Know Your Strengths - Using Analytics to Measure Performance
Part 3 of Our 3-Part "In the Know" Series
Maya Angelou once said, "if you don't know where you've come from, you don't know where you're going." Yogi Berra put it differently; "If you don't know where you're going, you'll end up someplace else."
Both these quotes represent a basic concept: situational awareness. Situational awareness is the ability to sense environmental inputs, decipher their meaning, and predict an outcome based on how everything interacts.
In terms of Maya Angelou, looking back at the path you've taken can provide awareness of your path's anticipated trajectory; in Yogi Berra's case, having awareness of your path's trajectory can help you reach your end goal.
When it comes to marketing, situational awareness comes from knowing your numbers. Whether they're referenced as analytics (the term we'll use for this article), metrics, insights, or results, they all boil down to one thing: numerical data.
But don't run away in fear or let your eyes glaze over just yet! Analytics can be a valuable tool to measure your business strengths and there's hardly any math involved.
What the Heck Are Analytics?
Analytics are measurement tools you can use to monitor key metrics (a.k.a. data points) to gain insight on the performance of your digital platforms, owned media channels, and advertising campaigns. With the help of analytics, you can measure practically any type of trackable data, including (but not limited to):
Website data, such as number of new or repeat users to your site, top page visits, average time on page, user flow, user demographics, and traffic referral source (eg . social media, organic search, or paid ads).
Social media metrics, such as audience growth, total post reach, post engagement, engagement rate, and audience demographics.
Digital ad campaign results, such as total ad impressions, ad reach, ad engagement, device views, audience demographics, click through rate, and total link clicks.
Email campaign results, such as total delivered, open rate, total undeliverable, link clicks (by email address), bounce rate, engagement rate, and device performance.
So Where Do You "Get" Analytics?
Analytics are generally found as a featured dashboard, program tab or menu item offered within the digital platform you're using, such as Facebook Insights (accessible from your Facebook business page), Mailchimp Reports (accessible from your Mailchimp campaign menu) or Google Ad Reports (accessible from your Google ads account).
Depending on how it was developed, your website metrics can be found through the website building platform or via an analytics tool (such as Google Analytics or Optimizely) that you install on your website using a page tracking code.
Most digital platforms - including automated marketing, email & survey apps - have their own reporting tools you can use to measure metrics and campaign results. You can also utilize specialty monitoring tools that offer additional metrics reporting, such as mainstream media reports, brand sentiment models, brand mentions and hashtag reporting.
Why Should You Use Analytics?
Analytics are a great way to know if your marketing efforts are paying off. By determining which metrics are "Key Performance Indicators" (KPIs) and reviewing them regularly, you can benchmark your company's growth, recognize areas of success, and identify opportunities for improvement.
Basically, analytics show you where your strengths are.
Analytics can show you the direct results of your efforts, and help you determine which digital campaigns perform best, what channels yield the best engagement, where conversions are coming from, and what device formats work best for your audience.
Put simply, using analytics gives you situational awareness of where you've come from, where you are now, and the direction you're heading so you can reach your marketing goals and support your overall business strategy.