Online metrics: Tell a story about people don’t use a lot of numbers

162539245_80_80Along with popularity of social media a number of social media analytic providers are trying to sell marketers on their programs that are usually accessed via the Web. However these programs can’t quantify human interactions with brands nor can they really tell you what consumers are thinking about your brand and company.  Analytics can only take you so far you really need someone who can look beyond the numbers to provide valuable insights and actionable recommendations to improve the brand experience.

Earlier this summer I received a call from a distressed Director of Marketing at a consumer packaged goods company.  It seems that he just received his quarterly analytics dashboard consisting of over 45 pages.  “What the hell am I supposed to do with this?” he asked me.   I sat down with him and presented a proposal for a marketing dashboard that would have actionable insights and recommendations rather than a data dump.  “Why the hell can’t I get this from anyone ?” he asked.  Probably because most online metric providers do not provide insights only data.

Marketing managers today are time pressed and most don’t have the luxury to really think about the data they review, sometimes on a daily basis.  I recommend a marketing dashboard for senior managers with the following rules:

 The dashboard should never consist of more than 1-2 pages.

The dashboard should always contain actionable data and recommendations not just plain data.

 Dashboards should also indicate why there are major shifts in data from month to month. (i.e. increased search spending, launched new social media program).

 The online marketing dashboard should also contain a summary of current projects that can be directly tied to the brand objectives. (i.e. Development of new user sign on via Facebook complete and being tested. Expected to launch December 1st)

Where applicable the dashboard should also show your budget used and remaining.

Are you getting the picture here ?  Any marketing or business person should be able to read your marketing dashboard and get a summary of what is happening and, more importantly, why it’s happening.   You might be surprised is someone from accounting picks up on the fact that your Facebook page is increasing traffic to your website.

Key Takeaways:

1ne:  Your online marketing analytics reports should be short and concise and should easily convey a story as to what is happening, why it’s happening and provide actionable recommendations.

2wo: If you have to have a meeting or develop a Power Point deck to get “buy in” on your actionable recommendations you’re loosing valuable time and need to amend the process so that you can implement with speed and quality and do some A/B testing.

3hree: No online social media analytics solution can provide you with qualitative insights at a time when consumers do not want to be quantified and when they are saying “I am not a market segment”.

4our: The person who prepares the online marketing dashboard for management should be someone who has a great understanding of marketing, branding and how people use the Internet so that he/she can bridge the two to meet brand objectives.

5ive: Your social media analytics are only a small part of your online analytics and should be viewed that way. Your emphasis on analytics should be to provide insights into customer/consumer behavior around your brand & product category but, more importantly, it need to focus on the key drivers of conversion as it relates to business objectives.  For example I don’t care about the number of people who Like our Facebook page what I do care about is how many of them are going to continue to become customers.

 

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2 thoughts on “Online metrics: Tell a story about people don’t use a lot of numbers

  1. This is an excellent post. People often use a term “dashboard” to describe automated, online report with interactive capabilities. In this context, a dashboard cannot provide actionable recommendation. However a good one can provide strong hints to where opportunity for action exist. Knowledgeable human interpretation is required to translate data into action.

    I do disagree with your point “3hree: No online social media analytics solution can provide you with qualitative insights at a time when consumers do not want to be quantified and when they are saying “I am not a market segment”.” Contextual analytics of social content does exist. That is exactly what we are working on in Amplified Analytics..

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