We’ve all seen dramatic visual spikes on marketing reports. They’re a distraction akin to parrots and shiny objects. Whether good news or bad omens, time devoted to the explanation borrows from the time needed to take action.
The dreaded “What happened here?” question pecks away at your credibility. Too often what’s explainable becomes flagged as an outright error or something your team needs to “revisit”.
Here are three quick process changes that will help you spot, explain and address anomalies:
1. Spot: Setup automated website reporting to trigger based on your standard deviation tolerance. Focus on key goals and event results vs. a single session-based metric, like traffic or page views. This will reduce the number of false positives created by time sensitive metrics (e.g. seasonality, day of the week, campaign traffic, etc.). Ensure every team member receives the report and quickly responds. Appoint one person to synthesize feedback, summarize findings and recommend next steps. But remember, it’s on you to respond just as quickly. Your sense of urgency reinforces the importance of this exercise.
2. Explain: Use your reporting platform’s annotation capabilities to document underlying, unforeseen or planned events. A disciplined annotation practice ensures your work is visible in any number of report views. Annotations are your always-available, proactive “we know what happened here” explanation. Again, all team members should be responsible for making annotations. Ensure your PR team adds annotations. You’ll be surprised how often coverage correlates to traffic.
3. Address: Spikes up and down are teaching moments. When good news prevails, have the person or team responsible share lessons-learned before the report is widely distributed. When bad news knocks, find the silver-lining. It’s your job to connect the outcome to the underlying impact on your team’s goals. The upside is a well-versed revenue marketing team, capable of making informed start and stop decisions.
#Mondata is PAN Communication’s marketing leadership data literacy series. We examine ways to develop and motivate collaborative, data-driven teams. Interested in contributing? Fill out our form below.