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DIGITAL MARKETING ANALYTICS

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The following are some common use cases for audience analysis: • Digital strategy • Content strategy • Engagement strategy • Search engine optimization • Content optimization • User experience design • Audience segmentation The following sections examine these use cases in more detail. Digital Strategy In addition to having clearly defined business objectives, developing a robust digi-tal strategy requires having a clear understanding of the market, your competitors, and your audience. You’ll be trying to find customers but first need to have identi-fied their needs, wants, and expectations. If you identify those, you’ll be successful. If you ignore them, your digital strategy will rest on delivering content and experi-ences that offer little to no value. Getting clarity through audience analysis is key to ensuring that you’ll succeed. An audience analysis supporting a digital strategy initiative tends to be more com-prehensive and lengthier than other strategies. This is due to the complexity of the digital landscape. We no longer live in a “if you build it, they will come” digital era. Social technologies and mobile devices have accelerated the fragmentation of the Internet. Your audience is scattered like bits and pieces across a vast network of sites and platforms. This means you have to source data from more platforms of several different types. Content Strategy Optimized content allows digital interactions to reach their greatest potential. Content strategists view content, regardless of type (text, images, audio, video, and so on) as products. They therefore plan, design, research, and test content, just as you would a product, to ensure that content has value to the recipient. In order for content strategists to be effective, they require as much input about the audience as possible. Content strategists work with many inputs to understand their users prior to mov-ing forward. User research includes demographic, behavioral, and psychographic information, personas, and user experience flows, to name a few. Digital analytics provides this data. From the Library of Nick Robinson

ptg99989Chapter 6Tools: Audience Analysis Engagement Strategy After your company has made a decision to utilize a social platform and create a brand presence, engagement activity isn’t far behind. Brands develop engagement strategies to maximize the number of desired outcomes produced on social plat-forms. However, even the best-laid plans can go awry and require course correc-tion. Engagement analytics to the rescue! Analyzing engagement activity reveals insights about what your audience likes, thinks, and needs. Almost every major social platform has a native engagement analytics tool. A diverse third-party engagement analytics ecosystem also exists. The problem is not lacking analytics tools to measure and optimize your engage-ment, but having too much tool choice. Search Engine Optimization Search engine optimization (SEO) is not new to digital marketers. It’s never been easier to get your content published and distributed, but unfortunately that means it’s also never been more difficult to be discovered through organic searches. A growing trend also affecting SEO is the inclusion of social data signals into search engine algorithms. Content Optimization It’s not enough to optimize your website content to maximize discovery; you must also infuse the content distributed in your social status updates, tweets, blog posts, comments, and so on. This means the output of the SEO analysis has multiple uses. User Experience Design The online landscape is chock full of complex systems. User experience design is important for simplifying things enough so that users can complete desired tasks and leave a digital experience satisfied. Digital analytics plays a big role in inform-ing user experience designers about what steps along a consumer journey are providing what users need and which steps are broken, causing dissatisfaction and abandonment. Web analytics, site surveys, and social analytics can reveal a combi-nation of what people are doing and saying about their experience. Designers can incorporate these feedback mechanisms as input and optimize user flows accordingly.

When I decided to become a classics major in my undergraduate university, I didn’t really have an expectation as to how the lessons in ancient history, drama, architecture, politics, and culture would remain with me in throughout my profes-sional career. At the time, my sole desire was to expand my academic horizons beyond the heavy science commitment that a pre-med/biology concentration would otherwise allow. While I posited that the use of Greek and Latin roots in medical terminology would be helpful, I was also keen to broaden my knowledge base beyond my narrow focus on the life sciences. While I eventually moved to the business side of healthcare (and later biotech, pharmaceutical, and high-tech—the last of which fueled my interest in social media), I found that it was the humanities rather than the sciences that contin-ued to forge a lasting impression in how I perceived and thought about the world around me, particularly with respect to consumer behavior. No other quote has quite stayed with me like this one from the Roman orator and politician Cicero: “If you wish to persuade me, you must think my thoughts, feel my feelings, and peak my words.” For in observing human behavior over the course of history, it became fairly obvi-ous that we haven’t changed much in the 2,000 years that separate us from Cicero. Certainly, the industrialization and technological advance of our physical world has moved us far beyond anything the ancient astronomers could have imagined, but fundamentally, we still want the same things that we’ve always wanted: what’s best for ourselves and those we care about, the need to be heard, and the desire to be part of something bigger than ourselves so that we can make a lasting impact on the world. If we as marketers and communicators can grasp that reality and ensure that we’re thinking about the needs of consumers in this digital age, we’ll find that awareness will be repaid by more attention, trust, and loyalty. If we revisit that Epictetus quote—a saying that nearly every reader may recognize as emanating from their grandmother—we can immediately understand its great wisdom: listening trumps talking. And perhaps we can even, with a certain degree of emotional intelligence, understand our great failure in this post-mass marketing digital age, as we’ve rushed to find even more people, likes, followers, and audi-ences who’ll be the recipients of our “messages.” From the Library of Nick Robinson

ptg999Digital Marketing Analyticsxiv Ever the master logician and thinker, Sherlock Holmes opined for more data before he could apply his reasoning. For years, marketers have been data-driven in their product research, consumer assessment, and audience segmentation exercises to help bring a product to market. And we stand on a threshold of Big Insights (derived from the ubiquitous “Big Data”) that should allow us the unprecedented ability to predict needs and products. Marketing Science has been the stronghold of most of data-driven portions of mar-keting to date. However, the rise of social media has granted us access to unfiltered consumer data in real-time, or near real-time, that can influence the direction and even the creative elements of campaigns. In the 2012 presidential election, we saw how the information crunchers and back-room data geeks managed to steer the already nimble Obama-Biden campaign machine to a decisive victory based largely on studying the numbers and helping the front line apply its efforts to the right markets and the right people at the right time. Rest assured that this is the very type of marketing expertise that will be highly val-ued in the future. The geeks shall truly inherit the (marketing) earth. What Chuck and Ken have developed is a definitive handbook to help you navigate the important analytical and technical aspects of modern marketing. From listen-ing to planning, search to response, launching products to supporting customers, and more, digital and social media play a central role in your ability to successfully integrate with the world around you. Read, study, and enjoy this book. And always listen to your grandmother. —Scott Monty Global Head of Social Media Ford Motor Company From the Library of Nick Robinson

ptg999Digital Marketing Analytics6Owned Media It’s not just the emergence of earned media that is new to the digital data and analytics landscape. Owned media assets offer more options than ever to gather competitive intelligence, user experience feedback, real-time site analytics, and test-ing for site optimization in addition to richer-than-ever-before clickstream activity analysis. Your goal should be to tie the insights and data from each media channel to one another to tell a deeper story. These are not redundant analytics options, meant to be an either/or decision. Remember, they complement one another. Trying to decide which of the data and analytics options to implement can be over-whelming. Your choice depends on your defined goals and learning agenda. You can read more about the details of defining clear and specific objectives in Chapter 2 , “Understanding Digital Analytics Concepts.” Developing a learning agenda is a useful technique in defining the boundaries of where to focus your analytics efforts. Such an agenda essentially defines the specific questions you are trying to answer about your audience and acts as a guide for your analysis during a project to keep you focused. Note It’s now the big data era. Massive amounts of data and processing are available, but you don’t need all of it. Many companies are struggling with digital analytics because they are trying to collect everything. Resist the urge to collect and analyze all the data these platforms make available. Remember that although they’re interesting, many digital data sources are diagnostic measures at best, and some lack the ability to take action. Applying the “So what?” test is a simple and helpful way to avoid chas-ing shiny objects that have no real business value. Ask yourself, “So what? What action can I take based on this data?” If the answer isn’t clear, you’re probably just playing with a tool that spews data rather than valuable insights. In the following few sections, we dive into each of the considerations for analytics on your owned media properties. Competitive Intelligence Keeping an eye on competitors is nothing new. There is quite a bit to pay attention to these days, and there are many tools aimed at helping you understand what your From the Library of Nick Robinson

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