Don’t be intimidated by data
Data can be one of your most powerful allies in developing strategies and tracking tactical effectiveness. But many marketers are often intimidated by the concept of making decisions using numbers, statistics, and large amounts of quantitative information. Here are some simple ways to start using data analytics to inform your strategic planning and make needed shifts along the way. Starting small and expanding as you gain confidence with your data can have far-reaching effects.
Analyze what you already have
Using small, digestible pieces of data (from your own analytics) can make a huge difference in optimizing your communications and developing plans for new and ongoing marketing campaigns. Here are some areas where powerful data may be accessible and waiting to be uncovered:
- Website: Digging into the analytics of your website may not be as complicated as you think. Try looking at top-performing pages, time on page, bounce rate, and error links. From there, you can analyze where people are landing and how long they’re engaging so you can determine what areas to expand, enhance or remove.
- Email campaigns: You can often pull simple reports on open rates and engagement throughout email campaigns. Notice that activity is tapering off mid- to late-funnel? Try shortening your campaign length, or updating your subject lines.
- Digital advertising: Whether you are using a vetted agency to place and track media or you are managing your advertising in-house, it’s important to know how your campaigns are performing so that you can optimize them and move the budget around if needed.
Make small moves
The great thing about data is that numbers don’t lie. When you can identify trends, engagement, clicks, and viewership, the data is often actionable as long as you know how to read it. When you first start utilizing data to make decisions, it can be overwhelming. Start small and build as you gain confidence with measurable results. In any scientific experiment, if you change to many variables, the results can lose their validity. So make sure you’re intentional about what you’re changing and how often.
Construct an actionable dashboard
Not only will metrics help you optimize your campaign throughout the year, but they can also help you determine which tactics worked and tie your spending back to ROI so you can justify your budget. Here are some areas to include when constructing an actionable dashboard:
- Digital advertising to track cost-per-click, cost-per-lead and cost-per-seated student
- Application activity based on seasonality
- Email engagement
- Website interaction including landing pages and form fills
When you have this data, you can pivot your plan in real-time to increase or decrease your spending in certain areas and ramp up or pull back based on interactions. You don’t have to be intimidated by capturing the information you need and using it to make decisions. If you need an experienced firm that is skilled in tracking ROI and building dashboards, contact us today to start the conversation.