Those who work in the marketing world (and probably those who don’t) will contest that this small four letter word that is often preceded by words like ‘big’ or ‘small’ has become so ruthlessly banded about that it is almost a commodity. Within a marketing context this ‘commodity’ can and should be used to continually optimise business success.
But you know the above already, it’s obvious and ‘data’ isn’t a new thing….
‘Data’ is banded about so often that it would seem everyone is an expert in it. Surely all the ‘experts’ out there are maximising data-analytics to drive continued ROI uplift, customer satisfaction, a 360 degree view of their customers, personalised dialogue with the customer to drive engagement and minimise churn; all of which equates to arming their brand with that competitive advantage…..right?!
This post isn’t about what data is and isn’t, there are too many great (and crap) posts on that. Nor am I yet another self confessed data junkie trying to preach that data is the all and everything in digital marketing because all of the other cool kids are saying it; creativity has never been more important and most definitely has its place (Previous blog post Imagination is more important than knowledge). Having a very digital acquisitions focused background where ROI and accountability is everything, this experience has however moulded me to believe that data is the backbone to digital marketing, which should be used to plan, benchmark, measure, understand and optimise our digital marketing initiatives.
The problem in this day and age (as I see it) for many digital marketers isn’t really about the collection of data itself – there are hoards of sufficient analytics tools and tutorials out there with simple implementation processes to collect basic and complex data. The problem is the abundance of data and the ease of turning the tap on to get that data vs (the lack of) a considered data strategy prior to turning that ‘data tap’ on and an on-going measurement plan to benchmark against.
It continually amazes me at how often marketers jump head first into a digital marketing initiative – be that development (e.g – website / app build), optimisation (e.g landing page / sales funnel), campaign (e.g channel performance/attribution and ROI) before having a considered digital measurement strategy that ties back into the fundamental business objectives. And let’s be honest, too often the business objectives are either so generic or just generally unclear.
If every person who works within the digital marketing space – client and agency side – knew, understood, and utilised something as simple and fundamental as the digital marketing and measurement framework explained below at the start of every digital marketing initiative, more brands would be dominating within this space. Dominating defined as real measurable results that meet real business objectives as cost effectively as possible. Despite the pure magnitude of self proclaimed marketing ‘guru’s’, ‘ninja’s’ and general know-it-alls, the sad reality is that something as simple, basic and fundamental as a digital marketing measurement plan is often forgotten, neglected or simply not used.
What this post is about:
This post discusses what I consider to be the absolute fundamental foundation and starting point of EVERY digital marketing initiative and that is a digital marketing and measurement model. A Digital Marketing and Measurement Model is the data-analytics component which will be used as a map to guide the direction of the digital marketing initiative.
The content within this post is very much inspired by a man who absolutely deserves to be called an analytics / data guru, he is Avinash Kaushik and amongst other things he is the digital marketing evangelist at Google. I encourage you to follow his very in-depth yet digestible, insightful and very readable blog – Occam’s Razor.
Let’s start at the start – Digital Analytics is…
‘Digital analytics’ can be defined as:
Creating a Digital Marketing & Measurement Plan:
As per the graphic below, there are five key components in the end-to-end creation and implementation of a digital marketing and measurement plan.
- Define measurement plan
- Document technical infrastructure
- Create implementation plan
- Implement tracking
- Maintain and refine
Define Measurement Plan
- How are you driving traffic to your site?
- What is the split of earned, owned and paid media?
- How do you prioritise your efforts / budget of the above to drive traffic to your site?
- What is the behaviour you are expecting for a user on your website, e.g How long will they be there for? What pages should they visit? How many pages should they visit in their session? What actions and interactions should/could they do whilst there?
- How can you optimise this to drive results and a positive user experience?
Outcomes – Why are you doing this digital initiative?
- Isn’t it counter-productive and time-wasting when you have a meeting without an intended outcome. Often there is no focus and so the meeting drags on and nothing really productive and of value happens. Well, a digital marketing initiative is much the same as this. To maximise success you need a defined outcome that adds value to your business, as in actual bottom-line value? I.e a purchase, data capture through newsletter signup, contact form completion etc
The example website:
The example website being used below is fabricated ecommerce site that sells gardening products, sells display advertising space on the site to relevant advertisers, and also offers a bespoke landscape gardening consultancy service. The consultancy element requires the customer to fill out a short form detailing their criteria, which the offline consultants will then follow up on.
#1 – Define Business Objectives – The ‘What’
#2 – Identify Website Goals – The ‘How’
#3 – Choose KPI’s
Objective > KPI’s > Targets
- Create Awareness: Branded Traffic > 20,000 total visits per month
- Advertising Revenue: Revenue > $20,000 per month
- Lead Generation: Number of Enquires > 50 per month
- Lead Generation: Number of eCRM Signups > 200 per month
- Sell Products: Site conversion rate > 1.75% (Up by 0.5% on existing CR)
- Sell Products: Average order ‘basket’ value > $75 (Up by $10 on the existing value)
#5 – Choose Segments
Segments within analytics are a powerful tool to really aid focus on what may at first seem like an overwhelming amount of data. This final step of the digital marketing measurement plan allows the key decision makers in a business to identify the key segments that should be focused on, analysed and used for data comparison to build further insights.
Segments being things like: types of people (i.e demographically, geographically, new visits, returning visits etc), site behaviour (i.e converted traffic vs non converted), the traffic sources (i.e Organic vs Social), device (i.e Mobile vs Desktop)….the list goes on and on..
Learn more – Google Analytics Academy
I hope you found this useful, as is made obvious throughout this post, much of my inspiration regarding this topic can be attributed to the analytics legend that is Avinash Kaushik, this post is my take on his advice.
The framework can be swopped and changed in terms of layout / design, but it must have all of the five elements within it; Objectives, Goals, KPIs, Targets and Segments
If you want to learn more about Google Analytics or just sharpen your knowledge base I highly recommend Google Analytics Academy. It’s an incredibly useful and comprehensive series of courses with short videos and quizes throughout.
About the author
Si Muddell is a Digital Strategist who has worked extensively both agency and client side. Si is fascinated about marketing, psychology & what motivates people, and loves guitar, surfing and travelling.