Funny Thing About Digital Marketing Analytics

cartoon: ralph waldo emerson

There’s a funny thing about analytics and digital marketing reporting that many people miss. Once you have the blocking and tackling done, and are operating a pretty good site, the reports only show where you’ve been.

The magic of good digital marketing is thinking outside the box, beyond the case studies and successes of other previously successful programs, you’ve got to come up with something new.

One of the good things about the digital world is agility is king. You can try new ideas very quickly, and A/B test ideas with little or no impact on your daily operations. And then you iterate: generate newer, better, optimized, re-figured, programs based on what you learn.

But the big ideas come from thinkers who are constantly learning about the wants and requirements of their customers. And then coming up with a novel idea for engaging them in a discussion. When you get the basics out of the way, putting up a new page that has tight SEO code, and optimized landing page design with good calls-to-action, should be a no-brainer. Often that is not the case. So much churn could be eliminated by getting the solid development process in place first.

The BRAINER is coming up with the next idea, the next variation on an idea, the wild HIT that will set your marketing apart, and once in a while hit the holy grail of marketing: viral reach.

You have to be willing to risk getting it wrong. And you have to have the team in place, leadership included, who are enthusiastic about trying and failing over and over again. The wins are the goal, but trying a lot of ideas, quickly, with good measurement and clear actionable goals, that should not be what we struggle with.

Often we are so caught up in the “metrics” we forget that it is a rear-view, it is what happened. We have to understand and keep our eyes on the competition who might be coming up behind us, but our real challenge is the open road ahead. WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO TRY NEXT?

@jmacofearth (also seen on Google+: jmacofearth)

Check out the Digital Strategist’s Notebook page and these other posts about learning social media:

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