Analytic Acrobatics: Digging into the Data to Maximize Web Analytics Understanding

Review of Monthly Analytics ReportNeed-to-know analytics to help shape marketing goals and reshape priorities.

With so much data available to marketers, it’s easy to become overwhelmed or to underutilize valuable information. What you’re collecting is just as important as why you’re collecting it, and it’s good for business to maximize data potential. Here’s how to make the most of your marketing analytics.

Must-Know Analytics to Monitor

Before you dive into the data, it’s a smart idea to make sure you have your finger on the pulse of a few crucial customer-focused analytics. Today, you can track just about anything given the right tools, but that doesn’t mean you need to cast the widest net possible for the greatest returns. Narrow your focus, understand the data you’re collecting, and then you can utilize that data in creative ways to increase conversions.

Here are a few analytics you need to be monitoring:

  • Customer segmentation data: The data you collect regarding customer segmentation (often called demographic data) provides valuable insight into sub-groups within a larger market. The “shotgun” approach, firing your message into the market and hoping you find your target, is not smart marketing. Instead, actively use segmentation data to fine-tune campaigns for stronger targeted conversions.
  • Customer engagement data: Customer engagement can directly influence your bottom line, so it’s your job to understand how and why consumers are interacting with your brand. You may be familiar with the purchase funnel, an attempt to track customer engagement through the buying process from start to finish, but customer engagement analytics go far beyond the shopping cart. From website visits to social media conversations, there’s a cornucopia of precious data to be dissected.
  • Customer satisfaction data: Hand-in-hand with engagement analytics, customer satisfaction will affect brand perception. Whether you go the survey route or gauge customer satisfaction in a more creative way, you need to know whether customers are satisfied. If they aren’t, what can you do to change their opinion? It’s all in the data if you know where to look.
  • Sales channel data: Through which avenues (digital, brick and mortar, secondhand, etc.) are customers making their purchases? Sales channel data can help shape where you spend your marketing money and provide a “big picture” look at revenue goals and accomplishments.
  • Customer acquisition data: Where are your customers coming from? Are they returning customers or newly converted consumers? As with sales channel data, customer acquisition analytics help shape campaign strategy. You want to keep customers returning and also attract as many new ones as you can, and the first step in doing both is knowing how they find you.
  • Web analytics: Both on-site and off-site web analytics (consumers’ online behavior on your website and elsewhere) feed into an overall understanding of the market and web conversion opportunities. The purchase funnel, customer satisfaction with your web design, segmentation-led sales channel data, and all the in-betweens—all are essential aspects of web analytics data that smart marketers use to better understand consumer behavior.

How to Get More from the Data You’re Tracking

You’ve been tracking analytics, but how do you make the most of the data you’ve collected? How do you maximize conversions while minimizing customer abandonment and frivolous internal spending?

Don’t jump to conclusions without the data to back up your assumptions. One of the easiest things to do with the data you gather is to mistake correlation for causation. It’s easy to jump to conclusions, but emotional assumptions will never be as telling as factual actionable data.

Use measurable metrics to align business goals with consumer behavior. Tough business decisions are easier to make when you have data to drive strategy. Page views and social media likes are not enough to justify financial gambles, and it’s more effective (and satisfying) to apply causation metrics when you have data on your side.

Communicate macro and micro analytics to help prioritize. Which data is most important and why? The answer is and always should be subjective to your business. That’s part of what makes your marketing strategy a strategy, and marketing analytics are there to help pave the way into exciting new territory.

If You Fail, Test and Test Again

Remember, marketing is essentially one big back and forth between your brand and your consumers. If a strategy doesn’t work, you don’t pack up shop and call it quits. A/B testing is your secret weapon. Segment and test, then segment and test again for best results.

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