I have a quick question for you. When I say the phrase “using marketing data” do you get a little scared?
Do you kind of want to close the tab and not think about it?
Hey, I get it!
I may be a coder but my natural skillset is heavily creative, not logic. I joke to my accountant mom all the time that I don’t understand why she actually likes her job.
But something she’s said to me a few times over the years holds true for marketing data, too.
“Numbers tell a story.”
Marketing Data Tells Your Brand’s Story
I’ve got a hard truth for you. If you want to know whether or not your marketing is working for you – to actually grow your business – the only way to really know is by examining your data.
The huge advantage to digital marketing is that we can get an incredible amount of data for everything we do.
The overwhelming part of digital marketing is that we can get an incredible amount of data for everything we do.
Where Does Marketing Data Come From?
You see, when a digital marketing platform meets a customer they create a bit of information about that interaction.
Creepy metaphor aside, one of the most common questions I get from clients is wanting to know where we’re actually pulling data from.
Let’s break it down a bit.
When we talk about your website data, the most common tool is Google Analytics. A completely free tool, Google Analytics is incredibly powerful. It can give us all sorts of insights into not only how many people visit your site, but what they do when they get there, whether they’ve made a purchase, or even if they didn’t find anything valuable.
Most social media sites, i.e. Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok have their own built-in analytics. You can go to a spot in your account and see how your marketing is doing on each platform. If you use a tool to schedule your social media like Later or Agorapulse, they’ll pull that nifty data into the tool for you and then you can better cross-compare.
Your email service provider is going to have the information for you here. Whether you use ConvertKit, Mailchimp, or Keap, they’ll be able to show you open rates, click rates, and delivery rates.
Privacy Policies and iOS
One thing to keep in mind is that there have been certain laws passed in different countries that limit our ability to see all the data we might want. The EU and Australia, for instance, have far stricter regulations that control what data we can collect and how we use it.
Apple has also made some updates to their own email apps that can affect getting the full picture on our email marketing.
But just because we may not get 100% of our data doesn’t mean that the data we’re getting isn’t still incredibly valuable to our business.
The Important Marketing Data
Now that we know where we can get the marketing data we want to use, what do we actually need to pay attention to?
There’s so much out there that we can tap into, but that doesn’t mean that we need to know all of it, all of the time.
Before you start going crazy diving into analytics, you need to make a few decisions.
Know Your Goals
First step, the data you want to collect and pay attention to needs to align with your goals.
Not really putting your emphasis on LinkedIn right now? You probably don’t need to worry about tracking that.
Not sending a ton of emails to your list? You might be able to take a break from that.
Are you actively trying to get more people to your blog and listen to your podcast? Then you may need to track not only those platforms but the places you’re promoting that content.
Your goals and what you’re trying to achieve in your business right now are what drive what you need to get.
Almost any platform you use will have historical data that you can access. Just because you don’t need LinkedIn analytics right now doesn’t mean you can’t get access to it later when you need it.
Drill Down the Platforms You Actively Use
Which brings us to our next point.
What platforms do you actually need to be tracking analytics for?
I’d always say you should pay attention to your website, since that’s your marketing’s foundational piece. But you just need to pay attention to your most important marketing outlets, i.e. Instagram, email, and your podcast listenership.
Write out your top 5 platforms and make a plan to start just collecting that information you need. Even if you don’t totally understand what every metric means doesn’t mean that watching it and seeing if it grows (and has a positive impact on your business) can’t help you.
Think Outside the Data Box
Analytics important to your business might not be just the standard ones you’re thinking of.
Some things we track in my own business include appointments set, total revenue for the month, overall profit.
If you use a phone line and want phone calls, you may want to track the phone calls you’re getting each day.
Not all data is a straight line. It’s just what’s important to you.
Getting Started with Using Marketing Data
If you do nothing else today, I want you to open up a Google Sheets or Excel spreadsheet and create 5 tabs. One for each of the most important platforms for your business.
Then, start tracking the most basic numbers every month. Number of followers. Number of website visitors. Engagement rates. Shares.
Even if you don’t really know what those mean, taking some time each month to devote to understanding your numbers can actually go a long way.
At the end of the day, knowing your numbers, even on a most basic level, will go a long way to helping you to make your marketing so much more effective and easier.
You’ll be able to put the effort into those things that work and maybe change up those things that aren’t working for you.
In fact, knowing your numbers is the most effective way to streamline your entire marketing workflow and save you tons of time in your business while still helping it grow.
It just takes a little time and effort.
And maybe a helpful person that can help you make sense of it all.