Data is a language that many businesses and marketers struggle to understand. That is a massive missed opportunity. When done well by digital marketing experts, data analysis can drive business growth exponentially. While they know what to look for, many others don’t. Here are some of the most common mistakes people make when analysing data:
- Reading data within a restricted time frame. By placing the magnifying glass on what is happening over the course of a few days you miss out on trends happening over the course of a week or a month. This distorts the true picture of what is going on within your business. Don’t monitor daily or weekly sales or lead activity – try and take in as wide a view as you can over a longer period of time. This will give you a more accurate representation.
- Not accounting for engagement over multiple channels. Marketers can pay undue attention to just one channel, be it paid search, organic search or Facebook advertising, and become obsessed over getting that channel to produce results. This ignores the fact that no web user utilizes just a single channel. Analytics and ad platforms that default to last-click attribution just cloud this issue. Marketers may see the final source and campaign that drove a lead, without taking into account that a user might have performed a non-branded search, clicked a Facebook ad, and then conducted a brand search before eventually converting.
- Paying attention to the wrong KPIs. Any digital marketer has an obligation to concentrate on the primary metrics that are most likely to influence the bottom line, but secondary metrics can distract from a campaign’s objectives. It’s imperative that the focus is placed on the most important metrics like marketing qualified leads and sales over surface metrics that include things like clickthrough rate, bounce rate, and cost-per-click.
- Numbers without context. Numbers only tell half a story. They need to be put into context for them to truly make sense and inform any future marketing decisions. As an example, instead of observing that conversions have increased by 5% recently, investigate why. It might be down to a promotional campaign you’ve been running in recent weeks. Look at what promotional work you did on that campaign for accompanying commentary on what creative and brand targeting you should test for the next sale.
This is just a handful of ways that data is misread, misunderstood and, ultimately, misused. Making marketing decisions based on faulty data assessments is common, but is something that can be avoided. By looking at enough data, factoring in events outside the realm of what you track in your analytics and ad platforms, and providing context for your numbers, you can go a long way to making data work for you. By partnering with experts, you’ll be able to use data as a powerful marketing tool.