Metrics matter. That’s a fact. And thank goodness – with the billions that have been spent already on big data, not to mention the trillions and trillions that will follow, they had better matter. Otherwise, what’s it all for?
There are some marketers out there who still remain a little skeptical about the impact that can be made by spending time on measuring the metrics – what’s that old saying of Benjamin Disraeli…? “There are lies, damned lies, and statistics.”
Well, while it’s certainly true that certain statistics can obscure the facts of reality or mislead people (for instance, did you know that statistically teetotalers die younger than drinkers? It’s true – but what that statistic doesn’t tell you is that most teetotalers are ex-alcoholics), when it comes to online marketing, if paying attention to the right statistics, then you can most certainly make a difference.
Which Ones To Watch
You may have caught my post last month ‘Knowing Your Analytics: Vanity Metrics Vs. Actionable Metrics’. There are essentially 2 types of metrics – vanity and actionable. Your vanity metrics are things like your Twitter following and website hits. Although these are of course important to the digital marketer – otherwise we’d all be out of a job, right? – they are nonetheless meaningless unless they start turning into actual conversions.
Actionable metrics, on the other hand, are things like the data you extract following a round of A/B testing after you have added a new feature to your website, or are testing out a couple of options on your email campaign. These will give you clear insights into your campaigns, which will help you no end in devising an ongoing strategy from there.
Are Vanity Metrics Really Worthless?
Well, that’s the big question really, and what I want to try and focus on in more detail here in this blog post.
Vanity metrics make up a lot of big data. Analysis from McKinsey reveals that corporations that use their big data analytics effectively show a 5-6% higher profitability rate than those that don’t, and their marketing ROI is improved by 15-20%.
While it’s certainly true that the sorts of companies that the analysis from McKinsey is reporting on are likely big, multi-billion dollar corporations, that isn’t to say that slightly smaller enterprises and SMEs alike cannot make some headway into their marketing strategies by analysing a larger set of metrics – that is big data.
Big Data For The Small Business
You will no doubt already be gathering data using a number of online tools. Twitter, for example, has now rolled out its analytics platform to be accessible to all users for free. Your content management system (CMS) should also be telling you how many hits you’re getting to your website, where you visitors are coming from, how long they stay, and how many pages they visit.
Your email, too, should be informing you of just how many people are opening up your newsletters, how many people are clicking through to your website, and how many conversions your campaign is creating. All of this is the vanity stuff – but, if you use it wisely, then there’s no reason that you cannot start turning it into actionable strategies.
What you need is the right tools for the job. So below are 2 of the very best that are out there for you to start using right now, so you can begin to make some meaningful strategies from all the data that you are continuously collecting.
Canopy Labs is a very smart tool that can help you do exactly what you’re trying to by collecting all of this data – predict the future.
Canopy labs will analyse customer behaviour patterns along with sales trends over time, which it then uses to generate predictive behavioural models that can be used to take action on your marketing campaigns going forward. For companies with up to 5,000 customers, then it’s completely free to use, otherwise it’s $250 a month.
A great feature of the product is the 360-degree Customer View, which is designed to provide you with some very comprehensive and useful data about each and every one of your individual customers. Providing vital information about their lifetime value (such as their loyalty, purchase histories, engagement levels etc.), you are provided with analytics that will tell you exactly how valuable each of your customers are to you. You can then also use this data to make personalized offers, hone your marketing campaigns etc. Priceless.
Tranzlogic is the second tool that we would highly recommend. This is something that will provide you with decisively actionable metrics, rather than vanity metrics of any sort. What it does is provide SMEs with customer credit card data – something that has traditionally been the reserved information of large corporations.
If you want to know more about the spending habits of your customers, then signing up with Tranzlogic is imperative. By linking payment service providers (PSPs) with merchants, proprietary data is turned into relevant, actionable data that can be used to maximize the effectiveness of your marketing strategies.
The information garnered can be used to accurately measure sales performances for comparison, improve business models and loyalty programmes, and evaluate the value of individual customers, as well as demographic segments.
This is true, actionable data, and you can start using it right now to help you make your best business decisions to date.
How have you managed to turn your analytics into actionable strategies? Are there any further tools that you would recommend? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.