Guest Post by Daniel Elroy
No two stats are created equal.
Alas, it is a cruel truth that certain statisticians are just going to have to accept. These days, online marketers are able to collect an overwhelming amount of data from consumers. While it’s easy to get excited by the sheer volume of information available (“Wow, our product is extremely popular with divorced men who chew spearmint gum and are over six feet tall!”), the key is to zero in on the data that’s most relevant to you and optimize your campaign based on that analysis.
KNOW YOUR GOALS
We’ve all heard the overused maxim “Know thyself,” but there’s a valid reason it’s managed to survive all these centuries: it’s good advice. If your goal is brand awareness, then an email marketing campaign might be deemed successful based on open and click-through rates. On the other hand, if you’re striving for consumers to spend a fairly substantial amount of time on your website, then an enormous visitor rate simply isn’t going to cut it. An online marketing campaign can set itself up for great results by establishing from the outset certain criteria for which success will be judged, thereby allowing the analysis of future data collection to be as useful and streamlined as possible.
So you’ve established your goals, and everything seems to be going swimmingly . . . except for the fact that you’ve totally misjudged the type of consumer you thought you’d attract. You thought your campaign was going to appeal to pimply male teenagers who wear braces, but it turns out that debonair older women who wear braces are the ones turning up in droves. Well, is this a bad thing? You can use the data you’re collecting to help nurture your newfound demographic and perhaps completely reassess your target audience, or you can stay the course and use the stats to determine why young men aren’t buying what you’re selling. A good way to collect useful data is the time-honored questionnaire, which you can use to pinpoint your audience’s precise likes and dislikes. Tactics & Techniques Video walkthrough demonstrating some tools & tactics which can be used to research your market online
[pro-player width=’600′ height=’425′ type=’video’ image=’http://www.webanalyticsworld.net/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/market-research.jpg’]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r4dnWm4-tS8[/pro-player]
(video courtesy of Web Analytics World)
KEEP YOUR HEAD
It’s easy to overdose on the abundance of information coming in during the course of a campaign. When a particularly striking anomaly occurs, it’s prudent to keep a level-headed approach to the data. While a sharp spike or drop can’t help but get your attention, it’s necessary to consider the root causes. Any number of things can cause this sort of “rogue data.” For example, a controversial comment on your website posted by a consumer or even a certain holiday approaching can cause certain consumers to seemingly disappear (or reappear) overnight.
The ability to collect data for the purposes of internet marketing will surely only increase in the coming years. By establishing goals, embracing flexibility, and maintaining composure, companies with successful campaigns can avoid getting drowned in the tidal wave of available information, and instead use the stats they’ve gleaned to reach their full potential.