Less than 30% of small businesses use website analytics, call tracking, or coupon codes. 18% of small businesses admit to not tracking anything.
What is Digital Analytics?
The internet is constantly evolving to improve e-commerce and, really, any business activities that take place online. From finding businesses to reviewing your website and purchasing a product, we constantly find ourselves doing something through the web. But are we taking full advantage of what our digital world has to offer? Given the ubiquity of online platforms and social media channels, businesses need proper analysis and reporting to make the most of them. One proven methodology for this task is digital analytics.
Digital analytics is the analysis of qualitative and quantitative data from your business and the competition to drive continual improvement of the online experience that your customers and potential customers have which translates to your desired outcomes. A data driven marketing strategy is paramount in successful business stories and can produce significantly better results.
Take a look at Amazon. In the last 6 months, the e-commerce powerhouse has received about 2.5 billion visits across all platforms, ranking number one in online shopping. (Similar Web) This comes as no surprise, given the amount CEO Jeff Bezos has invested in expanding his company’s online presence and analyzing consumer behavior. We receive product suggestions based on our web activity – it’s a recurring story. Digital analytics lets us tailor our businesses to customers and reduce bounce rate, or the percentage of users who leave a site after browsing the first page. Now let’s look at this phenomenon from a more macro perspective:
The Digital Age
Digital analytics couldn’t be more relevant today. The interconnectedness of smartphones, tablets, and desktops makes it easy to monitor and collect engagement data. Coupled with cloud technology, these assets store an incredible amount of information at our disposal.
According to Venture Harbour, we live in a digital age in which mobile advertising represents 72% of all US Digital ad spending. Several countries have emerged as “mobile first nations,” namely China which currently has an internet user penetration rate of 57.7% (MarketingToChina). The internet has become the first point of contact between businesses and consumers, regardless of B2B or B2C. This continued dominance perpetuates our reliance on digital marketing and demands businesses to utilize analytics to capitalize on their efforts. What most businesses need to understand, though, is that this process is cyclical.
From Data to Decisions
Put simply, we can delineate five key steps to conducting digital analytics: measure, analyze, report, test, repeat. According to Google Analytics, this framework allows for continuous improvement and a more complete set of data. Once you’ve defined your goals (or KPIs), you can test them with your consumers and adjust accordingly. Throughout this cycle, you want to monitor your ROI.
Measure: Identify your dimensions of data and collect the data needed to understand your audience. An analytics dashboard, which can be found in a number of programs such as Google Analytics, will keep your tracking organized. Dashboards let you monitor several metrics at once and display reports together in an easy to navigate layout. This digital library works well with live chat, user surveys, heat-maps and videos as well.
Analyze: Extract actionable information and attempt to explain patterns or incongruencies in data. This includes segmentation, attribution and competitive analysis. Measure your data against industry benchmarks.
Report: Make the information understandable, with clear explanations of how the data can drive business decisions.
Test: Find the best solutions to the problems identified during analysis. Testing helps eliminate bias from the decision-making process.
The Set Up
Your dashboard should be comprised of the top number crunching programs available. A great dashboard may include Google Analytics, Customer Relations Management (Salesforce), and a Business Intelligence Tool (Power BI).
Outputs vs Outcomes
It’s undeniable that the consumer is at the center of the marketing concept. Consumer activity generates pieces of data known as outputs. Defining your metrics will allow you to categorize this data – it’s up to you to derive meaning from this data and its implications on your overall business objectives. The outcome is the final result of success that all outputs should be judged against. Typically, outcomes are measured in five primary categories:
- Ecommerce: measured by sales
- Lead Generation: measured by capturing contact details
- Content Publishing: measured by engagement such as site visits
- Online Support Portals: measured by feasibility of finding information
- Branding: measured by brand penetration and loyalty
Activation on Insights
Analytics will ultimately reveal a couple of key insights: What changed over time? Why did this happen? What could happen? It’s important that you build a framework for data consumption so that you can make informed business decisions. Where should I invest my next dollar? How can I optimize my spending on marketing? What topics drive the most pipeline?
How We Work
Our expertise stems from individuals with extensive experience in the digital marketing and analytics industry. Kashif Khurshid is an expert in launching “service products” in the digital ecosystem for both B2B and B2C businesses. Khurshid, whose background includes analytics at Charles Schwab and Reliant Energy, recently shared his approach to “going beyond the first click.”
Khurshid’s Biggest Takeaways:
- Leverage Data to make Decisions
- Start with your Goal and Build to Scale
- Connect your Tech Stack to Work Seamlessly
At Z LAB, we employ digital analytics with a comprehensive approach. We develop your business a step further by creating a road map that traces a brand and product from its inception to maturity. From idea generation and market evaluation to product testing and company stakeholder satisfaction, our job is to ensure no factors are left unanalyzed. Simultaneously, we map every phase of the buyer journey to help convert leads into customers. At Z LAB, we help you understand your audience and facilitate market segmentation through data powered analytics.
Our qualifications extend beyond these services. At the core of digital analytics are quantitative and qualitative data, each which can take on several forms. At Z Lab, we conduct survey design, market tests, data mining, and data visualization to achieve and present an abundance of useful, quantitative data. Presentation makes all the difference in how you work with your data.
“Strategy comes from first visualizing the data you have,” ~ Kashif Khurshid
Furthermore, our proactive research on the market and various industries positions us to deliver refined, qualitative data ranging from interviews and focus groups to mystery shopping and heat maps. TIf you want to augment your business’ online presence, you need to be equipped with the right tools and reports.
Is it Too Much?
Digital Analytics is often associated with artificial intelligence and the notoriously coined “age of robots.” However, realize that there is nothing artificial about this concept – YOU are ultimately the brains behind everything. You make the decisions that will impact your business and push consumers beyond the first click.