An ungenral theory on web analytics
Brian Nuckols Marketer, United States of America
We’ll start this series with the big questions.
What is life? Why are we here? How can I use web analytics to translate my business objectives into measurable marketing goals and objectives?
These are the issues we’re grappling with today.
But have no fear.
A few thousand words on data, web analytics, and accountability marketing will position us to answer at least one of those big questions before we finish.
At the very least we’ll tackle why honing and defining your high-level business objectives and strategy is an essential first step to building a web analytics plan. Then, we’ll dive into the more concrete and physical world of goals.
Finally, I’ll introduce (or hopefully) reintroduce you to the concept of key performance indicators a critical and detailed way of marrying your strategy and goals with consumer activity in the real world.
Why does your website exist? (seriously ask yourself this)
On the surface it might seem easy. It’s just a digital representation and symbol of your business, right? (*spoiler no*)
I’d argue that it has nothing to do with your business. Probably a controversial opinion since you created it, paid for it, and brought it into existence.
Even though you did do all that, it was with the expectation that you would get paid, right? Someone, hopefully many, many somepeoples out there in the marketplace want what you offer. This idea is fundamental to my strategy.
“The roar of the traffic, the passage of undifferentiated
faces, this way and that way, drugs me into dreams; rubs the
features from faces. The growl of traffic might be any uproar”
– Virginia Woolf
For example, one of my favorite clients is a kick ass, boutique powerboat charter sailing out St. Thomas, United States Virgin Islands. They exist because, indeed, people like to travel to the Caribbean and experience hidden, exotic places that you need a boat to reach. However, they aren’t the only charter boat in the Virgin Islands.
Also, how do I get to the Virgin Islands? Is it safe? Can I afford it? Will I get seasick on a powerboat? In the case of this business our objectives are geared to specific problems we know consumers are having and addressing them head on.
Of course, this varies from business to business. Take our own marketing strategy here at Rooted. We exist because attention is the new currency. To stand out you need creative, engaging, studio level marketing. BUT an in-house writer, producer, designer, etc are extremely expensive. Plus, will it even work?
It’s a huge risk to get creative when you don’t have a foundational strategy behind it. So, we bring together storytelling, creativity, strategic thinking, and data driven, accountable marketing to make sure you not only stand out, but you know with certainty that your marketing creates more sales.
Now what? I know, let’s move out of philosophy (business theory) and into practice. Business objectives are strategic let’s get a bit more tactical on the subject of goals.
The ultimate “goal” when it comes to most businesses is to increase sales.
I use a suite of web analytic tools to track metrics like monthly recurring revenue, customer lifetime value, and customer retention rate as proxies for increase sales.
Also, since referrals are a large part of our marketing strategy we also track positive reviews and metrics related to our clients sales.
So, two big goals for us are to increase sales and have happy, delighted customers that refer us more business. Also, we’re very interested in creating a more sustainable digital marketing industry with less spam, insane guarantees and promises, and the general unethical behavior that occurs too often. We use these goals to develop detailed metrics called key performance indicators.
This leads us into a discussion about KPI’s. It’s nothing more than a measure of how our marketing is performing against our objectives. I admit I was holding out on you in the paragraph above.
Sorry! While we measure all of those metrics I mentioned our “one true” metric that we essentially live by is *marketing roi* this is a rate metric that has the customer acquisition costs (all costs associated with acquiring one customer) in the denominator (warning math ahead) and total revenue from the customer in the numerator.
Self limiting beliefs are people to! – Annynomous
I like this because it quite concisely packs a lot of information about the marketing channels the business is engaging in while taking cost into consideration. If you just track sales you can lose out on profit by not noticing a channel with a growing acquisition cost (cough cough PPC)
Tracking your marketing effort is an essential modern marketing tactic. Data driven decision making, big data are some of the buzzwords of the decade.
This theory of analytics goes much deeper. We deploy the technology to collect metrics (data) regarding your on and offline marketing efforts.
We must be careful and meticulous in how we configure this technology as to get the most full and complete picture possible. However, the true magic and insight comes from the whole package how your high level business strategy turns is translated into actionable goals morphed into the tactics and marketing techniques that increase detailed performance indicators that track those goals.
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