First things first. The people who do your marketing analytics, painstakingly measure the data, and transform them into solid reports are to be recommended. They are an indispensable part of any marketing effort whether it’s SEO, web advertising, or the stats from your attendance at the last tradeshow.
These are the people who do a fair share of complicated work that leave your generators doing only the most important next step: Following the number trail.
Again, getting data is not easy (just look at what it might take just to get the numbers on keyword referrals). But at the same time, it’s those complications that tend to mislead lead generators to thinking that the numbers themselves provide an infallible solution. Misinterpretation abounds precisely because they see numbers as more than just mere indicators.
They’re like the guy who just stands and looks in awe at the sign when he’s really supposed to be following where it’s pointing too. Sure, you can blame the sign for being too shiny or too flashy but at the end of the day, what’s important? You know where the gold is.
Here are some quick exercises you can do the next time you or your lead generators feel a little overwhelmed by data:
- Get to the bottom – For example, say you’re getting a really low conversation rate on a particular page. Rather than crunch more numbers or mentally wrangle the statistics in your head, try to actually look at that page and see if there’s anything. Do you lack a call-to-action? Is the page itself suffering from poor loading speed or has been found crawling with malware?
- Try simple answers first – When trying to understand anomalies in data, the best thing you can do is to consider simpler answers first before assuming something more complex. For example, why was there so little activity in your tradeshow booth? It could be because you simply didn’t have enough staff to engage people.
- Untangle your web – Finally, don’t be too confident when it looks like the numbers have been higher for a particular quarter. Sometimes overall success of a lead generation campaign has more to do with the activities in one area and not so much the rest. Untangle your web, separate the pieces, and see if less developed areas need more work.
- Always remember your goals – Numbers themselves mean nothing if you didn’t achieve the results you wanted from a lead generator. Sure you generated a high amount of traffic or got a good impression in your sales appointments. What’s that when it still looks like you’re losing customers faster than you can acquire them? It kind of the defeats your long-term goal of staying in business.
You’ll only be devaluing all the hard work put into compiling your marketing data if you refuse to acknowledge the simpler facts they’re indicating. (For example, having a nice Twitter following means nothing if you don’t know why people are engaging the things you put up.) While the rest are working on finding the money trail, best start following it!