Issue #75: 2023 Marketers - Data Rich & Insight Poor

The sunsetting of GA4 really got me thinking about how marketers use data and this week I wanted to share a simple and approachable way to measure that even the least data inclined folks can follow! Let’s dive in.
🔑 Agency Skill: You’re Overcomplicating Your Data
Most marketing data is trash.
Yup, I said it.
We have more data than ever, but it doesn’t look like our insights have improved much.
The simple fact is, most marketers accumulate data for the sake of having it instead of for answering key business questions.
Wading through data points and hoping to find insights is like trying to find a needle in a haystack – it’s a dirty job with no real upside.
Instead, you need to spend more time clearly articulating the questions you want to answer well before you dig into the data.
Let’s say my question is “How’s new business acquisition this month?”
In order to give any kind of value to the numbers I pull, I need to address the following:
  1. Identify the Metric (What you’re measuring)
  2. Find the Metric Value (Where you measure)
  3. Comparative Data Points, e.g., last month’s value
  4. Target
You need to have comparative data and a target! Without those there’s nothing to contextualize the data! A number in a vacuum won’t tell you if things are good, bad, or otherwise.
Now let’s apply this hypothetical:
  1. Metric – Closed Won Quantity
  2. Pulled from the payment processor = 10
  3. Pulled from the payment processor for the same period last month = 15
  4. Monthly Goal = 50
These three numbers tell me everything I need to know at a top level. Here’s what I can glean with JUST these numbers (yes, no fancy software needed…)
In this example, sales are behind where we were at this time last month and are off pace to hit the monthly target.
The next step here is to ask “Why” which will point you in the direction of the next data point to evaluate. My next step would be the number of sales calls…
It’s really that simple. In most cases you should stick to 3-5 key metrics for your “North Star” business data points and 3-5 metrics per department. This will give you more than enough to work with to evaluate the health of your business and monitor your efforts.
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Until next week,
CEO & Chief Wizard