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A to D: Four steps to avoid analysis paralysis in digital analytics

Author: Lindy Porter

Marketers know the importance of data analytics. Collecting, measuring, and analyzing consumer data sheds light on how campaigns and initiatives are performing so marketing teams can optimize their strategies accordingly. Data also helps paint a clearer picture of target audiences so marketing departments can deliver more personalized experiences that resonate with consumers.

The sheer amount of analytics available today can be overwhelming, and it’s tempting to want to examine every single data point to ensure nothing gets missed. Yes, data analytics can reveal a treasure trove of consumer insights to marketing departments — but only if used correctly. The trick to using digital analytics effectively is knowing which metrics are most important to ensure you reach your marketing goals.

To avoid analysis paralysis, the data metrics you should focus on are as simple as A-B-C-D.


To understand the effectiveness and ROI of your marketing activities, you must track the touchpoints a consumer encounters during their journey with your brand. How did they get to your website? Did they use a search engine, follow an email link, or click on an ad? If they clicked on an ad, which one or how many? Knowing where your visitors come from not only lets you optimize your ads and campaigns, but it ensures you’re focusing on the right website traffic sources that are most profitable.

Today’s customer journey is complex due to multi-channel environments where consumers interact across a range of devices (mobile phones, laptops, tablets, etc.), apps, and channels. Effectively stitching all these digital identities in live time (from every device, channel, and domain) is critical to delivering a personalized journey.


How are consumers behaving or engaging with your websites and apps? Do they spend a lot of time on a particular page? If so, this is a good indicator the content is meaningful and engaging. Are they liking posts or leaving comments on your social media sites? Both positive and negative engagement can be used as feedback to enhance your deliverables and strategies.

Aside from showing what marketing tactics are and aren’t working, tracking behavior and engagement also gives marketers the insight needed to optimize the consumer experience. By recognizing certain online behaviors (like consumers who always shop for the lowest price), you can build new behavioral personas (i.e., “value shoppers” or “trend followers”) to define segments.

These segments can then be used to build content strategies that deliver personalized experiences and offers. For instance, a marketing department that knows who its “value shoppers” are can create an email campaign that sends loyalty discounts to those specific consumers.

4 Metrics to Maximize Your Digital Analytics Reporting


For marketers, there’s nothing quite as satisfying as seeing a consumer click a link in an email or download an e-book. Whether it’s clicking on a paid ad, filling out a form to receive your newsletter, or adding a product to their shopping cart, tracking conversions shows marketers what campaigns and activities are and aren’t working.

To further optimize your marketing conversion strategies, live-time data capture is key. This means information is captured and processed in milliseconds, so data can be analyzed and delivered instantly. With up-to-date information, marketers get immediate feedback on how campaigns and offers are performing, enabling quick adjustments based on the newest information.

But capturing live-time data isn’t enough on its own. To deliver experiences that drive conversions marketers must also be able to action the data in live time.
Personalizing the experience in-the-moment, as the consumer interaction is happening, can be the difference between a conversion made and a customer lost.


The final metric in the “ABCDs” of digital analytics is demographics. Although seemingly basic, when used strategically (and in tandem with behavioral data) demographics can be used to improve segmentation, elevate your targeting, and amplify your personalization strategy. Recognizing where consumers live, their level of education, occupation, and age paints a picture of who your brand appeals to most. When you know who your most enthusiastic (and profitable) consumers are, you can be certain you’re spending money on the consumers who are genuinely interested in your products and services.

Demographics data also enables marketers to deliver a more personalized experience. When you know the age or life stage of a consumer, you can tailor your content to reflect that. For example, say your brand sells shoes. Using demographics data, you know women ages 25–30 tend to gravitate toward one style of running shoe, while women over 30 prefer another. Knowing this, you can send targeted offers, such as a “you-might-like-this” email or a “most popular styles” banner ad for each segment. And when you have multiple brands or product lines with various target audiences, knowing when your consumers are likely to move to the next segment provides excellent insight for future efforts.

Demographics can also be used to improve your online content and optimize campaign performance with live-time testing. For instance, you could run a test delivering personalized banners based on age. Over the designated period, the brand can measure the campaigns side-by-side to assess performance. When a consumer converts, you can compare conversions by demographic to gain insight into which messaging or offers perform best within each segment.

Master your ABCDs to master personalization

Aside from helping marketers avoid analysis paralysis, the ABCDs of metrics can help you maximize your personalization strategy. With every click, download, and purchase, consumers are giving you valuable insight. Knowing which data to listen to — and act on — is the key to propelling your brand forward.


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