Forward-thinking business owners don’t just employ a marketing team to increase their professional website’s online presence –– they also take an active role in the process. That means helping to develop strategies, building out campaigns, and perhaps most importantly, reacting to trends and results. Unfortunately, it’s all but impossible to find the best way forward for your business without first understanding how to analyze your marketing data. And this isn’t always as straightforward as it sounds. Indeed, there are several key things you need to keep in mind when you go to study your past performance.
Definitions and Outlines
What’s so confusing about understanding marketing results is that companies define certain terms differently. For instance, what one business might consider a lead, another business might not. There’s a significant disparity between a marketing-qualified lead, and a sales-qualified lead. The same holds true for conversions. Some business count individuals who download content offers or sign up for email notices as “conversions,” while others only consider a lead “converted,” once they’ve put money on the table. (Perhaps now you can see why it’s so difficult for many businesses to increase conversion rates –– since some are unclear what a conversion even is!) At the end of the day, it’s less important how you decide to define these terms, however, and more important that you stick to the guidelines you set yourself. Otherwise, you’ll end up with skewed or just plain incorrect data.
The sad reality is that many business owners will focus solely on the bottom line when they look over their marketing returns. It’s understandable to a degree, but ultimately it’s a pretty negligible thing to do. The savviest entrepreneurs though, will instead break up their marketing efforts and review them in isolation. This will give them a clearer picture of what’s working and what isn’t and also provide them with a blueprint for moving forward. Identifying areas in your SEO strategy where you can take a calculated risk could end up paying big dividends down the line.
Tools and Tech
If you don’t have the necessary tech to gauge marketing performance, you’re never going to understand exactly how effective your blogs, social media posts, and advertisements are. Somewhat surprisingly, one of the best way to vet online marketing performance involves analyzing offline phone calls. That’s why call tracking software and phone-CRM integrations are so popular –– and efficient –– ways of producing vital marketing data. When a company switches to a Salesforce VoIP system, for instance, they’ll get access to their call metrics on their CRM’s interface. If you’ve eschewed this sort of technology in the past, it’s probably time to give it a second look. If you don’t, your competition could very well leave you in the dust.