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Making Metrics Matter

October 6, 2021

By Dale Keipert, originally featured in SBAM’s FOCUS magazine

In today’s digital environment, being able to effectively measure how your marketing activity is performing, and then make business decisions from those insights, is critical. An assortment of tools is out there to help you measure data points, but it can be a challenge to know what is worth using and how to get the most out of it.

Most business leaders are just scratching the surface when it comes to measuring the performance of their marketing efforts. And with so many digital marketing analytic options, it’s important to dive deeper into some tools that you can use to go beyond the numbers to make the most informed business decisions.

Seeing Your Customers

Business leaders often feel a bit disconnected from their online audience because everything is done through a screen. You launch a new product, build a landing page, put it out there and then simply look at how many people viewed that page to try and determine interest.

When the conversions don’t come as quickly as expected, the decision might be made to spend more to drive people to the webpage or to pull the plug entirely. But what if something smaller or something easy could be fixed?

Website owners are able to set up software to record people on their websites and are able to go back and watch those videos. When watching the recordings, you can see the user’s mouse, see how they scroll and when they stop to read.

This provides a wealth of knowledge that can be used to make improvements to the webpage to help increase conversions. Through this process, you might learn that people are scrolling right past the strongest benefit of your product or service, or maybe not scrolling down far enough to see.

A popular tool for this type of data is HotJar and they even offer a free package. With this tool, you can also collect other feedback through tools like exit surveys and heat maps.

Introducing the Bot

Another tool to help reduce the distance between business and audience is the integration of a chatbot.

This is a tool designed to help website visitors get access to common questions through chat, while interacting with a program designed to help guide the user to the right answer.

The use of chatbots is growing—especially with lower staffing levels—as it allows for customers to self-service if they want, but also has options to hand off to an agent in a live chat if needed.

There are many chatbots out there, but one that is very popular is SharpSpring because of its marketing automation toolset that is built around the entire marketing platform.

Tracking Calls Has Never Been Easier

For decades, business leaders have wanted to track the number of phone conversions coming into their companies. There is an entire industry built around providing tracking phone numbers.

The idea is you buy a unique phone number, use that in a specific marketing piece and then monitor how many people call that number. It is clunky and often leaves businesses frustrated because they can’t use their own number and then they have to pay for another number.

With people browsing your website on their phone, you can have all your phone numbers be clickable links so someone can click them to call you. With a simple integration to Google Analytics, you can easily track every time someone clicks to call from your website, and furthermore, because it is tied into Google Analytics, you can track what marketing channel calls came from. This allows you to report how many calls you had from people visiting your site via a paid search campaign, social media, organic search and more.

If you use Google Tag Manager, setting this up is just a matter of a few mouse clicks.

It’s More Than Measuring That Matters

We all know this is true: what is measured matters, but simply measuring doesn’t help drive change. The data must be monitored, reviewed and a process for change should be put in place.

Too often, a particular initiative is new and important, but after time fizzles into the background and then becomes a distant memory.

By creating consistent reports and dashboards that actively present the data in a format that is easy to digest and routinely review, business decisions can be made and trends can be spotted much quicker.

Google Analytics allows you to create custom dashboards that can be sent out on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. Setting up a dashboard that tracks the key metrics you want to measure and monitor routinely is advantageous. This data can include unconventional things such as phone calls, chatbot interactions, external links clicked (this can be especially helpful if you have a dealer network to tell your dealers how many people you sent to their site), get direction requests, etc.

Business Decisions Become CLOSER to Black and White

As all business leaders know, making the critical and required day-to-day decisions are rarely black and white. We assess the data, then apply our best judgement, resulting in what should be a well-informed decision.

What these tools do is give us more information to help us make better decisions, getting us closer to a black and white answer. All decisions are part art, part science, but these tools may help swing the pendulum closer to the science side and allow stronger decision making.

Dale Keipert is partner of 3Sixty Interactive, a digital-first Michigan marketing agency based in Flint. Dale has a strong background in both sales and marketing. Prior to starting 3Sixty Interactive, he led multiple sales teams, eventually leading the entire digital transformation for an international manufacturing company. Today, Dale routinely writes, speaks and guides business leaders on leading digital strategy.

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