The most important things the Marketing Data Experts told us at eMetrics Summit Toronto

Last week, I had the opportunity to attend the eMetrics Summit in Toronto. Maureen Thorne Twitter
Metrics and data analysis are critical for making good marketing decisions.  Without understanding what is happening as a result of your marketing strategy and tactics, you will never know:

  • If your website is achieving your business goals and which tactics product the best ROI.

For those who were unable to attend, there were three important points made by speakers at the eMetrics Summit that we thought were worthy of highlighting. Think about how these things impact what you are doing right now in your digital marketing strategy. I would also encourage you to check out the live tweets from the eMetrics Summit at my Twitter account (@moetho).

1. Good management is about asking the right questions not having the right answers

In the first session, Attributing Offline Sales to Online Behavioural History presented by Ginny Long from Moen and Scot Wheeler from Critical Mass, Long and Wheeler described how they created a model to attribute revenue to digital touchpoints. attributing-offline-sales-to-online-behaviour
The key takeaway from this session:
Building this kind of model is a big Investment of time and effort. To build a model that can accurately attribute offline sales to online behaviour, it is crucial to instill a shift in the mindset of management; a shift to support the collection and analysis of data that will answer the questions and provide you with the answers you need to see what is working best to ultimately drive revenue both online and offline. This allows you to  be smart about what you invest in (optimize digital investments).
Smart upper management will understand that this long-term investment of time and resources to perform the required rigorous data collection and analysis is the best step forward in their digital marketing strategy

2. Social media is one of the most track-able channels – so track it!

The next session, presented by Helen Overland from Search Engine People – Tracking the Value of Social Media provided the simplest takeaway from the day: social media is one of the most track-able channels.  A few key points from Overland’s session:tracking-value-social-media-helen-overland

  • Facebook promoted posts (paid) bypass EdgeRank – if you want more “facetime” on Facebook, you need to pay for it. You can also extend the life of your content by paying for promoted content.
  • Make sure you are looking at your Facebook Insights – weekly reach tends to go up the more often you produced content and by producing content on a consistent basis, you can improve # of impressions.
  • Within Google Analytics, you can use assisted conversions (under multichannel funnels in conversions tab) to tell you if a visitor visited through social media at some point of the conversion – this can show important information about first click wins vs. last click wins.

Helen’s presentation gave some great tips for people who are trying to figure out what social media means to their marketing strategy.

3. Fewer but higher quality leads can be much better to your bottom line.

My personal favorite session of the day was IntraLinks’ John Fernandez who presented Optimizing B2B Conversion End-to-End. John explained how he analyzed what was happening on the website and made changes to strategies and tactics in order to improve conversion on the website.
The problem was that IntraLinks was looking at the raw # of leads generated as a success metric. This was  the wrong metric to look at.
The reality is that his improvements did not increase leads. In fact, the changes he made decrease leads significantly. However, when looking at revenue generation, the changes implemented vastly increased revenue generated from the website. The metric that should have been measured all along to determine the success of the website should have been revenue generation.
In order to measure this accurately, there needs to be the tracking mechanisms in place and the best path to conversion needs to be carved out on your website. Here are a few things John’s team changed to improve conversion/revenue:

  • Clean up the website – it shouldn’t take 3-4 clicks to get to a contact form
  • Un-gate all of your content
  • Make sure your forms route into CRM correctly and field mapping is correct between forms and CRM
  • Speak to the buyer persona with relevant images that speak to them

The most important takeaway here is that you need to be measuring the right things to achieve your goals and you need to implement a consistent track-able process for your inbound online channel.

What marketing data analysis problems are you having?

We had a round table discussion which demonstrated the variety of marketing data issues attendees at the eMetrics Summit were having. Does any of this sound familiar?

  • When measuring social media, what is really important? Likes, retweets, comments? Can a numerical value be assigned?
  • With all the data now available, how do you understand how to map it back to what is happening on the website?
  • How do you track sales back to the digital channel?
  • How do you lobby for the right budget/resources to invest in digging into data and creating vigorous reporting?
  • How do you get executive level buy-in to invest in digital marketing so that you can wait for results of reporting to get answers?

Over the coming months, Marketing CoPilot will be digging deeper into these topics. What are your marketing data analysis problems?  Add to the discussion below.

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