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Win With Data: A Guide to Improve your Bottom Line

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Data and “analytics” are everywhere but you (the marketer or the business owner) are still struggling to derive useful marketing insights and make data actionable to boost sales. Don’t despair! Whether you run an ecommerce business, a lead generation site or a content site, there’s still hope for your marketing campaigns and your bottom line. But first and foremost, it’s important to identify what is under-performing in your current marketing activities and define specific targets to improve it.

Here are some likely scenarios you might be encountering:

• You want to get more leads (or sales, or readers, etc.) and you are not sure where to invest your marketing dollars
• You have a number of campaigns running, but you don’t know if/how they have impacted ROI

• You have a new landing page, but is it actually engaging visitors or distracting them?

• Your executive team is looking for actionable dashboards and you’re overwhelmed with reports

• You want to fix what’s broken on the site and provide recommendations to the business

Overcoming a campaign slump may seem overwhelming – and we’ve all been there. But with the proper guidance, you can efficiently acquire the know-how to make sense of all the data and act on your findings. For your benefit, I’ve provided 3 easy steps to guide you in adopting a clear measurement and marketing optimization plan.

1. Document Your Objectives: What’s Important for your Business? Start with End in Mind

• Before you jump in the sea of data, highlight which objectives and key performance indicators are important to the business.

• If increasing qualified leads is your claim to fame (and gets you that long-awaited promotion!), measuring and trending “the number of qualified leads” should be on top of your list.
If increasing the “average order value” of online customers is a key business driver for you during the holiday season, then report, understand and track this key performance indicator.
• Before you go to the next step, take 10-15 minutes to document the top three key performance indicators for your business. Review this with your stakeholders and start measuring, trending and finding ways for improvement.

2. Understand the Uniqueness of Each Marketing Channel

• Don’t fall behind the curve; have your pulse on each of your channels (paid search, organic search, email, display, shopping engines, social, offline, etc.). We live in an age of marketing accountability after all.
• Understand the characteristics of each channel and identify metrics that are specific and meaningful to each.

• For example:

• If you publish multimedia content, a ‘pageview’ metric is almost useless. Instead, measure video plays, video completions, percent of visitors who watch the video and their contribution to the bottom line.

• If you are blogging to establish credibility and thought-leadership, analyze your content’s performance: are industry leaders picking up your posts and is the audience engaged (i.e. are they commenting, are they consistent visitors to the site?).
• Is traffic from mobile devices trending up? If so, measure and improve the user experience on mobile devices.

3. Cherry Pick Your Metrics

• A note to the wise, not all metrics are created equally. In an enterprise-class platform such as Google Analytics, you’ll have immediate access to a whole lot of metrics. But this isn’t a cue to use them all. Remember, when it comes to reporting, “less is more.”

• Set up daily or weekly or monthly reports for key performance indicators and focus reporting on what matters most to the business. Report on outcomes, like revenue by channel or ROI on campaign, or cost per qualified leads.

I hope this helped spur some creative measurement and optimization juices. Thoughts, comments, questions?

PS. Look out for a follow-up article on the remaining 4 steps (segmentation, intelligence, integration and automation) to solidify the measurement and optimization practice within your organization.

Win With Data: A Guide to Improve your Bottom Line
This entry was posted in Business.
About Feras Alhlou
Feras Alhlou is the principal consultant and co-founder of E-Nor, Inc., a digital analytics and marketing optimization firm. E-Nor’s diverse client base includes Fortune 500 companies. The firm's multiple qualifications include Google Analytics Premium Authorized Reseller, Google Analytics Certified Partner (GACP), and a Google AdWords Certified Partner. Alhlou speaks frequently at industry events including eMetrics, Google Analytics User Events, Search Engine Strategies (SES) and Search Marketing Expo (SMX). He is a Certified Web Analyst, and serves as a co-chair of the San Francisco Bay Area DAA chapter. Feras has authored a number of case studies, whitepapers and articles, including the Analytics Reporting Framework Whitepaper. WebProNews Writer
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  • http://www.modeltrainhobbyist.com Lionel Bachmann | Model Trains

    This is a great guide. #3 is really important after you’ve planned and executed a campaign. If you don’t get the right metrics, you will make bad conclusions about what worked and what needs to be changed. Costing you lots of time and money.

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