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Sneh Parmar
03.16.2017

Analytics - Types of Data Points and How They Work Together

The amount of data collected these days is unfathomable. In fact, there’s such an abundant amount of data collected that analysts have difficulty trying to determine what’s important.

So how do you connect all of that information to give a holistic view into what’s happening? It could potentially take forever trying to connect certain data points; however, in order to be effective you need to focus on the key elements that you are trying to showcase.

Let’s say that you have a client that wants to form different marketing strategies using analytics. The next few questions that comes up are: what analytic platforms do I use, why do I use them, and how can they all work in a cohesive manner.

Here are some standard yet very powerful platforms for each your client’s needs:

Website

Google Analytics is the go to platform to gather data about a company’s website and everything that’s encompassed within it. Google Analytics can provide you with the ability to track users, determine behavior flows, identify specific goals, and a lot more.

You can even customize Google Analytics into tracking very intricate elements of a website such as which button do users press to get to a certain page. It’s this customizability and sheer strength of the platform that makes Google Analytics a necessity for any company.

Social

In today’s time, if you’re not on social media then you don’t exist. Companies’ use social media in a multitude of ways to engage with customers, increase their brand presence, receive feedback, and more.

One the best ways to track social media data is working with the different platforms (i.e. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.) using a business account. Social media platforms track certain data points for business accounts and can provide them to you as long as you have one. This information could contain anything from engagement number, follower count, and number of likes to help business determine what they need to focus on to constantly be on their customers’ minds.

Media and PR

Media and PR data includes Google AdWords, Yelp Advertising, Waze banners, publications, blog posts, etc. These are targeted events that can be customized to make users take certain actions such as click to go to your site, engage to receive a discount on your store items, and/or share the post to their friends.

This data can be powerful to help determine how often people engage with your content and what type of promotions work best to attract people to your company.

Activations (Physical and In-Store Events)

Activations include the hands on marketing and sales strategies that companies employ. You can associate a cost to a sale very easily based on number of redemptions, number of people that came into the store because of an activity you held, and other activities. Activations could be anything from handing out flyers at an event in the community to going to the local radio station and informing people of a promotion.

This makes activations a very powerful tool to gather concrete data for your recommendations to your client.

So how do you use these data points?

Your goal should be to tie all of this information together to tell a story about how different actions affected the overall strategy. Did PR or social result in an increase of sales for the weekend or was it due to a hands on activation? These are the types of questions that you should be able to answer.

The answer will never be completely clear but you can make certain inferences based on the activities you did and what the result was. For example, if there was a higher number of sales the week after a major PR publication then you can attribute a certain number of those sales to the campaign, if the week prior and 2 weeks after the PR publication did less in sales. The best way to test certain marketing activities is to have controlled environments where you test one activity by itself to understand the type of impact it had on the overall goal.

Google Analytics can provide the medium through which consumers came to the website, which can be really useful to determine which marketing activity resulted in the highest conversion. One process to determine which channel is doing better is to have a social post go out on the same day as a PR publication and see which one resulted in more conversions by checking Google Analytics. Using this information, you can determine to invest more into the channel that provides a better ROI. Similarly, you can do the same for media channels and in-store activations.

PR and media are good compliments of each other, so attempting to combine those efforts can result in a more successful campaign because they are both actions that require customers to engage with the brand. Likewise, having a volunteering event (Activation) and then using that content to post on social can result in a higher community following on social media, which increase brand awareness.

There is no exact rule to using certain actions together, and more often than not you will have to customize it based on the client. This offers up the opportunity to try different combinations and sequences to understand how different sources of data plays a larger role in marketing and business.

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