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Analysis Paralysis? Focus On The Marketing Data That Matters Most To You |  November 19, 2014 (0 comments)


Merrick, NY—The ability to slice and dice data down to the most micro-targeted level is one of the greatest advantages of digital media. But just because all that data is available to you doesn’t mean it’s all relevant—or even helpful—in achieving your marketing goals.

Digital media is all about targeting, targeting, targeting, says Shane O’Neill, vice president of Toledo, Ohio-based Fruchtman Marketing. Because digital marketing provides multiple levels of targeting capabilities, it’s extra-important to understand the audience you wish to connect with for any digital effort. This helps avoid waste in terms of reach and can save significant dollars.

But the more you target your digital buys—for example, geo-targeting, income targeting, behavioral targeting, daypart targeting—the greater the cost, says Joanne Dericco, president of Mediability Plus, a New York-based media buying consultancy.

Dericco echoes O’Neill’s belief that it still is always more effective to be more targeted. Yes, it costs more, but in the end it’s the better value. For example, a jeweler can target women between the ages of 20 and 30, which is a very broad category. Buying an aggregate network of sites—which tends to be less expensive than site-specific buys—will net a lot of eyeballs, but not necessarily ones you want.

“You could be on all kinds of random sites, like gambling sites, domestic abuse sites, healthcare sites, child development sites, hunting & fishing sites. But most of the visitors to these sites will never be a potential customer for your jewelry.

“Hence the big misconception that all digital is cheap and a good way to reach lots of people. You can reach lots of eyeballs cheaply, but with huge waste—and possibly worse—big mistakes in your branding effort.

As an experienced luxury jeweler, knowing whom to target is a lot easier than where. Today it’s possible to micro-target down to almost an individual consumer, but is the cost of reaching that sub-subset going to be worth the returns in sales? There are infinite ways that social sites will slice and dice data, and as a result it’s easy to spend too much money for unnecessary data that isn’t going to help you target better or bring you higher sales. An article on offers some general tips for using data to make smarter media buys.

1. The best metric is the one that works for you. While everyone strives for efficiency and reach, if your goal is to increase sales, you might want to measure actionable results like sales per 1,000 website visits instead of the standard cost-per-click or cost-per-thousand-impressions.

2. Test often. Performing small tests on big decisions can help you stay on track with your goals. For example, if you’re adding a new publication or site, track results from that compared to results before they were added.

3. Performance comes in many forms: you can focus on converting more customers, or on converting more of a certain type of customer.

4. Give it time. Although digital is an instantaneous world, it still takes time to properly analyze results of a campaign driven by different kinds of data. Allow your campaign enough time to prove or disprove its value. And remember that learning what doesn’t work is just as important as learning what does.

Read more here.

Avoid analysis paralysis. It’s easy to drown in the data that can be mined, says Dericco. For example, a client might want to know how long a visitor spent on a specific product, if they watched a specific video, watched it in its entirety, or for how long.

“There are so many ways to drill down, but at some point it can become overwhelming and make further decision making near impossible because there's just too much data to process. As in so many aspects of our lives, when the process gets too complicated, many people just shut down,” she said.

At the most basic, understand what each kind of digital marketing will accomplish, says O’Neill. Facebook is mostly about branding, and that takes patience in terms of conversions into sales. Paid search, by contrast, is potentially a shorter timeframe [to convert to sales] as consumers are actively searching for products and services.

“It’s important to outline expectations and objectives so the jeweler is comfortable with where he spend his marketing dollars,” he says.

Does this feel like you after trying to plan a digital media campaign? Focus on the metrics that matter most to you, even if they're not the market standard, and understand the basics of what each platform does. Image:

HootSuite’s UberVu division recently released a white paper titled “The Beginner’s Guide To Social Media Metrics.” Bearing in mind that the most important metric is the one that works for you, here are the top metrics they believe are important, and tips to measure them:

1. Volume of mentions. This is basically counting the number of times a keyword you feel is relevant gets used in tweets, wall posts, or other social media.  Keywords can be anything from your company name to product categories (like diamonds, engagement rings), to location, competitors, and so forth. Try also to track when the mentions are most common—time of day, day of week, and so forth. There are tools available to do the counting for you, or you can track it yourself which is less costly but time-consuming.

2. Investigate a spike in mentions: is it positive or negative? Amplify the positive and here are some tips for mitigating damage in a negative conversation.

3. Compare mentions to your marketing campaign: did they increase after launch of a new campaign, or are they stagnant? This could signal a need to tweak the campaign.

4. What’s the sentiment of the mentions? Again, a spike can be positive or negative and, again, there are tools available that can measure the tone of comments so you don’t have to sit and tally each one. This also can help you evaluate your brand against competitors.

5. Reach is how many people see your posts. Each social media site has its own analytics tools you can use to see reach, shares, etc. Facebook analytics break down post reach, paid posts, organic posts, and total reach, which includes posts by others, likes, ads, mentions, and check-ins. Tracking reach can help you make future decisions based on what is resonating best with your audience.

6. Track engagement. These metrics vary by platform, but include things like likes, shares, comments, re-tweets, re-pins, and so forth. This measurement also can help you gauge your influence and that of your followers who might inspire others to your brand.

7. Share of voice. This is calculated by counting how many mentions your brand or company gets within a specific time period, then doing the same for competitors. Divide your mentions by the total number of competitors and that’s your share of voice.

8. Share of voice matters for more than just your brand name—it also matters for product and category discussions.

9. Share of voice also can be used to measure the long-term effectiveness of a campaign. Measure at the beginning and throughout to see how it is performing.

10. Audience growth rate is the number of followers you have on each platform. Measuring over time will help you see where your growth is coming from, and pay attention to the gender, age, and location of these followers. (Some platforms provide this information for you.)

You built it, they came, now what? Fruchtman’s Shane O’Neill warns that if the customers you reach through your digital marketing efforts land on a bland website, you’re wasting time and money.

“The past few years have drastically changed the jewelry buying landscape. The idea of a static, basic website is long gone, and the jeweler’s website is a destination portal, arguably just as important as store itself. Without a highly functional website, that includes robust galleries (among other things), potential digital marketing efforts [all] become less effective,” he says.

If your site doesn’t meet those criteria, plan an overhaul ASAP. In any case, first and foremost it’s essential to develop a digital marketing budget, he says.

“It's important to adequately fund any digital strategy, particularly if targeting to the bridal customer because they almost exclusively online. This budget will be applied to various digital initiatives, most of which will direct traffic to your primary hub: your website. Currently, that budget should be around 25% of the jeweler’s entire marketing budget, but that number is growing,” he says.

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