November is metrics month here on the ZGM blog, and I’m kicking things off with insights that will help guide you towards a more rewarding experience with metrics reporting. I’ll be honest, I was expecting my first blog for ZGM to be something along the lines of spring-summer 2020 runway trends - I never thought I would be writing about metrics. But, after a year-long journey with metrics and reporting, the world of analytics went from intimidating, to a place that ignites curiosity.
I’m an Account Manager at ZGM, and what I love about my role is that I get to help clients achieve their organizational goals every day. A big part of that includes monitoring marketing metrics and overall performance of the projects we’re working on. I’ve learned a lot around analyzing data and choosing the right performance metrics for a project, but before I share the details of the journey to Destination: Metrics Reporting Success, I have to give a shout out to the team of metric and data experts I get to work with. I am certainly #blessed to be surrounded by a data insights and media team that are legit wizards – they have magical data analysis techniques, and they make my job sooo much easier. Stay tuned to hear them flex some major metrics muscle throughout the month on the blog.
So, as much as I love to share my thoughts on fashion trends, where to go for a perfect piece of cake, or new cocktail bars that I know you’ll love, I’ll have to save it for another time. Now, sit back, relax and enjoy some notes that will take your relationship with metrics from ready-to-wear to couture, from boxed cake mix to Parisian style gâteau, from ordinary joint to hot-spot destination … I think you catch my drift.
The Data Cake
Let’s be real, a 100-page metrics report that takes three hours to run through doesn’t make for the most riveting meeting. As much as we think we want to track all those key metrics from google analytics, it’s often not the best approach. I like to think of data as a cake – a tempting data dessert that’s filled with knowledge deliciousness. You think you want to eat the whole cake - but if you do, you’re not feeling so great after (Cake Coma = Data Coma. Both should be avoided). The key is having just the right amount of cake to satisfy your sweet tooth – or in this case, focusing on the best marketing metrics to track for your unique business objectives. How do you do this? It all comes down to deciding what key performance indicators will give you the most value, which ultimately means choosing the best way to effectively gauge the performance of your campaign or project.
Choosing the right slice of data is the most important factor to receiving insightful and helpful information. I know it’s tempting to go for that bigger piece, but if you stick to focusing on what’s best for you, then you’ll be as happy as the kid who got the piece of cake with the icing flower on it.
One Size Does Not Fit All
The One Size Fits All route rarely works in fashion, and the same goes for metrics reports. Tailored clothes feel great and give you an extra kick in your step - a tailored metrics report will make you feel confident in the work you’re doing and the team that you are working with. Taking a templated approach to metrics reporting may seem like the easier route to reporting but take a minute to think if all this general data actually matters for your unique project. I was recently working on a web update where the content on the page was revised to include information that the client felt was important to their brand story. Yes, reporting on the click from that page was important, but our team also realized that we needed to look at time on the page and scroll depth. The team created a fusion metric that allowed us to effectively evaluate our content in addition to reporting on the CTR. This new insightful metric brought so much more value to the project than just only reporting on clicks, and it also allowed our team to make thoughtful adjustments to the webpage after the first reporting period.
Also, don’t forget to think about reporting frequency! We often think we need to see a monthly metrics report, but is it really necessary? It all depends on what your project entails. If you’re working on an SEO project, don’t expect to see changes with your website’s ranking for a few months (at least). In this case, a monthly report is likely not worth the investment of your time and budget. If you’re not sure what your report or reporting schedule should look like, talk to our team of metrics mavens – they’ll guide you in the right direction!
Be in The Know
I love a good tip. There’s nothing better than getting the inside scoop on exclusive events, or which drink you have to try on a new menu. We usually look to a trusted friend or expert in an area to get our tips from, and we expect them to have vetted through all the clutter to get us the details we want. This is the kind of expert we strive to be when comes to metrics.
When we are working on a project, we understand that we’ve been brought in to do some level of work that someone felt was out of their expertise. For metrics, it’s a given that we are more than capable of delivering all the data in the world; however, just presenting a bunch of numbers isn’t going to cut it. I would be annoyed if I read a review of a new restaurant and it just listed the entire menu without any highlights or not-to-miss features – umm, boring, and where’s the value? Same goes with metrics reports. It’s an inefficient use of everyone’s time if we just go through every single data point (I winced a little writing that). Offering a high-level overview of the metrics report, which calls out interesting insights, as well as findings that can be applied to strategic plans, is what delivers the value of the report. If anyone wants to see more details, then that’s great! All the details should be ready for reference in the body of the metrics report.
So... in the end I did compare metrics to cake and fashion. It's what I do. Don't get me started on Fenty Beauty and their focus on creating a brand with purpose. I digress. Follow these guidelines and your relationship with metrics will go from the another (long) mandatory meeting with a bunch of numbers that may or may not matter, to something you’ll be looking forward to.
Our Data Insights Team uses a live dashboard to help report on KPIs that matter to your business goals. As an example, they put together a dashboard that outlines Social Media Usage in Calgary and Edmonton. Find out how your audience is utilizing social media by clicking in the link below.