Reporting & Analysis
When virtually anything can be measured these days, time should be spent on looking at the data. The right data. Determining what data is important, what isn't, and how changes in data affect your business is critical.
Consider the Right Data
GRAYBOX advocates spending about 15% of your marketing time looking at and evaluating data on an ongoing basis. Otherwise, we're all flying blind.
The sheer quantity of data that can be collected across sources these days is astounding. For each data point you can collect, there are oftentimes dozens of different ways of collecting it and tools in which you can see the data presented. GRAYBOX is a proponent of the "crawl, walk, run" methodology in most things, and this applies especially to data analysis. While there are hundreds of data that can be investigated and evaluated, we recommend focusing on the foundation first and then building up you've got a good understanding of what the fundamentals.
GRAYBOX starts with a comprehensive set of questions to ask about what the business values. From there, we can recommend a series of key metrics that will help determine how the business is faring on accomplishing its goals. Everything from on-site engagement, conversion, and abandonment through sales close rate; they all have an impact on how your business is ultimately going to succeed and we can look at all of it.
There are a wide variety of tools out there to be able report on data. The market has evolved a great deal in the last decade and the prevalence of robust, mature, and free tools is more prevalent than ever. We leverage a combination of free and paid tools to pull in the important data and facilitate straightforward analysis. There's no one tool that covers all the bases and it's a matter of finding the right one that fits the need.
Once we've got the right data, GRAYBOX spends time reviewing and analyzing the data on an ongoing basis. Most of our client-partners are getting monthly reports that include comprehensive analysis of data points that they value, from site traffic to usability metrics, and sales engagement. We recommend spending 15% of any ongoing marketing efforts on reviewing, analyzing, and making recommendations based on results. Otherwise, our collective efforts across marketing initiatives, content creation, and promotions are going without an understanding of what worked, what didn't, and where we can potentially improve. It's that constant cycle of learning and refining that is critical in measuring and fine-tuning our strategies and tactics.
Finally, we look for opportunities to automate the process wherever possible. We're not yet at the stage where we can expect machine learning to do the analysis for us, but many of the tools we use regularly afford us the opportunity to either send automated dashboards or pull in specific data in a visually interesting way, that we can then analyze. GRAYBOX would rather spend time on the analysis than copying and pasting data any day of the week.
The Right Data
GRAYBOX recommends picking a handful of key performance indicators and sticking with those. There’s so much potential data to look at, but consistently looking at a handful of key metrics is better than never looking at 25.
If we don’t actually think about what that means, how it’s changing from the previous period or over the previous year, then we’re just looking at a single point in time that may not be relevant.
We can leverage both off the shelf and paid tools to help automate the collection of data so you can spend time on what’s important: interpreting what the data means.