The title of this blog may make you snore, but it could be something that could make or break your marketing efforts. Analytics, of course, is a very broad term, and in marketing could mean in-depth website and SEO analytics or something as basic as asking your customers to take a survey. This month we decided to discuss this topic because it doesn't matter if you are doing content marketing, event marketing, or grassroots marketing, if you are spending your time on it, you should be evaluating those efforts and asking yourself a simple question, “Is it worth it?”
We compiled a list of easily accessible (and useable) analytics applications, particularly that small business owner or anyone who doesn’t have a background in analysis can use.
For this months’ podcast we talked with Meredith Giles, the Marketing Director from La Tortilla factory, click here to listen, and she got us thinking about analytics and how deeply engrained it has been to her success. Analytics is all about spending your time on the things that work for your business and that is different for everyone, based on your brand, your customers, even your location. Social media may work for a restaurant or a night club but may not work as well for a lumber company or steel manufacturer.
Taking an excerpt from the podcast, Meredith quotes her CEO at La Tortilla factory (and we felt it perfect to motivate you to invest in analytics if you haven’t already done so), “If you’re going to fail, do it quickly and economically.”
What does this mean? Everyone fails, I mean everyone, but if you do, especially in marketing, correct it fast and move on so you cost the company (and sometimes yourself, if a small business owner) the least amount of money and resources. This is basically what analytics helps you achieve. Without a guide for your success, how do you know you are doing exactly that, succeeding?
So, where do you start?
At La Tortilla Factory, they have enough resources to have a team of analysts but if you can’t or don’t, it is always good to start with Google Analytics (for your website), a free service offered by Google that tracks your website activity through organic and referral sources as well as social media and google ads. Facebook, Twitter, Linked In and You Tube all have their own analytics but some fall short of useful and I would recommend tracking your status each month, and how much time you spend on each of these tools. Another effective tool for small businesses are online surveys or simply a referral sheet program. It is an easy way to track where your new customers are coming from and whether you need to ramp up your networking or SEO.
If these concepts seem too basic for you, or you have already started them and are looking for something more in depth to analyze and generate leads I recommend a couple programs that are easy but more in depth.
Google Analytics Application Gallery- this app helps business owners’ track and control spending as well as produce legible reports.
Quantam Leap Buzz (Twitter)- a “social media application discovery” that boasts itself as an app that quantifiably organizes tweets and post in to themes.
WolframAlpha- (Facebook) breaks down your personal Facebook account analyzing posts, trends and keywords all in a series of charts, graphs and tables.
Recorded Future- an app from the collaboration of the CIA and Google that uses data aggregation to essentially predict trends, relationships and event happenings.
Survey Advantage- uses experts to compile questions based on research and uses all data in a easy-to-read spreadsheet that can tell you exactly how you are doing, what your (participating) customers say, etc.
Survey Monkey- made for beginners with easy-to-use software that compiles information for you through simple reports.
Some of these applications are free some you have to pay for (for good reason). Do a little research and you can put this money to good use to see where your marketing is lacking. But in all, rest easy knowing that there are easy ways to track your marketing, even if you are a one woman shop or a high tech software company. Pick what is right for your company and go for it!