So your organization has decided to delve into the world of digital analytics. You’ve done your research, talked to countless analytics professionals and consultants, and performed the song and dance to gain the support of the decision makers for measuring your campaigns. At this point you may be thinking that you are ready to hit the ground running, throwing analytics tracking tags every which way and setting up eye-catching dashboards and graphs. This is looking like a sure-fire thing, right?
Before you deploy your analytics tracking solution, let alone begin reporting, you’ll want to get a little more strategic. The beautiful thing about web analytics solutions is that they can be wielded to gather insights that will benefit virtually any department or role in an organization. It is important to understand, however, that even though these solutions can be very flexible and adaptable; this entirely depends on the measurement plan and reporting strategy that’s in place from the start. Laying a solid foundation in measurement is paramount to the success of all involved parties.
Regardless of what industry an organization is in, there are often multiple individuals with unique responsibilities when it comes to marketing and advertising. From marketing managers to copywriters to brand managers, the list can go on and on. Each one of these roles has their own set of responsibilities. With those responsibilities come unique challenges, which very well could be alleviated through increased visibility into marketing, website, and brand performance.
This is why it is a good idea to get these individuals into a room together during the early stages of measurement planning and laying out reports. These reporting capabilities may be great for your own purposes, but these benefits can extend well beyond that. Share the wealth!
Now that you’ve rallied all of the right people together, it’s time to figure out what you will be reporting on and how you will be measuring it. I read a very interesting little blog recently that did a really great job of driving the point home that success with analytics comes from asking the right questions. Truer words have never been spoken. When meeting with your marketing, branding, and advertising personnel, be sure to get down to basics: Ask them what they think is a successful action a prospective customer can take in a campaign or on the site. Ask them what they deem as a valuable Key Performance Indicator. Their responses may not be ideal, but they will at least give you a direction to take when deciding what to measure, where to deploy tracking, and what to report on. This high-level feedback will also give you something to base those shiny visuals on when it comes time to develop graphs and performance dashboards.
One of the most important things to keep in mind during this entire process is that analytics reports can be extremely organic. Measurement models and reports can easily be altered to suit changing needs, campaigns, and marketing strategies over time. It might be a good idea to revisit this whole process quarterly or at least bi-annually to ensure that all of those data needs are still being met for ALL players. The key is to stay light on your analytical feet so you can anticipate and adapt accordingly.