The Importance of Online Marketing Metrics and Analytics

April 27, 2011
Online Marketing Metrics and Analytics

While many sites marketing online are flying by the seat of their pants and going wherever the wind blows, engagements that achieve the highest level of success are grounded in detailed metrics.

An article I read recently from eMarketer highlighted the best days, times and ways to post on Facebook for the largest response. The statistics were really enlightening. For instance:

  • A wall post on Thursday or Friday is 18% more likely to receive a response.
  • A wall post outside of normal business hours is 20% more likely to receive a response.

Does that mean we should only make posts at 8pm on Thursdays? Of course not; that’s absurd. Your Facebook wall needs lots of ongoing activity at all times of the day. However, it would be wise to save your most important call to action to be posted at the time that guarantees the most interaction.

The statistics in the eMarketer article were compiled from over 200 clients; who’s to say that your business falls within the norms of this sample? That’s why it’s so important to compile your own metrics. Take the time to setup feedback mechanisms and analytic tools to gather the data. Then test, test, and test some more. Is Thursday at 8pm best for you, or is Monday at 10am better? Will the same message at the same time of day work as well on Twitter and LinkedIn as it does on Facebook? You will want your metrics to be capable of answering these and many other questions.

Analysis and Response

When a client comes to us for help with their online marketing they have usually tried some online marketing already, with varying degrees of success. Sometimes they’ve even set up metric-gathering tools such as Google Analytics. But the missing component is typically a consistent and systematic analysis and a response plan based on the metrics gathered.

Your metrics need to be reviewed regularly and on an ongoing basis. It’s a never ending job. The underlying technologies change too fast, and your marketing message will vary over time, so you need to keep your finger on the pulse of how your messages are engaging the public.

Finally, you have to respond to the metrics. If you see something that isn’t working, then adapt. Do not become attached to your messaging. Be flexible. How many global marketing campaigns can you think of that have been around for 15+ years? Probably not many. And the few that have remained are constantly reinventing themselves to stay fresh (Chick-fil-a’s ‘Eat Mor Chikin,’ and Nike’s “Just Do It,” for example). When metrics speak it is time to listen and change something about your message.