Analytics: The Most Important Technology Marketers Aren’t Using

“Stop what you’re doing cause I’m about to ruin the image and the style that you’re used to…” – Shock G as Humpty Hump
 
I keep coming across this online ad for a digital asset management (DAM) company reminding me that DAMs are one of the four core essential pieces of the marketing technology stack. The other three critical components (according to this company)? Marketing automation, content management systems (CMS) and customer relationship management (CRM).
 
I agree with those last three. I’d even concede that DAMs are very important in lots of corporate environments. Where I deviate completely from this core four, however, is in the absence of analytics.

Stop Skipping Analytics

I began this post with a quote from the illustrious orator Humpty Hump (from the classic 1989 rap song, The Humpty Dance) because I want to implore you, my virtual friend, to stop… Stop pretending analytics is optional.
 
What distinguishes digital marketing from traditional marketing channels? It’s not just that digital media are interactive. It’s measurability. Everything on digital can be measured and attributed to specific users (i.e., customers). Every action on digital generates data you can use to make better decisions about your budget. Every click, view, swipe, open, close, hover and key is measurable. But it’s of little use if marketers aren’t mining the gold available to them.
 
I repeatedly come across a very surprising (for 2018, at least) pattern. Marketers create new digital assets (e.g. sites, apps, etc.) without 1) reviewing user behaviors and trends from their existing analytics software or 2) establishing measurable analytics goals and objectives for the new site. This has to stop.
 
If data is the key differentiator between traditional marketing channels and digital ones then ignoring the analytics repository at your disposal means you might as well be doing broadcast radio ads. You might as well be marketing in 1989 when Humpty Hump shared his genius.

Why You Should Mine Gold

What a subheading. I can’t believe I have to convince people to mine gold. Your analytics data is gold. It is the single most important tool in your toolbox for creating experiences that align with your customers’ needs. It is so because in your analytics data your customers have made you privy to their interests and behaviors as they relate to your brand.
[su_pullquote align=”right” class=”larger-pullquote”]Your analytics data is gold. It is the single most important tool in your toolbox for creating experiences that align with your customers’ needs.[/su_pullquote]
Reviewing this data on a regular basis should be a part of your process. Even if it’s not, however, you should be reviewing it before embarking on a new project. The nuggets of gold within should guide your new creation. You can learn:
  • What types of devices do our users use (i.e. desktop vs mobile, Apple vs Android, etc.)
  • What historical trends can be identified in terms of visitor growth/decline, mobile vs desktop usage, individual page visits, etc.
  • What regions of the state, country or world do people visit from?
  • How do users get to our site (i.e. direct, search, links from other places, emails, etc.)
  • What do people do when they get there? What paths do they take?
  • What call to actions are most effective?
These are foundational questions that should inform whatever project you plan to undertake next. Not having the answers to them is, honestly, irresponsible.
 
Making measurement part of your process is a fundamental part of modern marketing. Once you begin, you won’t be able to live without it. It’s transformational. But, you have to get started and right now is a great time to do just that. Welcome to 2018!