“You can only manage what you can measure.”
– Peter Drucker
It’s easy to get obsessed with numbers and metrics when you’re working with the Web. There’s no shortage of information about what’s happening with your website, app or campaign. The cup of data overfloweth.
For a certain set of people, and I count myself in this category, data is just fascinating. I find myself getting lost in spreadsheets and databases while attempting to tease out just one more insight.
But the point of data isn’t in the data. It’s often not even in the insights that come from the data. The point is the act of measurement itself.
Measurement creates focus. This is really the reason why we do it. This is really why it matters.
If you’re doing your metrics properly the process starts with defining goals. Aiming only matters if you know what your target looks like. So you start with goals and the goals lead to metrics.
If you don’t approach the problem from this direction, it’s easy to get into trouble. I was recently reviewing the pay per click (PPC) campaign work that a client was having done with a third party. Initially they were thrilled with the numbers they were seeing – a large numbers of clicks, with a low cost per click. As we talked about why they were making the investment and what their goals were – questions that they were never asked and hadn’t considered before starting the PPC campaign – it became clear that there were many issues:
- Traffic was going to the wrong pages – generic service line pages rather than campaign landing pages
- They needed offers associated with the campaign that didn’t exist
- The quality of the traffic (complete with near 100 percent bounce rates) was terrible
- They were paying for many brand keywords that were not specific to the campaign and which they already owned from an organic search perspective
- And, in some cases, they were promoting offerings for which patients rarely choose providers of have much input
Where was the problem in this? They never defined the ultimate goals of the effort! And they confused operational metrics with goal targets. Beginning with a goal of scheduled procedures rather than the general tactical charge of “promote this service line” would naturally have led to questions about converting browsers to patients, targeting audience segments, messaging needs, and a just a more holistic view of the process.
Instead, they’d been feeling good about money that they were throwing away.
Setting up a process for goal-driven marketing is not hard to do. To learn how to do this, and to learn more about how metrics and transparency will make you a better digital marketer, watch our webinar – Translating Site Data Into Action.