Lindsay Lashell is the Director of Strategy/Founder of Diamond + Branch. She is a professed efficiency freak and a process knitter. She doesn’t do anything without strategy and data, and we can all get behind that!
She leads by telling us how easy it is to find numbers and report on them. You can look at: your ppc, social media, email newsletter analytics, and much more. These tools are great to let us quickly look at and discover the answer; but when you get to the harder questions, you need to actually stop and think. “Our tools can’t answer the questions. They don’t know your strategy. They can only tell you numbers, it’s up to us to create meaning.”
No matter if you are working with local brands, medium brands, or lean startups, your company needs to be accountable for each tactic you use and how it’s helping the business.
“Strategic reporting takes some time, but it’s worth it!”
Everything you are doing should accomplish business goals. It’s important to know what each tactic does and how it helps. “Attribution is so important!”
— Jennifer Blunt (@jenbluntly) September 15, 2017
No one lands on your website and only experiences your brand there. Consider the buyer’s journey, and all the touch points with your brand. Strategic reporting is a way of organizing your reports so that metrics clearly reveal success and opportunities.
Why is it a good investment of my time?
- Good strategy increases efficiency.
- You will get good at answering the hard questions. You won’t just have a hunch, but cold hard data.
- Understand how different audiences have different things they care about.
- Measure and report on things like ROI… You’ll get a raise.
- You’ll remain employable. (We need to be better than the robots! Create meaning behind the numbers.)
Identify what you want to accomplish. If you don’t sell stuff, you don’t have a business. There are businesses that have less direct outcomes, not specific to selling, but for the most part it’s about selling your product or service.
— Ruth Burr Reedy (@ruthburr) September 15, 2017
Align your digital marketing efforts and align that to your funnel. How does your digital marketing support your business goals? Understand how you engage with your audience in all levels of awareness and consideration to action and retention. Take a step back and see what purpose each digital marketing tactic serves.
Once you look at your brand and every tactic, consider if you are missing any part of the funnel. Many clients see they aren’t lifting a finger in terms of retention. It’s so important to see that every single step is being taken care of.
How do you justify your tactics for each step?
Strategy for awareness for social media? People share it, learn about your brand, and help build awareness.
We will look at what product content is viewed and will help us in the consideration phase.
Next, action. We can’t sell them anything in this phase but we know the location and hours when they are viewing your page. It can serve as a strong indicator of when people are buying a product, going to your business, etc.
Finally, retention. If they are talking to you or sharing their experience, you know they are happy with your brand.
What is working? The numbers will reflect it. You can find where the funnel is broken by looking at these numbers:
- Awareness: ad visibility, new vs returning, social media clicks
- Consideration: branded search visits, follows, contact forms, viewed testimonials, product focused content
- Action: transactions, clicks, conversion rates
- Retention: clicks, shares, engagement
Look at your calculated metrics. Figure out internally what your values are, do you care about cost per acquisition, lifetime value, return on investment, or what? Consider which tactic or strategy works better. Is social media bringing people to your business at a lower price this website visits?
Get smarter with your reporting, learn how to answer the hard questions, and prove your results!