Oftentimes, we think of web analytics as a discipline designed to detect problems, poor performance, failures or flops. It’s certainly important to know what’s not working – this is the first step in improving your marketing performance. Once audience data reveals a problem, an analyst can propose actions to take on the site in order to correct that problem. Analysis is therefore part of a more general, overall process of continuous optimisation: Define your objectives, measure performance, analyse, improve and check.
But who says continuous optimisation can only work when you’ve got a problem? It may sound like a paradox, but success can also serve to improve performance. If you can’t yet see how, here are three excellent reasons to spend much more quality time studying your successes!
#1 – It’s good for morale!
Some days, it truly seems difficult to work in digital marketing. Think of those times when nothing seems to work… The ad investments that you were somehow able to negotiate from management are not yielding the expected results. The campaigns you’ve spent so much time preparing are finally launched, but the results are not looking good. You can slice, dice and fiddle with your data in any which way, but to no avail – the results are just not up to scratch.
So, when your marketing actions yield positive results, you’ve got to know how to make the most of it. Data also serves to highlight success, and enables each stakeholder to see the true scope of this success. Managers should use data to congratulate all project contributors, and even reinvigorate and enthuse them. (They’re going to need that energy and enthusiasm to face the aforementioned problems.)
It is also important to focus on your successes, because they validate the choices you’ve made. For each marketing action, you make choices based on experience, knowledge and best practices. When a user clicks, signs up or orders, this is proof that he or she believes in what you’re offering. This in itself is a form of validation of your company’s offering and the way in which it’s presented. This shows that the marketing team’s decisions were the right ones, and each person who contributed to implementing this action should know that it was successful.
#2 – It allows you to better know your users and their perception of your company.
Your successes will tell you a great many things. Just because something is successful doesn’t mean you should stop there and move on to something else. It’s important to know how to draw learnings from your successes. The fundamental question to ask yourself is: Why?
In the same way that, when confronted with problems, you seek out the possible causes, you should also seek out what might have generated positive performance. What made you successful? Was it because of a specific context, a particularly opportune moment, the products highlighted, the population targeted, the medium used, and/or the combination of several different factors? A deeper analysis of your data can give you more information on what attracted and convinced your audience. By decrypting user browsing paths, analysing queries in your internal search engine, and studying the characteristics of people who converted, you’ll uncover interesting information about the reasons behind your success.
What can be even more valuable is to focus on the wording used, the arguments highlighted, and the value propositions put forth. You’ll learn what resonated with and convinced your clients or prospects. It’s not rare for audiences to have a surprising reaction to certain arguments. This might lead you to re-evaluate your previous ideas. Your clients have a certain perception of your company, and it’s surely quite different from what you think. One of the main roles of a marketer is to gather deeper knowledge and understanding of clients’ perception of the company. It’s an essential first step if you want your audience to listen, and if you want their perception of your company to change.
Therefore, studying your successes enables you to discern a more precise idea of the unique place your company holds in users’ minds.
#3 – It helps you achieve additional success.
Just because you’re successful doesn’t mean there’s no more room for improvement. It’s a natural tendency to think
that when we achieve excellent performance, it will be very difficult – even impossible – to obtain even better results. Yet, nothing prevents us from improving performance. We can therefore turn our attention toward what made our actions successful. After asking yourself why you were successful, hone in on and develop the specific elements that led to success: an efficient argument to highlight even more, a product presentation that should be further enhanced, a client testimonial to flesh out further.
If one of your actions leads to success, you should consider extending its impact by exposing more people to it. If a certain ad worked very well with your Facebook fan page followers, why not test this same ad with Facebook users who have similar profiles to your subscribers? If one of your ad texts on Google achieved a very high click through rate, why not use this text in the subject line of an email? If one of your products was presented in a particularly powerful way, why not test this same approach with other products? Test, and there are strong chances that your success will spread beyond your initial project and into new territories.
So, in your next dashboard comments, reports or performance audits, I encourage you to highlight and emphasize your successes. Not only will this boost your team’s morale, it will also inspire and equip them to reproduce this success with future marketing projects. Digital analytics is not only good for identifying pain points – it can make you smile, too.