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Analysis Paralysis?


Analysis Paralysis?


While some of us are still getting our heads around using basic web analytics services to count website hits and email click-throughs, the leaders in our field in Australia and around the world are using deep dive analytics to significantly up their marketing advantage. There is no longer a point of discussion about ‘analysis paralysis’ or deciding how much effort to put into it – if you are not deep diving into your online analytics numbers, you need to be (build a bridge – get over it – just do it!).

For most marketers today, site-level analysis just does not provide enough information to build and reshape dynamic marketing campaigns. Our forward thinking peers are integrating data and analysis across multiple sources and every single marketing campaign. From banner ad response rates and offline customer data, to mobile web activity and social media networks, the smart ones are gaining ground by taking a much richer, more insightful view of each marketing channel and the data each one presents.

While site-level analysis is better than no analysis at all, I’d like to point out that it can quickly paralyse your marketing efforts after a very short time. The opposite of ‘analysis paralysis’ is ‘marketing by guesswork’.

When we’re starting out with web analytics, we’re very focused on site-level analysis. We typically implement a basic solution that counts our website visits, tells us which hits were repeat visitors versus new visitors, and how people came to arrive at our site in an isolated event. We then use this data to better understand who it is that’s creating site traffic and whether they’re new or returning visitors. We might also make some assumptions about how our marketing campaigns played a role in attracting some of those new visitors by comparing dates for a campaign with website hits and traffic. But that’s about it.

From here on in you’ll need much more detailed data to safely make a connection between your marketing efforts and site activity, online conversions and lead generation. And let’s face it; drawing a solid correlation between marketing campaigns and conversions is what our marketing lives are all about.

To further illustrate my point, I’d like to highlight that pure site-level analysis doesn’t provide you with the marketing campaign detail. You’ll need to understand things like:

  • Which messages resonated with customer segment A in our latest email campaign?
  • Did we get the timing right for sending out that new cart abandonment email reminder?
  • How did the banner ads work with the social media campaign tactics to generate those new leads?
  • Are we wasting our time with those enews adverts? They don’t generate sales on our site but those same people are then coming back to our site at a later date and making enquiries and purchases, so maybe it is providing value?

I could go on and on with many more questions to demonstrate just how useful in-depth and integrated data is to your role as a marketer but I think that you get the message. Site-level analysis is a great place to start but keep in mind that your peers are taking the next step (and adopting a long-term view) with their customer intelligence strategies – isn’t it time you did too?

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


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