In our last blog of this series, we laid out the basics on how to establish a simple data management framework that can help you build data that can generate insight and point to the questions you need to ask that drive performance. In this one we’ll discuss how you might ‘join the dots’ to help you ‘get the picture’.
The biggest opportunity in digital is that afforded by transparency. All the major platforms and service providers know this and as a result they work hard to make it difficult to connect data points across digital eco-systems, often measure different things, afford themselves more credit than they should and only focus on measures that put their efforts in the best possible light. Each and every one will also attempt to drown you in mountains of irrelevant data points in order to push out data points from elsewhere that may point to a more uncomfortable alternative narrative.
The easiest way to establish transparency is to start by mapping the connections across the model we shared last week:
Here are three classic flows that mapped out and linked to a clear commercial outcome can start to tell the story behind the data:
- Vanity traffic
- Paying for traffic is fine, if it does what you want it to in the end (e.g. buy, sign up, become a lead etc.). Impressions and clicks are fine, but they tell you nothing other than the number of people on your site. What you need is the tracking in place to understand what they did, and the ultimate value it created. So PPC performance has to be linked to onsite activity and outcomes including things like reviews, ratings and sign-ups for newsletters.
- Degrading relationships
- Email/SMS contact details are precious currency. They need to be protected and retained. Unsubscribed customers are the very expensive consequence of poor relationship management. It will have taken considerable resource to gain their contact details and once unsubscribed, they will rarely come back into your eco-system. Email performance therefore needs to be mapped from open through to completed journey and performance reviewed to make emails work well for the customer.
- Aggregating Failure
- Whilst overall campaign performance can look good, aggregation reporting by agencies can hide significant failures that, if known, can be addressed and learning used to improve future activity. Mapping users from first touch to last by device and by individual campaign execution creates powerful insights on what works and what doesn’t. Understanding how a respondent on a mobile to a specific execution through the website and into your CRM and then engages with subsequent campaigns is perfectly possible – it just takes time.
Thinking about data in this way creates the opportunity to ask the killer questions and start to challenge internal and external teams on performance and the effectiveness of their investment choices.