You know the ones – they stop a meeting dead and everyone looks around and hopes you won’t expect them to answer (or for the last 12 months, their zoom screens suddenly go dark, they can’t unmute, or they lose connectivity).
These questions don’t come from nowhere, they are founded on one of three things:
- Inside knowledge
It’s rare to be pre-briefed, experience helps, but the most penetrating and powerful tool a business leader has at their disposal is effective use of data such that it generates insight.
In e-commerce, data availability for leaders is not a problem. However, effective use of data can be a challenge, especially if the data is disaggregated and everything is given equal weight. Under these circumstances, finding the data to ask anything of value is an impossible task. As a result, digital marketing and e-commerce teams can go unchallenged and performance suffers through the inability to ask anything other than the routinely anodyne such as ‘why did traffic decline last month?’.
If you’re suffering from the paradox of data overload and information drought, then there are things you can do now that can re-set the balance and empower yourself to ask the killer questions that can unlock performance.
The first is to be clear in your own mind how e-commerce works in your market and the key performance indicators you need to track that can help you understand not just performance but also the effectiveness of the activities that drive your business model. By this we mean establish a clear model and then use this to ensure that you are able to get ‘under the bonnet’ and understand the workings of your eco-system.
In 2019 we wrote a book on e-commerce, Optimizing Digital Strategy, which introduced a model of e-commerce that showed how it works as a system:
It split e-commerce into four core activity areas and identified the key measures and metrics that can help leaders understand performance and effectiveness for each.
Setting yourself up to ensure that you are tracking these is an essential first step to building the insight you need to cut through complexity and focus on what matters
Next week, we’ll focus on the value of tracking over time, and how to ‘join the dots’ to build the insight that will enable you to develop the questions that will drive performance.