When it comes to getting feedback on your marketing activities, some technology gives you more than others. Technology alone is not enough, though; your software can generate any number of impressive-looking reports, but without analysis, those orderly rows of figures and colorful charts don’t mean much.
A report tells you what’s happened, but to understand why it happened, you need more sophisticated analytics from both your software and the trained marketing automation consultants who interpret the data. With analytics, you can spot trends, chart a course of action, pinpoint underperformance areas, and repeat your successes. Without effective analytics, you’re navigating without a compass.
An Analytical Mindset
When you look at a report, do you immediately begin to think of possible causes for the variances you see? Do spikes and dips in a graph make you ponder the events those changes map out? Do you believe everything in your reports has a reason, if only you and your marketing team dig enough to uncover it? Do outliers pique your interest? If so, then you’re already thinking analytically. An analytical approach is fueled by a deep and abiding curiosity. Train yourself and your team to think about reports not as a final product, but as a reflection of trends and influences you’re trying to discover.
Database services can generate reports based on any number of parameters you set. A well-designed dashboard tells you large volumes of information at a glance. In-depth reports go into even more detail. Deciding what’s most important in your reports is essential to incorporating them into your analytical process. Ask yourself these questions to see if your reports are doing the work you need them to do:
- Which of our KPIs have the greatest predictive value?
- Is our data presented in a format that’s easy to understand?
- How simple is it to compare reports from different areas of our marketing database?
- Is our marketing database centralized so analysis can draw from numerous sources?
- Do some of our reports contain extraneous data that doesn’t correlate with meaningful performance indicators?
It’s also important to understand what you want to accomplish with your analytics. You might want to monitor overall site traffic over time, for example, to establish benchmarks that help you track later growth. Combining this long-term view with snapshots of how personalized landing pages perform will then give you a clear idea of what works and what needs to be changed in your customization or market segmentation.
Working with a Marketing Database Manager
Getting top performance from your analytics is easier when you bring on outside experience. A marketing database consultant can assess your current system’s status and recommend changes that result in better data and more in-depth analysis over time. Your database manager can also restructure reports to suit your needs and suggest ways to glean more insight from your data.
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