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Why your analytics land with a thud

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It may be easier than ever today to collect data, but many marketers still find themselves scratching their heads when trying to decide how best to sift through it to uncover the gems. What’s often even more difficult, however, is developing reports that incite action and encourage future investment in the right strategies and optimizations – especially when findings challenge the status quo.

In this session, Ben Magnuson, Senior Data Strategist at One North, explore how to deliver reports that your stakeholders will actually care to read. Specifically, he dives into how you can shift your reporting strategy to ensure you are:

* Establishing the right baselines and goals to help you more accurately benchmark your progress towards KPIs
* Moving beyond simply showing your work to provide the right level of context around data trends that matter
* Including stakeholders in the development of metrics to prevent surrogation, or the confusion of strategic intent with the metrics meant to represent it
* Creating an influential narrative around your results that helps you overcome bias, combat conventional thought and improve decision making

Published in: Data & Analytics
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Why your analytics land with a thud

  1. 1. Ben Magnuson Manager, Data Strategy One North www.onenorth.com Why Your Digital Marketing Analytics Land With a Thud
  2. 2. Introduction • Manager, Data Strategy • Founded the Data Strategy team • One North is a digital agency with a long history of working with legal services • Data Passions: • Practical integrations of AI • Inappropriately moving analysis to excel because it makes me feel at home • Building out and connecting reporting systems across the Martech stack • Baseball
  3. 3. Why Your Analytics Land With a Thud This presentation focuses on how to build out your data and reports so they communicate clear ideas fast and effectively. To do so, we will look at three common mistakes and how to fix them: 1. You didn’t ask the right questions 2. You didn’t think about the audience 3. You didn’t provide context
  4. 4. Coronavirus effects have put more pressure on Legal Marketers to improve reporting. • Audience behavior shifted dramatically with the arrival of COVID-19 in March • Thought Leadership traffic surged while traffic to Bios and Services dropped • This has often led to a bigger spotlight on Marketing activity: • What content is performing? • How can I get more eyes on my traffic? • What is Marketing doing to increase traffic to our services?
  5. 5. Example: How traffic changed in 2020
  6. 6. Example: How traffic changed in 2020
  7. 7. Example: How traffic changed in 2020
  8. 8. Example: How traffic changed in 2020
  9. 9. Example: How traffic changed in 2020
  10. 10. Example: How traffic changed in 2020
  11. 11. Example: How traffic changed in 2020
  12. 12. Example: How traffic changed in 2020
  13. 13. Poll How has your traffic change since March?
  14. 14. All eyes moved to Marketing Analytics And there was some bad news there…
  15. 15. We have more analytics than ever…are we getting better at it? A survey of B2B Services CMOs said only 27% of projects used Marketing Analytics, its lowest amount since 2017. 27% in 2020 • Why is it going down? • Who thinks this will be the case next year?
  16. 16. We have more analytics than ever…are we getting better at it? A survey of B2B Services CMOs said only 27% of projects used Marketing Analytics, its lowest amount since 2017. 27% in 2020 • Why is it going down? • Who thinks this will be the case next year?
  17. 17. 74% of B2B Services cannot quantitatively measure Marketing impact For B2B Services, the percentage who said they cannot prove the impact quantitatively jumped to 33% (up from 7% in 2019). Source: CMOsurvey.org
  18. 18. Why is this? Biggest reason is the increasing complexity of legal marketing digital ecosystem. • Multiple systems each reporting on one aspect of marketing, but don’t play well together • Different metrics for each one • Hard to find talent with cross-disciplinary skills
  19. 19. And even when you have consolidated your analytics and are ready to report, it still faces a big challenge
  20. 20. So, why do your analytics land with a thud?
  21. 21. You didn’t ask the right questions. PART 1
  22. 22. Biggest mistake marketers new to analytics make: Assuming the computer knows best
  23. 23. Don’t let the metrics available drive your analysis Analytics presentations are chock full of too many metrics that are included just because they are used by the product. Example: • Sitewide bounce rate • Avg. Time on Page • Impressions
  24. 24. Analysis starts prior to launch, not post-launch Goals need to be set during design on what a campaign, page or even website is supposed to do. If the Goal is… The measurement should be… Brand Awareness Social reach, pageviews, email opens, etc. Building out subscriber list Form submissions Contacting Attorneys Email clicks, phone clicks, vCard downloads, etc.
  25. 25. The analytics brief Purpose of Campaign: Target C-suite to visit SPAC landing page promoting new team and services. What we want to know about campaign performance: • How many users viewed the landing page? • How many visited the attorney pages? • What roles were the users? • How many contacted firm for more information?
  26. 26. Mapping metrics to questions Question Metrics / System How many users viewed the landing page? Users | Google Analytics, SiteImprove How many visited the attorney pages? Pageviews with Previous Page set to /SPAC | GA, Siteimprove What roles were the users? Possibilities: User List from Marketing Automation, Linkedin Ads How many contacted firm for more information Contact Form Submissions | Google Analytics
  27. 27. The analytics brief completed Purpose of Campaign: Target C-suite to visit SPAC landing page promoting new team and services. What we want to know about campaign performance: • How many users viewed the landing page? • How many visited the attorney pages? • What roles were the users? • How many contacted firm for more information? Key Metrics: Total Users, % C-Suite Users, Attorney Referrals, Contact Submissions
  28. 28. Not all questions can be answered with quantitative analytics What we want to know about campaign performance: • Was our message compelling? • Was it easy to find information about our services? There are many user testing services that will allow you to test the page design and messaging with test groups recruited by the site: Resources: • Usertesting.com • Userlytics Example: Userlytics
  29. 29. Summary: How to ask the right questions 1. Set goals as early as possible 2. Create a section of an existing project brief, or create a measurement brief where questions can be posed on how to judge performance 3. Identify or design metrics that align to answering the questions Tip: Ask questions in a conversational voice. Stay away from assigning the solution in your question – i.e. “How many pageviews did we get?”
  30. 30. You didn’t think about the audience. PART 2
  31. 31. Reading list Storytelling with Data By: Cole Nussbaumer Knaflic • Great, accessible read on understanding key data visualization principles • Blog: www.storytellingwithdata.com
  32. 32. Who is the analysis for? Nussbaumer Knaflic advises a Who, What, How approach: Who • Who is your audience? • Are they data skeptics? Do they want it all? Successfully planning for different audiences has huge benefits to the activation of the data internally. • How does your audience see you? • Are you familiar and trustworthy? New and invoke skepticism? Plan for this with different levels of evidence and storytelling. What • What is it that your audience needs to know? How • How can I make this point? • What data is available?
  33. 33. Who: Excellent analysis can fall flat if framed incorrectly. A simple rule I use often works in designing analytics presentations. Presenting above you: Keep it explanatory - Frame your goals, activities to achieve them, and how they performed. Presenting below you: Keep it exploratory – Show more available data, focus on how activities influence higher-level goals.
  34. 34. What: is the analysis indicating? 3 Key Tips: • Do not just show your work, even if you are very proud. • Do not be afraid to tell the audience what to think based on the analysis. • This is why you did the work! • If the audience prefers to see all information, provide it after the key takeaways or hide it in the addendum.
  35. 35. Stay away from: Hint: I’ve used all of these, no judgment!
  36. 36. Do you see any trends?
  37. 37. The “Why don’t you tell ME what is important” analysis
  38. 38. The “Look at the big numbers” analysis 50,000 Users 620,000 Sessions 750,000 Pageviews 1:50 Time on Page 56% Bounce Rate 1.50 Pages/Session
  39. 39. I know I said tell the audience what to think, but make sure it’s backed up. Don’t do this, please.
  40. 40. Key question: Do we know how to influence this metric if it’s trending in the wrong direction? • If you are focusing on pageviews, do you have tools to drive more pageviews? • If you are focusing on bounce rate, do you know how to decrease it? • If you are focusing on SEO, do you have tools to improve?
  41. 41. Summary: How to present to your audience 1. Do your homework on your audience – if it was worth doing the analysis, it is worth presenting it to make the most impact. 2. Only present metrics you are familiar with and know how they are impacted. 3. Don’t be afraid to tell your audience what to think. Tip: Where possible, show how digital marketing goals aligned to firm goals.
  42. 42. You didn’t provide context. PART 3
  43. 43. Context setting is a Goldilocks problem • Too much context and the audience can get lost in the amount of information and miss the main point. • Too little context and the audience can find it either too insignificant or pointless. Legal Marketers often provide too little context.
  44. 44. Problem: “Is that good?” • This is something that can be easily solved. • Always, always, always provide deltas or comparison points to let the audience know whether the number is above or below expectation. • Where comparison points aren’t possible, set prior targets based on expectations, even if it is less than ideal.
  45. 45. Recall: The “Look at the big numbers” analysis 50,000 Users 620,000 Sessions 750,000 Pageviews 1:50 Time on Page 56% Bounce Rate 1.50 Pages/Session
  46. 46. 50,000 Users 620,000 Sessions 750,000 Pageviews 1:50 Time on Page 56% Bounce Rate 1.50 Pages/Session GOOD: Monthly overview +10% over Previous Period -5% over Previous Period +3% over Previous Period -10% over Previous Period +12.5% over Previous Period -2.5% over Previous Period
  47. 47. 50,000 Users 620,000 Sessions 750,000 Pageviews 1:50 Time on Page 56% Bounce Rate 1.50 Pages/Session BETTER: Despite users increasing this month, engagement declined. +10% over Previous Period -5% over Previous Period +3% over Previous Period -10% over Previous Period +12.5% over Previous Period -2.5% over Previous Period
  48. 48. BEST: Although our Linkedin Campaign acquired additional users, they were not highly engaged.Users Pages/Session Week 1 2 3 4 5 Start of LinkedIn Advocacy Campaign
  49. 49. Highlight the relevant audience with segments • Legal websites get a lot of junk traffic. • Showing pageviews can feel good, and it has its place; but, when showing performance, think hard about audience. • Segmentation possibilities: • Geography • Other Pages Visited (Services Page, Bio) • Referral Source (Trade magazine) • Ideal: Known Contact
  50. 50. Audience segments in GA
  51. 51. Just one piece of the puzzle • The most difficult part of analytics today • You can build great questions, tag the correct metrics, but can’t show the relationship it can leave an underwhelming feeling • “Okay, but that’s just the website, what about our event and email campaigns?”
  52. 52. Use buying cycle / sales funnel 1. Using the funnel as a reference, align all the content or marketing activities you perform for a user in each section of the journey 2. Assign metrics to understand how each activity is performing 3. Highlight parts of the funnel that are underperforming or need more coverage By aligning digital touchpoints to broader cycle, it can be easier to create context around a single asset’s purpose (and hopefully impact).
  53. 53. Start laying the foundation to get your data out of their native products Big News: • Google Analytics, when using its Web+App service, is available to export into BigQuery. • BigQuery allows access to Google Analytics raw data – a big deal for making it easier to report on in BI tools such as Power BI and Tableau. • Access to this used to cost $150k/year, now just storage $ • Amount varies based on size of storage, but typically <$50/month
  54. 54. Explore creating a data warehouse to lay foundation for single-view reporting • Store data from Web, Email, CRM, Marketing Automation, Social in one place • Use connective, anonymized IDs to understand impact of email or landing pages on contacts on Website • While it can be difficult to find these skills, this is more accessible than ever with products demanding less custom development and getting cheaper
  55. 55. But there are many workarounds • Export reports from Email, Social or other systems • Copy them into Data Studio • Blend sources such as Date to make single report that shows both external data and website data
  56. 56. Summary: How to build context 1. Always create baselines/benchmarks to assist audience in understanding progress. 2. Create funnel reports to show how digital marketing is assisting the broader sales process. 3. Begin the process of consolidating analytics into a single place for greater reporting. Tip: Consider creating composite scores that weight multiple user actions into a rolled up score. It can be easier to connect with limited-time audiences.
  57. 57. From thud to bang Process is more important than tools. Framing analytics effectively early in the process will greatly help clarity when creating an analysis. Keep your audience in mind. Different audiences require different levels of information. Show how the puzzle fits together. Of course an email blast is not the same as an in-person meeting, but show how it can contribute.
  58. 58. Q&A
  59. 59. Thank you!

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