As someone whose educational background is mainly built on traditional marketing, the rise in digital marketing has changed my perspective when approaching how I view the world. The ever-changing marketing landscape is influenced greatly by what is around us. We constantly have to embrace the impact of the information age in the existence of the businesses we run. This is where Web Analytics as a subset of digital marketing comes in. Web Analytics is the analysis of web data for purposes of understanding and optimizing web usage. Mass media is no longer limited to TV, radio, magazines and newspapers.
The internet has changed EVERYTHING but… is traditional marketing still relevant in the business world currently? Yes it is! The real question businesses should be asking is how to capitalize on these changes to boost what they get from their marketing efforts without necessarily breaking bank. After all, when you consider that this year’s 30-second Super Bowl ads cost nearly $5USD million a pop – some businesses simply cannot afford that. Enter digital marketing. According to CMO Council report on marketing spend forecast, more than a third of Chief Marketing Officers state that digital marketing will represent 75% or more of what they will spend within the next five years. Keep that in mind.
I have been learning a lot about Strong Coffee Marketing in the past week or so (naturally, as a newbie!). One thing that impressed me about Strong Coffee was the willingness to impart knowledge to individuals and businesses about digital marketing and its benefits. The work being done in that space showcases the benefits of investing in knowledge. From the outside looking in and having run a small business before, as the world changes through technology, digital marketing will become more important than ever.
One of the digital marketing topics Strong Coffee Marketing offers training on that I have learnt about so far is web analytics. The other day I had the pleasure of accompanying Trevor Tessier (Strong Coffee’s Director of Strategy) to a workshop he was running on web analytics. Here are 5 valuable lessons about web analytics I learnt from the course run by Trevor:
- Web analytics go deeper than presenting data – Sometimes fear stops us from discovering what we need to succeed. You can look at web analytics and easily feel intimidated by the data but as they say you can’t knock it unless you have tried it, right? Get your hands dirty and approach it with an open mind. Web analytics is about understanding the ‘why’ behind the data. Task yourself to learn more and use web analytics to aid you in strategic implementation of marketing functions. You will be surprised by how much they can positively alter your business fortunes.
- Your business NEEDS web analytics to grow in the right direction – Needless to say, we are all well-embedded within the Information Age (both individuals and businesses). Any business that intends to be successful has to understand the various aspects of how to get there. Investing in educating employees who oversee the digital side of your business (website, social media pages etc). A solid approach to web analytics is one of the great ways to invest in your business’ future.
- Analytics represent the ‘M’ in S.M.A.R.T goals – S.M.A.R.T is an acronym for:
Your business goals must be measurable and merely having an online presence is no longer enough for a business anymore. Think about it; millions of other businesses exist online. The internet is saturated. This is an opportunity to use web analytics smartly. Who is your audience? How do you engage with your audience? Is your website aligned with some of your strategic goals as a business? Are your web pages indexed correctly? Web analytics are the measuring tool to answer some of the most burning business questions you have (and questions you never knew you had).
- The process is on-going – Once you are familiar with web analytics, you cannot rest on your laurels because ‘the job is done’. To get the most out of web analytics, commit to reviewing data periodically against the goals that you have set. This allows you to stay on top of things. Endeavour to be proactive not reactive
- Get a pro to do it – A symptom of many small businesses is one person wears numerous ‘hats’; CEO, Marketing & Communications Director, Accounting Department etc. In some cases it works well, in others, only for a short time if at all. Sooner or later, as your business grows your marketing functions will need someone with the know how to perform them.
The light-bulb moment presented itself within a very important lesson about web analytics:
It is not only about how well you master the functions and stats but rather effectively utilizing web analytics to formulate strategies in order to realize your business goals.