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Data driven: what does it actually mean?

First things first

Who is your audience? How do they engage with you?
Is it effective? Does it meet your business objectives?
Do you get a decent ROI on your marketing efforts?

The basic premise of Data-Driven marketing is knowing what works and what doesn’t. The information gathered can inform you of where to take your business and structure a short-term (quick wins), mid-term and long-term plan of action that can be measured, adapted and progressed.

As a creative agency, we get very excited by numbers! To have a clear understanding of your current market share, a baseline, to set both your business and our marketing targets with trackable goals on the best way to improve.

Being a data-driven business? What does that actually mean…

Understanding acquisition types

I.e. How does your current audience engage with you? Where is your traffic coming from? What are your marketing ‘touchpoints’?

Direct: Users who have come to your website by typing in the URL
Organic Search: Users who have come to your site through search engines including Google and Bing
Paid Search: Users who have come to your website through Google Ads appearing through their search
Display: Users who have come to your site through Google Ads on Google's Display network (online banner advertising)
Referral: Users who have come to your website from another website that is linking to yours
Social: Users who have come to your site through one of your social channels
Email: Users who have come to your website from a link in an email
(Other): Users who have arrived on the website via a channel Google doesn’t recognise. This is often due to Urchin Tracking Module (UTMs), where track the effectiveness of online marketing campaigns.

Setting up goals

With your business objectives in mind and a clearer understanding of how your audience engages with you. The next step is to determine what can be realistically measured and tracked to monitor if your marketing investment is working.

E-Commerce

The majority of website builders (including Shopify, Squarespace and WordPress) allow you to send rich data into Google analytics to inform you how your online shop is performing.

By submitting this to Google Analytics, you get a better understanding of how users are engaging with your products depending on how they arrived at your website (different acquisition types - see above).

Trackable forms

For tracking enquiries, the set up will depend on how the form is structured. If you are sending users to a specific ‘thank you’ page, then you can use this destination as the goal. For forms which display a message rather than sending users to a page, you will need to track the button to the specific action. For this, we tend to use Google Tag Manager, which allows us to set up events without the need for a developer. If you need help with this speak to your developer or contact us for more information.

Other aspects for consideration is tracking ‘events*’ such as PDF downloads; click to call and newsletter sign ups. Often users will come to your site just to view a PDF or catalogue without leaving their information, meaning you could be missing out on potential leads. If this is the case, you could consider putting PDFs behind a form to get these details.

However, it's worth tracking how many users are interested in the content before making structural changes to your site.

*events is the term for action we wish to be tracked.

Everything has its place

Once you know about acquisition types and goals, it is important that the data is going into the correct categories. Otherwise, you will be misinformed on what is occurring. The primary example we see is email traffic.

Email traffic

This type of traffic often gets miscategorised as direct traffic as Google sees this as a user going straight to the website. Many emails have a UTM setting which needs to be enabled for Google to recognise and categorise this as email traffic in analytics.

UTMs are also great for defining specific campaigns and A/B testing. For example, if you have two adverts running on Facebook with separate massages, you can add a UTM to distinguish the two. The separate campaign performance can then be seen in your analytics and give you an idea of which message performed better.

Connections

There are two connections to consider when setting up analytics:

  • Google Ads
  • Search Console

These provide a thorough understanding on how your audience is interacting with your site, as well as sending goals you have created in Analytics to Google Ads to allow for the most effective measurement.

Google Search Console is about rich data. Allowing you to see the keywords and terms your site is ranking highly on Google search as well as the average position and click-through rate. The data can then instruct you on where to improve your website in terms of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).

If Google Ads is not connected, traffic that should be attributed to Paid Search or Display will often be categorised as Organic Search or Referral.

Being a data-driven business? What does that actually mean…

It allows for businesses and organisations - no matter what size - to be smarter with their strategy, objectives and marketing budget. It shows the best performing channels at their peak times and guides you where you should be increasing your marketing efforts.

Acting and review

The whole purpose of setting up analytics is to make sure you are allocating funds and time appropriately based on how users are interacting with the site and goals to meet your business objectives.

It's exciting to be reviewing your data live(!), to regularly see how your audience is engaging with your service, product, campaigns and to know how each channel is performing. To provide date comparisons; annually, monthly, weekly, even daily! These reports will help determine possible seasonal trends, trajectory growth and planning for the immediate future.

For example, in the Housing Market there are often two major peaks in activity, one between August and September (when consumers are returning from their holidays) and one just after Christmas to the beginning of January (when users are looking to make a change in the new year). This can then show you the best time to be running big campaigns and allocate budgets to focus more one month, less in another month.

Being a data-driven business? What does that actually mean…

It allows for businesses and organisations - no matter what size - to be smarter with their strategy, objectives and marketing budget. It shows the best performing channels at their peak times and guides you where you should be increasing your marketing efforts.

If you have any questions regarding your analytics or would like us to do a full digital review of your footprint, contact us.

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Do you love all things creative?

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