Imagine hiring a contractor to build your brand new house, and then being told the entire construction crew would be blindfolded. And on yes,.. while the house is designed, the architect will also be drawing it blindfolded. Oh, and then the architect is not really going to speak to or show any plans to the construction crew. But, not to worry, it will all fall into place…. won’t it? Ready to sign the construction contract? It sounds ridiculous doesn’t it?
Yet each day thousands of companies are blindly building their businesses, and fail to have crucial team members and arms of their business speak to each other. Each day companies are building their houses (website analytics) without their architect (marketing and business strategy team) and their construction crew (their website monitoring team) speaking. Adding insult to injury is the fact that often in addition to not even talking, these groups are working blindfolded because they are working in a vacuum with no real strategy.
Web Analytics for Business Communications
Recently, a survey of 453 marketing executives revealed that more two in three (66%) sales and marketing managers reported to different senior executives within their organisations.
The conclusion was many organisations fail to deliver relevant business information to the decision makers even though the data is sitting on someone’s desk. As demonstrated by the dramatic example above, the goal is to include technical resources within sales and marketing and to leverage that collaboration to bring web analytics in from the cold as a marketing measure.
If any portion of your business includes a website, wither it is to build brand awareness or it is to the storefront for your e-commerce business, website analytics must be a crucial portion of your business intelligence. But just blindly gathering the information is not enough. Creating the proper metrics to answer the needs of both the sales and marketing strategies, and then producing an integrated analysis of those metrics by the business and marketing arms of your business is what defines truly successful website analytics.
Website analytics need to be designed by those that are invested and controlling the marketing of your organization.
If your business has web analytics at someone’s fingertips, that a huge step forward – but having integrated online and offline marketing data in front of someone who makes sales and marketing decisions is another big leap.
In the minds of many managers, the technology involved in web analytics puts the data in a different category from that of other business information picked up by routine analytics or marketing surveys. Somewhere along the value chain, managers have to realise that the medium acquiring the information is not the most important factor; it’s how to integrate that data in to a useful tool for developing sales and conversion rates that counts. Furthermore, outsourcing technological control over website analytics places another barrier between marketing and raw data and often further polarizes this information from the business visionaries of the organization.
Web analytics is one source of online marketing data
If a business does not have the ability to collate web analytics with other sales results in-house, the marketing department is taking on the fight with one arm strapped behind the back.
Web analytics is just one online data source – forums, feedback and leads generated by phone, forms or email are just as important in quantifying and qualifying the demographics of your visitors. Web site plugins monitor traffic and all this activity at a relatively low cost and can feed the results back to your sales and marketing specialists in real-time or any other interval.
The tools are available, but executives do not have them because often the marketing and technical teams fail to create a united front, and present data that is reflective of a cohesive strategy with true business intelligence value that a top level executive can utilize.
Leverage web analytics as market intelligence
Some forward thinking business owners and managers are waking up to the prospect of a brave new marketing world where web site optimisation continually upgrades web site effectiveness. By removing the “blindfolds” to the overall business strategies and goals for the websites, both the marketing and technical team can understand better the true performance parameters in terms of the overall business goals. Couple this new awareness of a total business strategy with a dialogue between the marketers (architects) and the construction crew (technical resources) and it is possible to gather the ideal requirements for metrics. With this powerful and integrated approach, true business intelligence will emerge from what was one a polarized data gathering process.