What Kind of Analytics Can Best Help My Company?
The internet has permanently transformed marketing. In the pre-Internet days the Herculean task was to convince potential clients and customers that they had to reach you either via phone or in person or even to reach you by mail. It seems almost comical to think that we’d be dependent upon someone completing a form and sending it in the mail. Ask any business owner or marketer from those early days about the challenges they faced and they’d probably say “We just didn’t know what worked.”
Sadly, despite the Internet revolution in online brand education, many industries are still tracking site data as if internet marketing were a new concept. Analytics such as unique visits to the site are all that is being aggregated, rather than the true indicator of performance and marketing effectiveness: actionable data.
What is Actionable Data?
Actionable data is any type of data that can guide a discernible, measurable action within your company. In other words, actionable data can be used to make your decisions for you.
For instance, one piece of actionable data could be the type of device users are accessing your site from. So if more users are going to your site through mobile, you can place more effort on refining your mobile site experience. Another example, would be seeing how many people from social media or search are downloading a specific piece of content or completing a request to learn more.
Generalized data, on the other hand, that provides little insight into what your firm is doing right. Nebulous data like unique page views can give your firm only the most vague perspective of who is visiting the site and why, let alone what they are doing. Instead, this type of data tracking only makes you “feel good” – hence the reason they are commonly dubbed “Vanity Metrics.”
Instead, actionable data gives a true marker of distinguishing successful strategies and practices from areas-of-improvement. Thus, actionable data should ideally be tied to your KPIs – Key Performance Indicators.
KPIs vary according to the industry and the even sector within the company. A manufacturing department’s KPI, for example, could be the rate of defective products made. Marketing KPIs could be entirely different. The key to defining your KPIs is determining what is important to your business and “what does success look like?” I’m sure you can see that the KPIs for one company could be completely different compared to another.
Example Actionable Data for Niche Industries
To better indicate what an effective KPI might be for your industry’s online marketing effectiveness, here are a few examples:
Pharmaceutical or Medical Education Websites
Site Loyalty as defined by a greater percentage of site visitors who return to the site
Information documents downloaded
Site registrations (especial true to medical education sites or health care professional education websites)
Healthcare or Hospital Websites
Patient forms downloaded
Feedback forms completed online
Higher Education Websites
Registering for information sessions
Clicking to learn more about a specific education programs
Destination / Travel Websites
Downloading a travel guide
Participating in a social media campaign such as using a promoted hashtag on Instagram
These are just some examples of the type of actionable data one could use from examining detailed site analytics. By paying attention to these KPIs, your company or firm can take solid steps to improve their brand reputation, customer retention and positive word-of-mouth referrals via social media.
Zephoria Make It Work Moment
One of the biggest challenges we encounter is connecting KPIs to actionable data that can be measured historically, year over year. One of our very large destination marketing clients had to report to their government authorities the effectiveness of their web effort and online promotion. Typically, this would be done by measuring how many visitors the website had during the campaign. While that data might make everyone look good, the more valuable insight was how many people actually traveled to the region because of the website. The solution was multi-faceted. First, we needed to show the number of out-of -town visitors who came to the travel site specifically looking to make travel plans. Second, we tagged all hotels that were part of the program to see how many visitors we sent to each hotel in the region. Third, we also measured how many people had downloaded the travel planner we had created. What was interesting was the travel planner was created specifically for this purpose. We could identify when the person was interested in visiting the area, what they wanted to see, and where those visitors lived. Not only was the site owner able to report to the government official the significant results of the program, but they were also able to identify that one unexpected source of travel leads was from family and friends in the State that were referring the website to their loved ones trying to encourage them to visit.
Let us work with you to help define your KPIs by contacting us at (585)230-9565.