When it comes to monitoring how your marketing dollars are performing on a good day, the data points and which to pay attention to can be overwhelming. Now enter the circumstance of a global pandemic and it might start to seem virtually insurmountable. But it truly is about knowing what results give you the most valid and useable information—and how to track them effectively and accurately.
Here are a few pieces of data you should keep a special eye on amid the current state of the world.
The view you select in your analytics platform is step one to making your data valuable. Choosing a statistically relevant timeframe is key to offering up context as to what the information means in a way that is definitive and not as open to potential holes being poked—it's not enough to look at data at face value without observing patterns, be they growth or lack thereof. For example, comparing your web traffic quarter-to-quarter can give you insight into the effectiveness of seasonality, while comparing year-over-year can give you insight into long-term brand sentiment. (This also gives you a chance to link spikes back to one-off or recurring circumstantial events.)
To determine the success of your marketing as you navigate a unique stretch of time such as the current one takes more than simply verifying that you have website traffic—it also matters where that traffic is coming from and how it might impact the effort, both timely and monetarily, you're putting into your various channels of choice. How are organic search, direct traffic and referral traffic data points performing in the context of time-based comparison? What variables might be in play that could be affecting this, whether it be involuntary impacts such as COVID-19 or voluntary impacts such as ramping up your organic content efforts? These data sources can give you insight into how you should spend your media dollars and your human hours in production during your next campaign.
Once you've gathered your data and aggregated it into a report, it can be virtually meaningless without the proper context. Particularly considering current events, this could be especially important in the ongoing success of your brand. For example, say you saw a spike in web traffic during a given week in April. There are many things that could be attributed to that—make some hypotheses and adjust elements of your efforts one variable at a time. Track the progress of this spike month-over-month to see if you can make it repeatable. These sorts of ongoing experiments can help you start to ascertain how a consumer behaves regularly or seasonally—an especially powerful tool amid a pandemic where consumer habits are more unpredictable than ever.
For more on Epicosity's tips for marketing amid COVID-19, check out our blog on recommendations for brands.