Most people believe that only four people in the entire history of humanity have had any sort of liking towards numbers, and one of them was Pythagoras. As marketers, we don’t like numbers unless they say things like 400 shares or 800 comments. Those are numbers we can deal with.
But each time a client asks us to give them a report on the CTR over the last month, the bounce rate on a particular landing page, we all start panicking. Spreadsheets in general, are something that Satan himself put on earth. All that said and done, there is nothing more important today to marketers than data. It should be the backbone of your marketing plan, the backbone of your content calendar and what you base your business decisions on.
If you don’t have hard data to back up your plan or justify what you’re doing, you’re shooting in the dark. We learnt that the hard way. The Social Marketer’s Quiz has an entire round dedicated to Analytics, and it’s no surprise that it’s proving to be the hardest one to cross. Our Analytics Expert, is Alex Peiniger, one of the most efficient people on the planet, and CEO of Quintly.
We caught up with him to figure out how important analytics truly is today, and what marketers are missing out on if they’re not paying enough attention to it.
For marketers who don’t pay too much attention to analytics, what are they missing out on?
Analytics is basically the only way how you can measure the success of what you are doing. In the current environment it is key to understand which channels work well for you and which don’t. By measuring the return on invest you can distribute your budget in the right way and make sure that you get the most out of your marketing strategy. When you ignore the analytics part, you basically throw money away, which could be better invested somewhere else.
Do all marketers need to be come data scientists? How much is too much obsession with data?
Of course you can always go over the top, also with your analytics approach. In the end you should only measure and look at the numbers that drive action, meaning that the data tells you what you should do next. But in general I think that marketers should put more focus on the data science side and learn languages like SQL or understand how Map-Reduce works, to really leverage the big amount of data they have access to.
Traditional marketers tend to advocate a gut feeling to a campaign. How much stress should be given to a gut feeling when analytics is also in the picture?
The gut feeling is of course really important, because there is much more to a campaign than just the numbers, for example positioning of the brand and other things. But from the huge number of campaigns I have seen there is definitely a lot of room to put more focus on the analytics side and try to find out which campaigns actually work and which don’t. In the end it’s all about the goal that you are aiming for. If your goal is to drive conversions, definitely go for a really deep analytics implementation.
Some marketers dive into data every day, some every week, some every month — is there an adequate amount of time or an adequate amount of visits after which one should look at data insights?
I know you can spend hours and hours diving deep into the data. The goal should be to use technology that helps you optimize these processes and filter out the data points that are most important and don’t spend time on numbers that don’t help you. This is also our mission with quintly. We want to save our clients’ valuable time, we handle all the data collection, aggregation and analyses for them. Regarding a frequency I think it makes sense to look at the data every day or at least every few days to see what happened. This doesn’t need to take long, a few minutes should be sufficient and if you see something interesting you can dive deeper.
Some amazingly insightful answers from Alex, hopefully this will make you pay attention to the analytical side of what you’re doing with your marketing!
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