When I start working with new clients, one of the first things we do is to teach the business owner how to read their website Analytics – most of the time through Google Analytics. This helps the client to see what we do for their business in real time – and retrospectively, enable us to evaluate the success of our efforts. Below I am going to explain a bit more about why you should get on board with Analytics. I will also share with you the sort of metrics that we find useful to monitor:
We have left an era where everything in business was about special relationships. Today, the business intelligence tools are available to measure the marketing and performance activities for our own business and our competitors business. Management no longer have to rely on guessing, or good faith in order to measure and appreciate results. In our quest to create better shareholder value, increase transparency in business and outsmart the competition, early adopters of Analytics often found that to be the edge. The paradigm shift has been completed and now, the ability to understand the business through analytics, has become a core cross disciplinary skill that is required in marketing, management, IT, finance and entrepreneurship. Everyone in the business have questions they sometimes grapple with. By understanding more about Marketing Analytics, you would answer these questions better:
If you increased your advertising budget by 15%, how will this impact your profit?
Well – as much as 45% of marketers are unable to answer this question. However by reading analytics and discerning between referral sales, word of mouth sales and push/pull sales that resulted from new advertising, they will be better equipped to forecast this accurately. By knowing the difference in ROI from re-engaging existing clients versus acquiring new leads, we will have a better idea WHERE to spend that 15% we are about to authorise.
How many referral sales did we achieve from our latest newsletter?
If I, as a manager, was able to understand analytics better – and my IT team has set up newsletter campaigns correctly, I would have a pretty good idea of the impact newsletters have.
If our email list grew from 1 million to 1.8 million subscribers, how will this impact our revenue?
By understanding where to measure an email marketing campaign and identifying key conversion analytics, you should have a very close guess about this, to the extent that you can decide whether to pursue the next 800 000 visitors eagerly and at what cost.
Last year we spent $25 000 with a content marketing agency, how effective was that?
No longer should your marketing agency sweet talk you over another meal at the golf club. It is time to measure the results of each campaign and have your pulse on the budget.
What are the most important marketing metrics to the business I work in?
By understanding how our websites integrate with the business and making sense of the user experience through the interpretation of analytics, this is one of the questions that should become clearer.
As the analytics environment matures and we progress towards predictive analytics and big data, the very least managers should do, is to always have the ability to use the basic platforms to better connect with our IT and finance teams. You should be able to make informed business decisions based on Analytics – if not yourself, you will be able to ask the right questions to obtain that critical pulse about the business.
Metrics of importance to the CFO, CMO and CEO:
Every business has unique metrics that which results due to the nature of the business, the strategy, the clients of the business and the way in which elements of the business are integrated. In many businesses there are still elements which are offline, which means they cannot be measured. The proportion of such offline activities will determine how much the team can rely on good use of online analytical systems, such as Google Analytics.
A high street spare shop sells mainly to walk-in customers who pay in cash. It has a website which offers vouchers and coupons, which are occasionally used. Since most visitors are walk-ins, and only 10% of it’s clientele uses the vouchers, a rather small percentage of the business is measureable with analytics. Even if an IT firm integrated the shop’s sales system with the website and analytics was able to record each transaction, this would be a manual task, not initiated automatically by the client and our systems.
An online spare shop sells spares clients throughout the country. It has a reputation for swift delivery and good after sales service, so much so that clients almost never visit the location which is well hidden in an industrial area. 95% of the orders occur online. The company has a detailed description of every possible spare that it sells, thus many visitors find them through organic search. In order to deny a new start-up competitor the opportunity to take away market share, the company also invests around $9000 per month in paid search. Now here we have a business, where the actions of the customers and interaction with the business can be measured without any manual action. In this case, understanding Analytics IS understanding the business.
Regardless of the nature of the business, there tend to be common metrics that are of importance:
What was the cumulative impact that marketing had on the business revenue? If we set goals in Analytics, what was our ROI on adwords spending?
Campaign Performance Metrics:
The incremental contribution of individual marketing programs. In example 2 above, if we spent money on content marketing to create descriptions for our products that educate our clients during the awareness and trial phase, how much did that contribute to our sales conversions? The PPC campaign that costs us $9000 per month, what ROI did we achieve. The split testing, between two different campaigns: Which one was the most effective?
How visible was our website on Google? Did we attract the right audience? WHO did we attract, and how can we change our content to better serve their needs? How engaging did people find our content?
How many people searched specifically for our brand last month? How does that compare to two years ago? Did the brand value increase or decrease?
It does not matter if you prefer Adobe, Microsoft or Google analytics – the key is for management to make use of the tools available in order to share and access insights.
I hope you found the above useful. Now fortunately you will not need to go on an Analytics course – because Google provided us with some free video training as resources: