Getting stuck into data analysis for your website isnt everyones cup of tea but its plain as day now that using data to make marketing decisions is the only path to success.

So, unless youre willing to:

  • 
convince yourself that you have a love for data that will stand the test of time, or
  • have someone else in your team equally capable and patient thats more willing to work with the figures and come up with insightful answers to all your marketing questions

…then youre going to get left behind.

A wise man once described the online world, Youre in the wrong place if you dont like data. Its a very data-intensive business. Ive just quoted Kent Anderson, president of Macys.com, a company thats turned its online presence into the ultimate source of all-things Macys for customers worldwide.

I raise this example because I believe Macys has achieved the multi-channel marketing ideal that many of us actively strive for. Whether youre a customer looking to make a payment on a store credit card or searching for a Macys store location, the website caters for everyone.

On top of this, Macys has been so successful at integrating online and offline marketing data that they can now actively influence sales in-store using clever online marketing tactics. Not bad huh?

The only way Macys (or anyone, for that matter) can do this though is by collecting the right data, which can then be used to pull together amazingly insightful analysis about customers and prospects. I believe however, that perhaps locally were a little data shy and feel overwhelmed at the thought of capturing more than the data basics such as website hits and click-throughs. The thought of gathering any more than this begs the question: how do I deal with this data quickly and effectively so that it can have a positive impact on my marketing teams efforts?

Well, the answers really quite simple. Technology makes this possible. Technology makes data collection and analysis simple, fast and actionable. And Ill refer to our friend Kent Anderson at Macys once more, The technologies coming out are very powerful and can be used to personalise the offer and continue down this path of developing a relationship and communicating with the customer, rather than talking at them.

To surmise, gathering the right data is critical to any business with a website. And using this data neednt be a daunting and frightful experience these days – the proof lies with the Macys of this world whove worked out which tools and information they need to make their lives easier.

This is my personal blog.  The views expressed here are my own and do not represent those of my employer, Coremetrics.