In Part One of our blog: 7 Steps to Leveraging Data to Measure Success, we covered how to define the problems and goals you want to gain insights on, as well as how to choose the right measurements. In Part Two, we conclude our series with the final four steps you can take to ensure your data and methodologies are delivering the information and insights you need in order to better understand and share the measurable results your marketing efforts are producing.
3. Establish Daily Measurements and Benchmarks
In addition to measuring more complex KPIs, there are a variety of simple KPIs you will want to monitor for their insights and impact on goals, such as customer engagement, lead generation, campaign performance and brand loyalty. Among the more popular simple marketing KPIs to measure are:
- Number of likes, shares, comments, etc.
- Site visitors
- Pages viewed
- Bounce rates
- Traffic sources
- Opt-In/Out rates
- Open rates
- Click-through rates
Ideally, you should have data from the previous year to help you establish a benchmark to measure future data against. However, if this is not available, then the data you gather now will become your benchmark. Again, a marketing/data dashboard is infinitely useful in this step as it makes tracking and comparing multiple data sets a much easier process.
4. Select Segments
Dividing customers and prospects into a variety of groups and subgroups for various data experiments is one of the best ways to learn who your ideal customers are and why they are choosing your brand. Segmentation is a step that is often full of surprises and learning opportunities. When you take an unbiased look at the demographics, psychographics and geographics of your customers and prospects, you can uncover useful insights. These insights will in turn empower you to fine-tune messages, be more competitive, identify new opportunities, and invest your energy and budget in the people who support your business most.
5. Test and Experiment
Data is comprised of numbers, and just as there are lots of ways to mathematically arrive at a certain number, there are numerous ways to gauge marketing performance and test marketing theories. Once you know the type of experiment you want to conduct, choose a small subsection of your segment to test. However, before you test actual subjects, run your experiments on in-house subjects to ensure everything is working smoothly. A few of the most common ways to gather actionable data via tests and experiments include:
A/B Tests — Great for performance insights, A/B tests enable you to hone messages and cater to customer preferences that move the needle.
Surveys and Polls – Quick and inexpensive, surveys and polls allow you to gather large volumes of data in a short time. Pay careful attention to the questions you ask to make sure you are asking what you need to know.
Interviews and Focus Groups — Time intensive and sometimes expensive, focus groups are a go-to for revelations on why something isn’t working or how customers will respond to brand changes before they are launched.
6. Review Results
Once your tests are over and all data is in, you are ready to review results. Your marketing/data dashboard can help you compare measurements in a timely manner. It should also have a reporting feature that enables you to isolate data variables as needed and convert findings into shareable visuals (graphs, tables, charts, etc.) that empower your team and executive leaders to instantly see and understand your findings.
7. Take Actions
After everyone involved in the decision-making process has had a chance to look at results, gather everyone together for a next steps meeting. Here, you will want to brainstorm actions and responses to data findings. Encourage everyone to recommend actions, from changes in campaign approaches and customer acquisition strategies, to allocating a larger portion of the budget to a new media or geographic area, and more. Prioritize the actions your team wants to take and then go for it. Collect data on your new actions and then repeat your success measurement process again.