Transforming data into things you can do!

Numbers everywhere! Great, you’ve collected all the data, but now what?

These days, businesses are able to know what customers are thinking and how they’re interacting with websites without having to manually collect data – all thanks to tech. But with the sheer amount of data that technology collects and analyses, how can you turn this raw data into actionable insights, and help to improve your business strategy?

What is an insight?

An insight, in digital marketing, is a way to gain an accurate and in-depth understanding of how your site and services are used by your customers. Insights are developed from data and then used to make actionable decisions to improve the performance of your site.

With all the tools we have available, from social media to Google Analytics, there’s little data that can’t be tracked and measured. Data collection and analysis is common practice for many modern businesses and, ideally, data should be utilised and factored into how a brand approaches its marketing. The better the understanding of how customers see and experience your service, the more efficient your marketing efforts can be.

Organise your data

Of course, to gain this understanding, a targeted strategy is required to get the most out of your data. Provided that you have set goals for the performance of your site, you can go straight to the categorising of your data. Begin by breaking down the digital data you’ve collected into whether it’s relevant to your business goals.

There are two main types of data: qualitative and quantitative data. Depending on your goals, one may be more important than the other.

Quantitative Data

Quantitative data is anything that can be measured numerically. This type of data is mostly pulled from analytics tools, like Google Analytics, as well as the analytics of individual social media platforms. This is a great way to determine the demographics and search habits of your site users and the digital journey that these users have taken across your site.

Qualitative Data

Qualitative data is anything that can be defined as descriptive information. These provide you with insight into the types of experiences that your customers have with your services, and their general thoughts and opinions of your business. This type of data can be found in the form of on-site reviews, and reviews on external sources and platforms such as Trip Advisor, social media and Google reviews.

Both of these types of data allow you to understand what’s working and what isn’t when it comes to your business. Once you’ve collected your relevant data, identify whether or not this data reflects the achieving of your specified site goals.

Interpret your data

For example, imagine one of your business goals is to increase the number of positive reviews on your site. To achieve this you previously made pinned posts on Twitter and Facebook, asking users to leave a comment about their most recent experience with you. However, upon checking your data to see if there have been review-based comments on your social channels, you see that there has been little to no change. What you should interpret from this data is that this is perhaps not the most effective way to improve positive reviews of your business.

Alternatively, one of your business goals could be to increase transactions, so, to do so, you implement a discount which you highlight on the site through the form of a promotional banner, which, when clicked, leads to a unique transaction page. You also share a link to this page on your social platforms. As a result, you can see through your data that users have responded well to this discount code, with many landing on the unique transaction page through clicking the banner which has impacted the increase in transactions on your site. What you should interpret from this is that your introduction of a discount has helped you to achieve one of your goals, so this is probably something you should try and replicate.

Make Recommended Next Actions

It’s all well and good that you’ve identified that your previous actions either have or haven’t helped you achieve the goals you’re aiming for, but now what? Well, now is when you make decisions to help you achieve your goals based on the information in the data you’ve collected.

So, the social posts asking users to comment or review their most recent experience didn’t work, and you’ve been able to discover this through your data collection and analysis. You should then make recommended actions based on this, to turn this around. Perhaps your recommended next action is to consider email marketing to your existing customers (while staying GDPR compliant) and offering these customers a voucher in return for a review, to increase the amount of positive feedback for your business.

Or, you can tell that, based on the data, you successfully managed to increase your site’s transactions through a discount banner. You may now consider running a campaign with a couple of PPC ads that highlight this discount offer, to encourage more users to click-through to the unique landing page, and potentially increase the number of transactions on your site.

Start Again

We know what you’re thinking; “What?! I’ve got to do this again?” – and the answer is yes. To ensure that you keep achieving the goals you’ve set, it’s important to keep reviewing your data on a regular basis – and definitely during and after every campaign that you run. This provides you with up-to-date insights which you can use to pinpoint whether or not your actions have achieved the results you were aiming for. Digital marketing very rarely ends up being a one-time effort and often requires adjustments, which is why it’s crucial to continue to improve your online presence through actionable data-led insights.

Unsure about what you’re looking for in Google Analytics when it comes to collecting data? Check out our blog on The Metrics – What to look at in Google Analytics for some top tips. You can also check out the Google Garage topic on turning data into insights for a comprehensive lowdown, including understanding the data cycle, managing numbers, and presenting data effectively – it was written by a bunch of absolute know-it-all data experts… *ahem*… so you’re in good hands.

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