Understanding customers. It’s easier with analytics.
I wonder how many busy business owners with websites find themselves just a little intimidated by “analytics”. When I ask the question “so when did you actually look at your own site’s analytics?” I am often met with a blank stare and “well I dont have the time” or “the web guys do that”. As business owners we process data and our own observations to help us make decisions – so I thought it might be useful (for all those secretly intimidated by the word “analytics”) to describe a day in the life of a marketing superhero…
Shut your eyes and replay in your mind’s eye the last visit to your local food store. Now, imagine the storeowner as a marketing superhero with extraordinary observational powers (I promise this will become clearer in a moment…)
The superhero storeowner would have known where you had visited before you entered his store, and then watched your level of engagement as you viewed the items on the shelves. With a precise stopwatch he would have measured the time you spent at each product on every one of the shelves, tracked the path you took through the store and then (if you didn’t buy anything) noted the spot from which you departed, or, (if you did buy something) kept a full record of the successful outcome.
Imagine if you had put things in your basket and then decided it was too much or too expensive and dropped the basket and just run out of the shop! (hey, it happens) … he would have kept a full record of what you abandoned in your basket as well. He knew if you were a newbie visitor or a regular visitor and this extraordinary (if somewhat scary) character didn’t only track you but simultaneously all the other people in the store. As if this wasn’t enough, he then compared and contrasted your behaviors with all the other visitors and drew colorful graphs of everything he observed…
Analytics is not a perfect science, indeed maybe not a science at all. Within the numbers there can be inconsistencies and missing data and (thankfully) the tracking and reporting does not normally extend to any level of personal detail. However, despite some shortcomings, website analytics can be very valuable in your business decision making and has the capacity to cut out much of the guesswork that business executives resort to when (and I hate to say it) they don’t know how to access their site analytics.
For those who are new to the subject, or perhaps need a reminder as to how analytics can play an important role in their business marketing decisions you might want to check out our introductory analytics video guide page . And if you are that superhero shopkeeper we applaud your observational and analytical skills!