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What Data Should You Focus On?

Apr 8, 2019
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Every tool, app, and site collect data. But data by itself is rarely useful. With so many metrics to track, businesses are often confused about what to focus on. Data overload can lead to poor decisions and incorrect assumptions. In the video below, I'll share a few tips on how to focus your efforts on the right data point so you can make data-driven decisions. 

 

 Video Transcript:


Hey, what's up and welcome to Hack My Growth. Today we're going to talk about what to do with all that data we have. Are you looking to grow your business, but you're not sure where to start? That's where we come in.

Hey, thanks for checking out this video. This is your first time watching or maybe you've been watching a while and haven't yet hit subscribe, please do so now. We would love to have you as part of our community. And don't forget to make sure that you turn on notifications. That way you will be alerted every time we create a new video. So we're going to talk about what to do with all the data that we gather and everything that we're collecting. We live in a world that is all about big data and we're always processing information and we're tracking information. Some companies are doing it the right way, other companies, well, they're getting in trouble, but we're not going to get into that today. We're going to be talking about what we can do, what we can learn, and the actionable steps that we can take as marketers and business owners to make smarter decisions.

So like I said, we've got tons and tons of data, lots of information, and there's always something new and shiny out there. And the reality is 44% of marketers spend about 25% of their budget replacing technologies are changing technologies. They're always looking for the new, the shinier thing. This new tracker comes out, let's get that. This new marketing platform comes out, thinking a lot of times that these things are going to be silver bullets. The reality is they're just tools and a lot of these tools give us a lot of data, but if we don't really know how to use it, is it that efficient for us to spend more money on? 42% of marketers have more than 10 different marketing solutions installed on their website or within their campaign at one time. This provides lots of bits of information and a lot of the time these platforms don't talk to each other.

There's great tools and integration, sometimes integrations built by the companies like Salesforce and HubSpot, they've got that native integration. Or maybe you want to do something with Zapier and you have to build your own integration. This is great. But again, now we've just have all this different information talking to each other. There's a big difference between information and the knowledge, information is just facts.

They're numbers in sheets, right? We know that there's information in there. We can pull the analytics, we can pull the amount of users. It's just ones and zeros. But knowledge is knowing what to do with the information you have. So how can we make this simple, a little more straight forward, and really what's most important, how can we make it action based? Because none of this data matters if you can't do anything with it, it's just sitting out there.

The first thing we need to do is we need to focus on need-to-know information. It's easy to get wrapped up in vanity metrics, metrics that make us feel good. Something like open rates, right? If you're just looking at email open rates, you're wasting your time because that doesn't really tell you much, it tells you that somebody opened an email, they could open it and unsubscribe, they could open and read it, and then delete it, you're not really looking at things deeper than that, you need to look at the need to know information. How are the decisions and the campaigns that you're putting together, how's that resulting in getting more clients or whatever your end goal is? You need to be tracking that information, the information that's essential to the success of your business and the success of the campaigns you're doing to make sure that you have money put in the right places.

That nice to know information is cool and when you get some extra time on your hands, go ahead and dig into it and feel good about the things that you're doing. But the reality is need-to-know information usually gets left behind because sometimes it doesn't make us feel as good, but we need to be paying attention to that because that's what decides whether or not we're having success. The second thing is we need to focus on is quality over quantity.

More is not always better. Yes, you need a large enough sample size to understand if it's a trend or not, but sometimes you can get more for the sake of getting more. It's not going to tell you anything new. If you have high quality data, you're collecting it correctly, you're doing the right things. You should be able to make a decision based on good quality data without having to get tons and tons and tons and tons of poor data or maybe adding things into your datasets that aren't going to help them make a better decision. A lot of data can just confuse you or add another variable that you don't need.

The last thing you need to do is focus on one task at hand. Now, this is an area that I practice every single day because I believe that I can multitask, but as we know and as science will tell us, we don't really multitask well as human beings, we don't have that functionality. What we do is we're very good at being distracted. If you want to know what's actually happening, you have to slow down, turn your cell phone off, turn off Twitter, Facebook, anything that's distracting you and focus on what you're trying to figure out and start to look at the data, look at how it's tied to your KPIs, and then make an informed decision on what to do next. I promise you, if you stick to these three focuses, you'll be able to put your data back to work for your business, which makes it that much more valuable and allows you to outsmart your competition. If you have any questions, please comment below and until next time, Happy Marketing.

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Ryan Shelley, CPBI

By Ryan Shelley, CPBI

Ryan is passionate about helping companies make a more personal connection online with their customers and prospects. He is a regular contributor to Search Engine Land, the largest and most popular SEO news site on the web. His works have also been featured on the HubSpot Blog, Business2Community and by LinkedIn Marketing Solutions.

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