Online Marketing Optimization Technology: We have ways of making technology talk, Mr. Bond

Tin ManIt’s the classic spy movie scene. Intrepid hero caught. Nasty villain ensures him that he will divulge all his secrets no matter how hard he resists. And while our noble hero always seems to break free without giving up the info, your online business optimization technology won’t be so lucky.

In Wednesday’s free Web clinic – Technology Blind Spots: How human insight revealed a hidden (and almost missed) 31% gain – we will tell you how we get the most value from technology in our daily work with Research Partners here at MarketingExperiments.

We’ll give you a five-point testing technology checklist and tell you the four most common problematic default settings in tools, what it means to run a valid test, and some strategic considerations for multivariate testing.

In the meantime, here is our latest community-written blog post to help you understand how your peers deal with technology blind spots and interpret the data they receive from their marketing technology in a way that will give them the right answers…

Random Dives

First, determine the Key Metrics for your company’s success. Sales? Email addresses? Leads? Links?

Build auto reports for daily, weekly, monthly views into your metrics.

Do random dives into the data to increase your understanding as time allows.

Then build programs/processes/testing to improve your key metrics.

Repeat.

– Jane Buck, Lead Generation and Customer Acquisition Consultant

Be Aware of Factors that can Skew Performance

I think Jane did a great job with her answer. To build upon this:

  1. Definitely, you should know your key success metrics first. You should be able to track and report on all of them. This way report data is always structured around key success metrics, which is much easier both from communication of results and optimization standpoints.
  2. If you have a current Excel structure for your reports, build a web query report inside your marketing tool and then all you’ll need to do is refresh your Excel sheet so the new data can populate into your Excel report automatically, including related graphs, etc. Very handy for daily, weekly, monthly performance reports.
  3. Create alerts if your marketing technology allows. This will enable an automatic report generated when one of your key success metrics changes up or down significantly, allowing you to optimize real time. Build as many rule-based alerts as necessary to keep abreast of the changes you are tracking.
  4. Make sure that you are aware of current company promotions, seasonality, and any other factors that can skew performance. Build in major events correlation with results, so you can do your projections better (very handy for retail industry, for example).

– Vera Belenky, Executive, Digital Media at Accenture

Garbage In, Garbage Out

To make sure that you end up with the right marketing data, you have to start from the beginning by making sure you have a list of questions you want answered (they probably follow from some company objectives), come up with a list of metrics that will offer the answer to these questions (this will require conversations with IT and data experts), narrow down to a short list of metrics, find out how to get the data for these metrics from your company (more conversations with internal and external IT staff, if any), define these metrics, and test to make sure that you are getting the answers to your questions

To do so, sample size and metric definition are key. As we all know, GIGO.

– Judy Huang, Founder of Yes We All Can

Experience Matters

I don’t mean to be a smarty or funny, but how would someone know they had a problem if it’s a blind spot and they can’t see it?

For example, if a company selected a CRM without direct experience. They could, in using it, be hit by the fact that it is very navigation intensive and doesn’t support callers making higher volumes of calls – it’s slow.

However, someone using this CRM would not know this unless they had experience with CRMs that were quick. In fact, since most companies don’t look at “usability” they might not even consider this question.

How can someone compensate for something one doesn’t know is taking place?

– Flyn Penoyer, Founder of OnlineBusinessNetworker.net

Related Resources

Related:  How to reduce friction and anxiety in a checkout process you don’t control

Technology Blind Spots: How human insight revealed a hidden (and almost missed) 31% gain

PPC Innovation: How will Google’s new lead capture extension affect your pay-per-click campaigns?

To Tweet or Not to Tweet: Social media is a great way to get customer feedback…just be wary for potential blowback

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