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SMART Marketing Analytics

How To Use Marketing Analytics The S.M.A.R.T Way

Marketing analytics can be as simple or as complex as the answer you are looking for. These 5 requirements will ensure that your marketing analytics are not just SMART, but brilliant.

Specific – to often well meaning attempts at using analytics fail because the question is too broad. It is very difficult to answer “Is social media working for us?” What media? When? For what customer? Define “working”? The more laser focussed your question the easier it is too use analytics to answer it. I would much rather answer “Are Facebook followers converting more than Twitter followers since we changed our messaging on Twitter?”. This question defines the media, the time period, the customers to observe, and the critical measurement. I can either run an experiment and/or go back and look at the historical data to compare actual numbers to get a scientifically valid answer.
Measurable – you will chase your analytical tail if your question contains words like “prefer” or “like” with the obvious exception of counting Facebook likes. In general it is tough to read emotions in analytics. Analytics measure actions. For someone to act on a site the emotion has too be pretty strong. With one exception…. leaving the site. Analytics don’t measure why people did what they did. Expertise does that. Experts can read analytics and infer the emotion but don’t ask the numbers to be more than a number.

Actionable –  what point is it to go through the methodology of analytics if the outcome can’t be influenced. For example on often rookie mistake is to assume that social media followers are related to conversions. So we start measuring and after a period of time we observe that we had sales increased as followers increased. So then the agency starts follower gaining tactics and in month 2 finds that infact the overall conversion rate actually decreased. What gives???  One common symptom of analytics that are not actionable is an incorrect assignment of causality. Check your understanding of why you are observing what you are observing and you will often find actionable metrics to be part of the problem.
Replicable – when scientists  study a new drug they are not so interested in a drug that works for 1 person only, or even 100 people. They want a drug that will be effective 999,999 out of 1,000,0000 trials. The challenge with analytics  in marketing is not enough trials. Many will have 3 out of 4 observations of a hypothesis  and draw a conclusion. 4 observations are not a big enough sample to draw conclusions upon. Depending on the size of your target audience you may need hundreds if not thousands of observations to draw conclusions. If you are going to invest money into the result, you better make sure you are investing in a winner not a fluke.

Transparent – you should be sharing your process, methodology and results with your whole team. Design will design better, content will write better, social media will become more effective, if everyone understands and “buys in” to the social media process. One entity that often gets left out is the end customer. Make sure that the person who owns the site, is paying the bills and will pay the price or reap the benefits of your results is actively involved (as they want to be) in the process. If they aren’t interested don’t force them, but they should be able ask questions and review results with relative ease.

SMART Marketing for Conversion Rate Optimization

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