preconceived bias by digging to the bottom of the data before you make up your mind as to the cause of a certain behavior. Be sure to also put the data you collect into the right context. If you do this, you will almost always be surprised and you will most often come to the right conclusion.

6. Optimize constantly
Six Sigma calls their business improvement process DMAIC because they like confusing acronyms. But it works pretty well for Digital Conversion Optimization as well.

Define the question
Measure the data designed to answer the question
Analyze and draw insights from ALL THE DATA using statistical and neuromarketing techniques
Improve your market messaging.
Control for variables in your messages so you can test as thinly as possible.

And of course , we would add Repeat.

7. Integrate Data Sources
Make sure you integrate all your data sources, both online and offline. If you don’t you won’t truly know what is driving the behavior of your audience. And if you don’t that, you can never begin to know how to optimize your message for conversion.

8. Integrate your marketing silos.
If your status meetings with your marketing vendors and stakeholders look like a finger pointing contest in the principal’s office, you need to find a better way to integrate your marketing functions. If you have strategy, creative and digital optimization in different buildings or worse organizations, you will never be as nimble as you need to be to take full advantage of your data.

9. Adopt Conversion Optimization mindset
CRO has been defined as the method of using analytics and user feedback to improve the performance of your website. CRO can be used to improve any metric that’s important to your business. The data will tell you what’s working and not working.

But how do you fix problems? David Ogilvy answered this question almost 60 years ago and his answer might surprise you. He said the word “test” is the most important word in the lexicon of advertising. Test usability. Test information flow; CTA’s; value propositions; conversion paths; forms….Ask your users questions to find out what’s working and what’s not working then test your hypothesis to fix the problems.

10. Hire smart people
Data is dumb but smart people can unlock its power.. In today’s marketplace, data can provide all the information you need to make sound marketing investments. All you need is someone who knows how to collect, analyze and create the right messages for your marketing efforts.

Matthew Bowler
Matthew is a Partner and Chief Strategy Officer of Mandala and full service agency specializing in Digital Conversion Optimization. If you would like to see an article about a marketing subject or learn more about Digital Conversion Optimization, he can be contacted at 541.419.0000 or You can follow him on Twitter.

If you want further insights into the strategies that experts use, see the full results of a study Paul Koks conducted with 49 industry experts. Paul Koks is owner and Analytics Advocate of Online Metrics. He is specialized in Google Analytics setup audits and digital analytics coaching.

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