Ask the right questions, gather the right data

Ask the right questions, gather the right data

Before any analysis or data collecting commences, you need to be strategic about the way you tackle the task at hand. Diving into any analytics program without a clear idea of what you’re looking for will lead to complicated reports that don’t solve the problem and confuse the client and yourself.

Fix this problem by taking scientific method approach to data collection and analysis. Ask questions, take action, and monitor the results. The answers to your questions should be provided via data from both marketing and sales teams. If you’re not friends with the sales team, you need to cozy up.

The questions you ask should be actionable. Don’t ask yourself about a specific metric. Asking, “What is my bounce rate?” will get you one thing… your bounce rate. Kind of useless, right? But asking, “What social channel brought in the most traffic to my lead generation page last month?” will help you search for much more valuable answers.

Instead of asking, “How did my campaign perform?” ask some of the following:

  • If we alter our release frequency, what is the average effect on order size?
  • What is Topic X’s likelihood of contributing to our conversion funnel versus Topic Y?
  • If we shift 20% of our Native Ad Spend to LinkedIn, what is the impact on lead generation?

Each of these questions relies on data for decision making. Plenty of marketing teams struggle to do this effectively. If your team is able to confidently impact organizational KPIs based on the data, you will have gained a competitive advantage in the marketplace. But remember, asking questions and finding answers is only part of the process.

Once you’ve found the answer to your question, it’s time to take action. Maybe you learned that a specific lead generation piece is performing the best on LinkedIn, but you’re spending the most on Facebook. Probably time to make a change.

Once you change things up, it’s time to monitor the changes. Go back into the data and see if your decisions had a positive impact on the outcome. If they did, good job! If not, ask some more questions.

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