The Only Analytics That Matter Are Your Own

Without looking at a calendar, I always know when it is Tuesday. Every Tuesday at 11 a.m. it is inevitable that my email inbox explodes with emails urging me to download the latest guides on marketing know-how and friendly token-filled messages from sales reps simply “checking in”.

shutterstock_296999957As a marketer, I have heard and read all sorts of tips for marketing automation success and campaign effectiveness. I am well aware that Tuesday at 11 a.m. is a recommended day and time to drip your database with the next relevant email in a demand generation program. However, I can’t help but wonder if these companies are studying their own data and have noticed that I have not opened an email that has been sent to me at that day and time in months? I simply don’t open them because my inbox is flooded with similar offers from their competitors, and they have unfortunately gotten lost in the shuffle.

Today’s marketers have a wealth of knowledge at their fingertips. There is access to endless discussion groups and “best practices” that encourage us to follow what works for other marketers in terms of effective demand generation planning. This post from Econsultancy still rings true and shows research many marketers adhere to when planning deployments.

The problem with what is working for everyone else is that everyone else is doing it. While good tips passed on from one marketer to the next may provide great insights, it doesn’t supersede the reality of your own business, which can only be discovered with accurate analytics. Your analytics.

So, what do analytics mean for today’s marketer?

  • We have the ability to ditch the status quo and see what really works – Yes, Tuesdays and Thursdays boast sensational open rates for emails. However, with proper analytics, you may drill down on your data and see that despite all of the open-rates, your click-through-rates are suffering even on those days while another day is a top performer.
  • We get to look at ongoing programs and tweak what isn’t working – Using the example above, you may take a look at the scheduling of your emails and after some testing determine that sending an email on Wednesday at 2 p.m. actually bodes well for your target demographic; following the implementation of a slight shift in your scheduling, you may see conversion rates soar. Even the simplest analysis of your data can provide you the opportunity to make small changes that provide a big impact.
  • We can target prospects with sophistication and precision – Trust me, email open-rates and click-through-rates are barely even scratching the surface when it comes to today’s analytics. You can measure the effectiveness of just about anything with the implementation of a robust analytics software system, and properly mining that data allows you to approach your prospects fully armed with a knowledge on how they are behaving in your campaigns; giving you a leg up on how to interact with them using a precise strategy.

Simply put, analytics provide today’s marketers with the right tools to create refined and targeted strategies based on factual data of what works. However, it’s critical to remember that mining data with the right tools is only a small slice of the pie, and an effective underlying Demand Generation Strategy is always a must when tweaking your programs based on the findings of your analysis.

Trust the numbers and remember that the latest “best practices” may not actually be best for your organization. Dig down and analyze your own data for effectiveness because it’s all about your buyer and they don’t respond the exact same way as others buyers do.

Author: Sarah Shelnut @SarahShelnut, Director of Strategy, ANNUITAS

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