A digital marketing analyst is a godsend for a business, even when the owner doesn’t know it yet. They help to sift through the mountains of data to determine what’s useful and what’s not. Also, they make big data actionable, which is where the rubber meets the road for companies needing to know how best to organize their workforce or which projects to pursue next.
There are many ways that a digital marketing analyst can help a business. Let’s dive in and learn more.
It’s All About the Data
Put simply, it’s all about the 1’s and 0’s. Data collection and its interpretation to derive meaning from it are what matters. The data alone is meaningless in most cases until it’s analyzed, filtered, and given relevant meaning.
Just like with a stock market analyst, one who’s knowledgeable and qualified as a digital marketing analyst can look at the information collected and find meaning in it. To learn to do the latter, these analysts usually have a data analytics degree – click here to learn more about the tools a digital marketing analyst needs.
Fortunately, in the age of big data, along with many smaller applications that collect information too, there’s an abundance of it to go around. It’s all subject to the interpretation of it.
Re-Starting at the Beginning
For an incoming digital marketing analyst, one of the first things they’ll want to do is assess what systems are in place to collect information. Virtually all aspects of the current business operation can be reviewed towards this objective, but in the digital world, it becomes a lost opportunity when failing to do so.
Therefore, they’ll get to work assessing the amount and quality of the data that’s been collected so far, and whether there are information gaps. For instance, some software tools may have a data collection and analytics capability, but it’s not been turned on because other employees either didn’t know it was possible or lacked an appreciation of the benefits of doing so. Looking at every system and software used can help confirm where more can be done.
In other areas, implementing new tools can provide valuable insight into how a website, e-commerce channel, web app, mobile app, or other digital representation might be used.
Locating Strengths and Weaknesses
Looking through the data collected, it’s possible to isolate whether there are digital strengths and weaknesses present. From that point, decisions can be made to tighten up operations accordingly.
For example, where there’s a notable service-level gap between one platform and another, it can cause issues with customers. A company with a mobile app that allows for selecting products and placing orders but won’t let the user send a message to customer support is missing a trick, e.g., despite secure messaging facilities, many bank mobile apps don’t permit messaging. They often force their users to login via a web browser just to communicate with them. Whether in retail banking or online e-commerce, ease of communication matters across all platforms.
Data analysis of communications with customers can highlight the number of people who’ve mentioned the inability to take certain actions that created a pain point for them. And this is just the beginning of what’s possible.
Using the 80/20 Rule with Customers
While Pareto’s Principle where 20% of the activities lead to 80% of the results has been adapted to many industries and different situations, the effect seems even truer in the digital/online realm.
Online, it can seem like it’s much closer to a 99/1 ratio where much of the business is conducted with only a few of the highest-value customers.
Finding the Diamonds in the Rough
Indeed, if companies aren’t careful, they can end up completing many small unprofitable transactions without realizing where the more fertile land lies. Recognizing the customers who either order with larger value shopping carts or end up being repeat customers is extremely valuable.
Sifting through past orders and website behavioral trends, it’s possible to find which customers are placing larger orders or repeat ones. Steps can then be taken to ensure they stick with the company and feel valued.
Filtering for New Customers That Standout
Trends with new customers that are similar to those of ones who order more often might also be discovered too.
Such trends could include bigger initial order values, a larger number of products selected, or additional customer information added to their account. They may also spend longer on their first visit compared to less motivated visitors. By looking for similarities, it’s possible to highlight newer customers that show promise to become the most valued ones in the future. That way, subsequent marketing can be directed towards this group with more attractive offers.
Creating Sales or Discount Days Based on Customer Trends
By looking at the online sales data, it’s possible to discern the popular days and the ones where sales slow down considerably. In a situation where the same customers don’t visit on slow days but make purchases on popular ones, there are options to promote differently to drive sales on days that are sluggish performers.
How is this determined? When visitors arrive at a website, their IP address, and a host of other information is gathered. The web browser may also set a cookie file with the browser that confirms their visit and makes it possible to better identify a return one. From there, the known IP address of buyers can be matched up with a previous visit (and on what days). Thus, knowing when they’ve visited becomes trackable, including their buying behavior too.
One industry where this is relevant is with recreational vehicles (RVs). Websites in this industry notice a discernable increase in website traffic from Friday to Sunday, along with a corresponding lull starting on Monday. Outside of repeat visitors on weekdays and weekends, different offers can be promoted on weekdays to attract people who wouldn’t visit otherwise.
Online Surveys and How They Inform the Content Marketing Strategy
Many websites today have a blog where they publish relevant informational content. Such a blog should target customers – not industry contacts (a common mistake).
When running an online survey, it’s possible to gather data points that can indicate what customers want to know and were struggling to find. Not only does this relate to removing potential obstacles to securing the sale, but also it pertains to the content marketing strategy as well.
Customers may not yet be clear on why a certain product is needed or how it may provide certain benefits to them. It’s possible that confusion over how certain features are better than competitors has been the stumbling block to their completing the sale. In such situations, providing tips on the sales page and links to articles that answer related questions in sufficient depth will be helpful.
Also, these articles can drive additional search traffic from people needing the same answers before they make a buying decision.
Using Data to Better Understand Sources of Traffic
Traditional data analytics looks at analytical data collected through tools like Google Analytics and others. Using such tools, highlighting the relevant traffic sources is useful when wanting to differentiate between them.
For companies that are mindful of being overly dependent on search traffic (mainly from Google) which funnels into their website every day, diversifying their traffic sources is a priority. If this is a new or recently emboldened initiative, it’s necessary to know whether the site stands now.
For example, social media is a broad traffic source, but becoming more successful with it doesn’t just mean sending out more tweets or pinning something on a Pinterest board alone. Customers in each industry have preferences over how they communicate with companies, tending to share socially on specific platforms. Using those and embracing upcoming platforms is also worthwhile for companies with sufficient sources to do so.
Other online promotional efforts that can be carefully tracked through daily traffic analytics include using forums, Reddit, Quora, and other places where business messages are well received. Providing useful information and answering questions provides value, demonstrates that the company cares, and solves a problem all at the same time. It’s also good for the brand too.
Encouraging Visits with a Longer Duration
From an e-commerce standpoint, it’s usually true that the longer the visitor stays on your website, the greater the chance of getting a sale. Of course, this can be confirmed by matching “time on site” metrics with completed purchases to verify it.
Time on Site Matters
Once confirmed, every effort should be made to encourage visitors to stay longer. With each change to the site’s design, format, architecture, or information presented, it should be tracked for improvements/declines before considering another alteration.
Relevant interlinking from less-visited pages to ones that drive the most sales is beneficial here. Highlighting this on the page, as well as links at the bottom or the sidebar for desktop users, often increases the “time on site” metric and the likelihood of increased sales.
As the amount of data collected from customers and potential customers increases, the challenge for companies is how best to make use of it. Specialists are needed to get the best results in this pursuit which is where digital marketing analytics are so helpful on the online side of the business. Some of the benefits accrued may well overlap into the offline world too.