Whoever said marketing isn’t measurable hadn’t been introduced to the world of analytics. By definition – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Analytics , “Analytics is the discovery and communication of meaningful patterns in data. Especially valuable in areas rich with recorded information, analytics relies on the simultaneous application of statistics, computer programming and operations research to quantify performance. Analytics often favors data visualization to communicate insight.” A little wordy, but in summary – Analytics is the visual representation of data… in this case, marketing data.

Let me break it down. Imagine you bring in cookies to work every day for a week. You’ve brought 1 dozen chocolate chips cookies, 1 dozen raisin cookies (ugh…), and 1 dozen sugar cookies every day. By the end of each day, you’ve got various amount of cookies left… 2 chocolate chip cookies, 10 raisin cookies, and 4 sugar cookies. Every day that week, you keep a chart of the cookies that were left over. By the end of the week, you can analyze your cookie data – 90% of chocolate chip cookies were consumes, 64% of sugar cookies, and 23% of raisin cookies.



What did you learn? People love chocolate chip cookies and don’t care for raisin cookies. Now what would you do the next week you brought cookies? If you were smart, you would bake more chocolate chip cookies and fewer raisin cookies. You’ve just analyzed your own cookie data.

Now apply this to the world of your marketing efforts. If you’re not tracking your marketing data, you’re bringing in raisin cookies when people only want chocolate chip. It wastes not only your time, but also your money and your efforts. By correctly using analytics, you are working smarter for better results without having to work harder for mediocre results. Now, let’s talk about how to get to working smarter.



Using Google Analytics for your Restoration Website

The easiest way to implement analytics today is by utilizing the FREE tool Google provides called “ Google Analytics – http://www.google.com/analytics/features/analysis-tools.html .” By now, you should know the power of the internets, so having a great brand presence in the #1 search engine in the world is imperative. Google analytics allows you to see a whole tool set of data about your website and website traffic (the people clicking onto your website).

Updated in real time, Google’s analytics feature allows website owners to see incoming traffic, traffic sources (where people are finding your website), keywords (what people searched for to find your website), bounce rates (where people are clicking off of your website… this is a bad thing and you’ll want the number to be low), new visitors (people clicking on your website for the first time), returning visitors (people clicking on your website for a second, third, etc time), and more. And did I mention, it’s free?



To get started on this, use your Google account to log into the analytics dashboard – https://www.google.com/analytics . Follow the onsite instructions to add the tracking code to your website (if you have a webmaster, they should know what to do here… if they don’t, it may be time to find a new webmaster). Once the code is installed, you’ll start tracking your Google analytics that day!

Using Analytics to Track Your Marketing Efforts

As with any restoration company, it’s not just an online marketing effort. A majority of marketing implementation takes place face to face, on the road, at an expo, in a meeting, etc. This is where consistent, detailed notes are imperative (check out 5 apps to scan your business cards right from your phone).



Newsletters

When you sent out your last newsletter, did you check your click-open rates? Which links did they click on? Did they forward the email? Remember, most online newsletter websites (see our article on 3 newsletter websites we recommend) provide excellent tracking analytics that will tell you all this and more. By analyzing the newsletter, you’ll be able to see what information people are reading, what they don’t care for, and how to better write up your next newsletter!

Spreadsheets

Yes, back to spreadsheets… sorry for those who hate excel. But by tracking where your marketing dollars are going and conversely which of the dollars are coming back in the form of leads, you can better tailor your marketing budget. Let me introduce you to my rule of 3. If you have a minute, right down all your marketing expenditures if you haven’t already. Done? Good. Now, circle what you think are the 3 leading sales generators. Analytics will take the guess work out of that. Start today and tracking incoming leads. Ask the leads where they heard of you – internet, referral, newsletter, online ad, newspaper? Be specific. Once you’ve gathered enough data, cut out the 3 bottom lead generators and pour those extra marketing dollars into your top three generators. Over the course of months, track your leads. Are the top 3 generators increasing your leads? They should be. Using analytics will tell you the who, what, where, when and why of your marketing budget.



Followup

Some of the truest for of analytics is the followup. Follow up with attendees to your CE Class and ask them straight up – did you enjoy the course? What could we have done better? What would you like to see? I like to title these analytics as “feedback analytics,” and it’s some of the most powerful form of analytics because it is coming straight for your client. The key? Don’t be afraid to followup. This is the most important information you could possibly gather. Ask much and ask often. The more data you have, the better analytics you’ll be able to, well… analyze.

By keeping a thumb on your analytics you can really transform your marketing efforts in a short amount of time. You can take an overweight, lazy marketing plan and turn it into a lean, mean marketing machine just by having the right data! Have you had experience with outsourcing your marketing analytics? What are your recommendations?



 

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