Tuesday, May 26, 2009

 

Digging deeper

Plenty of marketers and business leaders make decisions without the help of data.  And that’s OK, sometimes.  Those who do so based on an educated guess or instinct, or simply to get something done more quickly, at least know what they’re bypassing to take quick action and ideally see quick results (or at least learn and react quickly).

But if you’re making decisions without enough data, that might be more dangerous.  Pulling and using data to make decisions is good – just make sure you keep digging deeper so that you’re not throwing the baby out with the bath water.

Let me give a quick example of what I mean.

Let’s say you look at your lead sources, and do some quick math to determine lead-to-close conversion by channel.  By doing this math for a period of time tells you that paid search delivers a 4X better conversion rate than email marketing.  So you get rid of email marketing, right?

Maybe not.

Let’s say you keep digging.  Which emails did well?  Which lists, which offers, on which days? 

Similarly, keep digging into paid search.  Maybe most of your search keywords don’t perform at all, but a small minority are kicking butt for you.

By digging further, you may save part of your paid search, ditch part of your email, and end up with just as many conversions but at a lower overall cost.

Data is good.  Just make sure it gives you the full story.


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