Bamboozled by oodles of data? Time to measure what really matters.
With more marketing channels than ever before – the role of the marketer is far from simple.
When deciding which channels to focus on and optimise – none of us can escape the necessary relationship with, and in some cases, dependence upon, data.
We’ve got mass reports, analytics coming out of our analytics, the opportunity to explore different aspects of analysis. All this data is giving us fundamental insights. Right? But this is where our ‘let’s get real’ heads need to kick in.
For me, my simple and pragmatic thinking brings me back to reality and helps me to focus on what really matters. And that’s the challenge I have with big or mass data – just because we can measure everything – is it actually useful and beneficial to do so?
Here we are, spending so much time trying to keep up with the data, running round in circles measuring everything and spending a significant amount of time monitoring and keeping on top of dashboards and stats – that potentially we’re taking our attention away from key fundamentals that really matter?
If we’re honest – there’s definitely a big ‘SO WHAT’ factor with many of the insights and stats that we as marketers rigidly spend time measuring and monitoring. Analytics – mass data – big data – programmatic data – call it what you will – the real question is – does what we are measuring actually matter.
Yes, it may be telling us stuff – but is the stuff it’s telling us actually important and does it fundamentally impact achieving key objectives?
Little Data – my hero of the day
Just as there are potentially different descriptions about mass data – I’m sure there are too about what I refer to as ‘little data’. From a very basic perspective – for me, ‘little data’ is about getting down to the nitty gritty of measuring what really matters. The key word here is ‘relevance’. Objectively driven metrics. I have a very simple ‘let’s clarify objectives’ model:
- What does success look like? What objectives / outcomes are we looking to achieve?
- What metrics / evidence do we need so that we can measure success or progress?
- What simple discipline are we going to apply to ensure we are continuously capturing, monitoring and learning from these absolutely fundamental necessary metrics?
For me, what’s key is the development of a simple set of key metrics that help you to identify that the activities you are undertaking are actually delivering on your objectives. There’s real progress.
Of course, in order to deliver on your objectives – you’ve got to have very clear objectives in place. And in my humble opinion, this is where many businesses and campaigns fall down.
Having absolute clarity in what needs to be achieved and drilling down to the necessary metrics to monitor effective progress is often missing.
Measuring everything we can no doubt uncovers some interesting insights – but those insights are not necessarily going to keep our eye on the ball and keep us focused on delivering key objectives that ultimately make all the difference.
Little data, or objectively driven data, for me is all about ‘relevance’– they may be ‘little’ and few but it’s this ‘little data’ that focuses attention for BIG impact.
Michelle Carvill, best selling business author, speaker, founder and Director at Carvill - the social media marketing agency. For information about how the team at Carvill can help you - simply get in touch or visit our website for more information.