As you learned in my previous article, Win With Data: A Guide to Improve Your Bottom Line, you understand that no matter what type of website your organization has, tracking marketing response is key to improving the overall performance of your website, marketing and the bottom line. The primary three steps of building your measurement framework, which I presented are
- Documenting your objectives
- Understanding the uniqueness of your marketing channels, and
- Choosing your metrics
But you’re not done yet! To continue the process, take advantage of the four remaining steps that will help you take charge of managing your marketing initiatives.
Context is Key
Keeping in mind your initial overall objective of reporting on what matters to your business, look at both “big picture” as well as specific data derived from the information you’ve gathered. When examining this data, remember the context in which the data has been taken. This gives a whole lot more meaning to your reports.
For example, if you sell online and seasonality is important to your business, don’t just report that you made $2.5M last month. Add context (as you see in the graph), by adding a previous month to show revenue increased by 22%. Add in the same month last year (and show off that 46% increase!). And last but not least, show your “planned” numbers, as well as how close or how far you are from meeting those targets.
Let the Computer Do the Work for You
Arrange for automatic reporting so you don’t have to babysit your site. Now this doesn’t mean that you get your analytics set up and you’re done. Consistent monitoring of your site is important. We’re talking about managing your analytic data by arranging for detection when significant changes occur. Specifically in Google Analytics (and who doesn’t have access Google Analytics these days), set up alerts to automatically flag issues (or positive trends) and bring them to your attention. This gives you more time for strategic work, and less time focusing on watching traffic, conversion rates, etc.
Build Effective Reporting Tools into Your System
Now that you’ve got the first five steps down, you’re ready to compile all your data in a useful and comprehensive presentation. Bring everything that matters; social media, offline marketing, web analytics, etc. into one reporting interface where you can organize and review.
Google AdWords, Google Analytics, Bing, SalesForce and Facebook all offer ways of extracting data. There are several tools available to help bring all your data together. I’ve seen organizations use a manual (painful) process and some with a very sophisticated data warehousing solution, and then everything in between. For Google Analytics users, many data export options are readily available, including the one we recommend, ShufflePoint.
This program allows you to export and integrate data into Excel and PowerPoint with the click of the mouse!
Make life a little easier for yourself by automating reports. Several tools make it possible to send data directly to your inbox or web based and interactive dashboard Choose key performance indicators, set up the automation and analyze the data and take actions!
So there you have it. Seven steps to analytics reporting. Take your company to the next level in digital marketing optimization by following this framework, that will not only help you to understand your customers/visitors, but also to improve your site performance, achieve higher ROI from your marketing initiatives and gain better insight into your business.