by Michael Diestelberg, VP Product & Marketing, Webtrekk

Your Analytics Goals for the New Year

The beginning of the new year is traditionally the time for new resolutions, be it going to the gym regularly or eating healthier. But have you ever thought about resolutions for your professional life? As a marketer, you’re always well-advised to focus on the essentials, but also develop new approaches and conquer new paths. Below, I’d like to present five key takeaways that can help guide you towards more data-driven work in the new year.  

1. Holistic approach
Most of us experience a stressful and busy Q4, so nothing is more tempting than sinking into a relaxing break. But don’t be tempted. Since January is usually quiet, it offers the perfect time to strategically plan your marketing. In order to do this, you of course need to carefully analyze and prepare your data. Marketers should proactively focus on holidays such as Halloween, Christmas or Easter, and key events important to their business such as Valentine’s day. In order to make these key events a success, good preparation is key. I recommend focusing on lead generation well ahead of time, when there is still time for it. Marketers can for example specifically target first time website visitors and persuade them to join a mailing list or to complete a registration. These gathered email addresses form the base to later target new potential customers with customized campaigns. In order to see a high success rate for those campaigns, creating granular customer segments is essential. 

2. First-Party Data
Since GDPR took effect in May 2018 and made obtaining consent from your visitors mandatory, the usage of Third-Party Data has been restricted even further. Considering the growing limitations of this data, it makes a lot of sense to focus on one’s own data, your First-Party Data. This allows you to analyze the behavior and interests of your web- and app-visitors virtually perfectly. All insights are yours exclusively and don’t need to be shared with other parties. The data you collect yourself is completely objective, unbiased, and of much higher data quality that data collected from other parties. KPIs become more relevant and campaigns can be targeted more effectively. Unnecessary marketing spend can be avoided. In short: collecting and utilizing your own data brings a real competitive advantage and moves you ahead of your competitors. 

3. Qualitative KPIs
Key figures form the base of data-driven marketing. But everyone who bases their work on data has to question where the data is coming from, how it is cumulated and what it really reveals. KPIs become irrelevant if they can’t be transformed into clear actionable insights. Blindly collecting data and analyzing it in all directions imaginable will not bring you closer to your goals. Marketers should instead focus on precisely defining their goals. When looking at a web shop, the goal should never be “more success”, but rather a “30% more turnover”. To achieve this goal, the conversion rate needs to be increased. A smooth checkout process can be a central factor in achieving this. Statistically significant and sustainable marketing measures only become possible if marketers are able to collect and analyze all data points accurately and effectively.

4. Anticipate customer wishes 
Who visits my website? Which content is most relevant to those visitors? Successful marketers need exactly these insights. Predictive analytics are also becoming more and more relevant. With the help of machine learning, customer behavior can now be predicted in real-time, during the actual customer journey, not only in hindsight. How big is the predicted order value or the customer lifetime value? How high is the probability that the prospect will in fact turn into a customer? Depending on the predicted customer value, investments into the right marketing measures may or may not make sense. 

5. (Continue) to prioritize privacy
2019 will be another year in which marketers need to keep a keen eye on data privacy and optimize their actions towards this. Since GDPR was established, awareness has grown – especially among consumers. We can expect further court rulings in the near future that will protect user rights even further. Even regulators in the United States are stepping up their efforts. In this climate it is ever-more important that marketers constantly reflect on whether they are taking the necessary steps to protect their customers’ privacy. Being aware of options for improvement or even new technologies for data collection, will help you achieve this goal. One option for data collection are layers of anonymization. They make it possible to address customers and prospects on external platforms without delivering sensitive and personalized data to those walled gardens. 

My summary: marketers have great possibilities to expand and optimize their customer analytics solutions. If you have questions or would like more information, the Webtrekk-team is always there for you.