One of the biggest benefits the digital age has bestowed upon marketers is data. Heaps and heaps of data. Used correctly, you will use this data to shape your digital marketing from top to bottom: messaging, cadence, headlines, and even your target audience should all be fine-tuned by the data you have at your disposal.
The problem is that it’s becoming harder and harder each day to manage all the data at your disposal. With so many competing points of interest, what do you listen to? By tweaking your email send times, subject lines, and calls to action, how do you know what’s effective and what’s irrelevant? This syndrome actually has a name – data exhaust, something that recent studies show more than half of all digital marketers are suffering from it.
The remedy for data exhaust is simple in theory but difficult in execution. You need to determine what data matters the most. You can use other data points as a back-up or later down the line, but you’ll never be able to make effective decisions if you’re looking at too much or something that isn’t reliable and impactful.
We’re here to help you sift through the mountain of data to find the gold that really matters. Below are three pieces of data that aren’t actually that important, and what you should be looking at instead:
1. Number of Leads
Acquisition campaigns are often valued by the pure volume of leads that they generate. Unfortunately, that data doesn’t really tell the full picture. For example, your campaign might be generating leads that are irrelevant and thus never convert or are low-potential and thus don’t produce any whales.
Use instead: percentage of leads converted, average revenue per converted lead. This gives you a much better idea of what your leads are actually worth. By determining how often they convert and what they’re worth when they do convert, you’ll be able to calculate ROI much more accurately.
2. Webpage Traffic
It’s tempting to track web traffic as a whole, whether it’s on your website, a singular piece of content, or a landing page. The traffic to your content doesn’t actually tell you how valuable it is, though. What it tells you is how effective the campaign driving users to that page is.
Use instead: bounce rate. The higher your bounce rate is, the less effective your content is. It’s either not providing any value or you aren’t driving the right audience to it. It’s possible that your Call to Action driving prospects to it is confusing or misleading. Another possibility is that there’s a technical problem, or that your content loads slowly or displays poorly on specific devices. Lots of traffic is great, but bounce rate shows whether or not your content resonates.
3. Repeat Purchasers
Understanding how many customers you’re able to retain is critical, but repeat purchasers simply don’t give you enough information about how you’re retaining them. Instead, you want to take a look at something that gives you more insight into the actual customer retention journey.
Use instead: repeat visits. If you track this data carefully enough, it’ll tell you exactly what you need to know about first-time and repeat users. Where do they go before converting? How many visits do they require before purchasing a second time? Use this data to tailor your web content and future marketing campaigns.