The great thing about digital marketing is that it’s so easy to measure everything that you do.
The bad thing about digital marketing is the same thing.
All of the data in the world sounds great in theory, but it can quickly become overwhelming. I’ve seen companies that produce 30 page website data reports every month — they’re really impressive reports, but they’re hard to take action with.
The other challenge is that those 30 page reports are filled with the easy-to-find metrics, when much of what you need are the pieces that are more difficult to put together.
For example, here are two stats:
- 1,000 people saw your latest Facebook post.
- Of the people that saw your latest Facebook post, 77 clicked through to your website, and 11 bought your product, spending $754 total.
The first number is super easy to find and marginally helpful, while the second takes more work to set up and track but provides far more insight.
In “Poor Charlie’s Almanack“, Charlie talks about how to make the best use of data:
A special version of this man-with-a-hammer syndrome is terrible not only in economics but practically everywhere else, including business. It’s really terrible in business. You’ve got a complex system, and it spews out a lot of wonderful numbers that enable you to measure some factors. But there are other factors that are terribly important, yet there’s no precise numbering you can put to these factors. You know they’re important, but you don’t have the numbers.
Well, practically everybody
1) overweighs the stuff that can be numbered because it yields to the statistical techniques they’re taught in academia, and
2) doesn’t mix in the hard-to-measure stuff that may be more important. That is a mistake I’ve tried all my life to avoid, and I have no regrets for having done that.
As we work with a client, our goal over time is to reduce the amount of data that we present to them. As we continue to better understand their business, the data we share should become full of those items that are harder to measure but provide much more benefit.
A 30-page report might look impressive, but a single-page summary that hits all of the important metrics is tremendously more valuable.