driving a car

Just about every novice manager who has applied analytics to her campaigns and operations wonders about making the best use of the initial data collected.

But the initial data is just an appetizer — a sampling of the kinds of insights a company can gather from a strategic commitment to advanced digital analytics.

While initial data may be interesting, the volume may be insufficient to provide useful insights.

Successful marketers and analytics professionals alike understand that they have to balance data quantity against data quality and then connect the data to a defined goal to optimize digital experience.

(Editor's Note: Pierre DeBois will be speaking at CMSWire's DX Summit 2015 conference on Nov. 3 in Chicago.)

Useful But Limited

Most initial data yields a lot of basic metrics. While this data can be useful, it's limited when examined against a particular strategy or objective.

You’re improving traffic from referral site X, for example. But is the referral site a co-branding partner? How does that site’s traffic help an overall objective?

To maximize your insights, you need to focus on the strategic quality of your metrics and determine how they can help you reach your goals.

Framing the question in this manner helps to highlight the larger goal of your data collection. That is, it can help you understand whether you are building the right data model — one that matches your business objectives.

Creating Personas

To increase the value of your data, it's helpful to segment visitors into personas.

Then you can more easily determine the impact of your marketing and whether you are driving the intended customers to your online content.

This approach ensures that all of your marketing, from SEO to blog posts, are aligned to the specific customers you want to attract.

A persona framework can also surface missing metrics and help you determine what additional data you need to establish an advanced analytics model.

A persona framework can also show what data your should not collect to prevent the unintended capture of personally identifiable information.

Understanding Relationships

Analytics are only as useful as the insights they reveal. Done right, with a focused strategy in mind, the data can help companies reveal relationships between specific customer personas and the ways a company can better tailor its marketing.

LewisPR study
A recent Lewis PR study found 84 percent of the 370 senior marketers worldwide surveyed said they were currently focusing on multichannel marketing. The respondents stated that they intend to increase their spending on multichannel campaigns in the year ahead.

The larger question is how to use the data from this marketing to increase customer engagement and sales — or rather, to improve the digital experiences you offer your customers.

A study from the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council, sponsored by IBM Digital Experience, found marketers still lag in creating multichannel, digital marketing campaigns that reach and resonate with diverse, micro-audiences worldwide.

Only 19 percent said they are extremely good or very good in this area. In contrast, 45 percent gave lackluster grades on their ability to captivate and engage customers, partners and employees through fully integrated mobile, web and social channels. This compares to just 21 percent who said they were very proficient.

Not surprisingly, respondents rated technology transformation as the key to better operations and engagement.

They specifically cited the advent of the smarter digital enterprise, with its automation of marketing execution and customized interactions at scale.

They also cited the new API-driven economy, which allows partners and ecosystems to share mobile/web links, information and insights to add value and further monetize transactions and interactions, and the disruptive potential of the Internet of Things, including the ability to gather real time data and intelligence.

Going for Gold

Companies understand the potential gold that lies within the use of advanced digital analytics.

What they need to do now is to craft the right strategies to maximize the use of the data they collect as well as to effectively measure the results of their marketing.

In other words, they need to recognize the strategic goal of their marketing and find ways to use the data they collect to measure their progress in reaching it.

The goal is to align metrics from data and analytic technologies to the right customer personas to improve digital customer experience and maximize sales, revenues and overall company success.

If you'd like to learn more about digital analytics, Pierre DeBois will be speaking at our DX Summit, which will be held Nov. 3 and 4 at the W Hotel City Center in downtown Chicago. Find out more here.

Title image by Juan Di Nella.