Is Your Marketing Working, the Analytics That Matter Most?
Most marketing strategies and business strategies work along the lines of, market, measure, modify and repeat. However deciding on which analytics (measure) matter the most is an important step in helping you to determine if the marketing strategy you have is working and producing the results you expected and want. You will need to understand why you exist, what your goals are, and what data to collect to determine success or failure
Understand Why You’re Marketing and Why You’re Doing “It”
Whatever your marketing strategy is, whether it’s my favorite content marketing, or social media marketing, it’s important to know why you’re doing it, or to put it another way what are you trying to get out of it. Are you creating products to make the lives of your target market easier? Do you want more newsletter members? Are you trying to get sign-ups for a webinar? What exactly do you do, and why do you do it? Also, what do you want your website visitors to do when they get to your site?
Do You Know Who You’re Doing It For?
If I was to ask you what your most profitable item was, you would have a fair idea. However if I was to ask you who your ideal customer is for that same product, and ask you to describe a persona down to age, sex, job and income, would you be able to do it? Would you be able to create a few different personas, maybe two or three that you can address all of your marketing material towards. This is what you need to do, as it will enable you to not only make better choices for content, but also to create better products and services.
Marketing Benchmarks and Realistic Goals
One you know what you’re doing and who you are doing it for, it’s important to set some realistic goals. The goals you set, such as signing up 100 new people to your email list, are very important. You want to be specific in addition to making sure they are realistic. If you know what the goal is, it’ll be easier to decide how to achieve it, by deciding in this example how to word content, place your advertisements, where to locate sign up areas and such like.
Oh, and you can set large goals and dream big, the secret with these is to break them down in to small realistic steps that you can measure and achieve, this is what I do with my clients, I sit down with them and work out realistic goals and then I work to achieve them and they judge me on the results.
Collect the Marketing Data
Finally, you need to know what data to collect. There is more to a website than visitors to a page. You really want to track conversions based on your goals. How many people signed up for your newsletter due to the article you placed on that article marketing site? How many people signed up for and attended your webinar based on affiliate marketing efforts? How many people bought your book after reading an advertisement for it on Facebook?
This is another one that amazes me, many companies have social media profiles and staff spend hours on them daily… but ask these same companies how many visitors Facebook, LinkedIn, etc brings to their website and how many of these sign up to their newsletter, buy product and such like and they won’t have an answer.
Learn to Read Your Marketing Data
The metrics that matter most are the ones that show progress toward your goals, this is why we set goals. You can have a million site visitors but if you make zero conversions, no newsletter sign-ups, and no sales, you haven’t succeed, you only succeed if you achieve your goal. Those types of metrics say that the marketing you’re doing isn’t targeting the right people, you’re not reaching your target customer. If you have the type of sales and conversions you were looking for, then you can reasonable decide to do more of what is working and less of what is not to get even more conversions, it then becomes easy to scale as needed.
The best tool to use for analytics really is Google Analytics. It’s free, easy to use and it works for everyone. There are others that you can use such as Spring Metrics, or Adobe SiteCatalyst. These tools can help you test and target your site with A/B testing, and more. Some tools are quite expensive so it’s best to start with the free one, which is Google Analytics. If you then determine you need more advanced features, you can go from there.