Want Better Results from Your Marketing Analytics? Ask Better Questions!

Improve your marketing analytics by asking better questions.Marketing is simple.

All of the answers you need to grow your business are hidden somewhere in a database. The customers most likely to become platinum buyers are there. So are the hit-and-runners. Being able to recognize them quickly is the difference between a successful marketing campaign and a dismal failure.

The problem is that the volume of data is overwhelming to even the most sophisticated marketer. How do you know where to start to find the right information at the right time? Once again, it is simple…ask the right questions.

Don’t be misled by this post or any others that tell you about the simplicity of data management. Simple isn’t easy. It can be quite hard finding the right information when you need it to make decisions.

Multiple channels feeding data into multiple systems managed by multiple departments makes simple data analysis extremely challenging. How do you know what is available? And, how do you find the key information that moves your company forward?

Start with the money and work backwards.

This will usually begin with your order management system. Here are some questions to get you started:

  • Where are your order placed? Be careful that you don’t confuse point of origin with source. Some channels drive sales to others. For example, catalogs consistently increase online sales because of the convenience.
  • How do your customers find you? And, how much does it cost to move a prospect from shopping to buying? By channel? Acquisition costs vary by source. Knowing your numbers allows you to plan your campaigns so they generate revenue and profits.
  • What do platinum customers have in common with each other? How about hit-&-runners and other segments? The sooner you identify them in the marketing cycle the more efficiently and effectively you can market to them.

You may have noticed that we already have a group of key questions without moving very far past customer acquisition. One question leads to more. If you systematically work through your questions, you’ll find the answers you need. If you don’t, then you need to improve your questioning skills. When all else fails, question everything.

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