Wall Street And The Web Analyst

The ups and downs of the market this past week have brought many companies to a screeching halt when it comes to spending (and productivity). It has been quite a rocky road recently, but there is a silver lining to this dark cloud when it comes to the role of the Web analyst.

The time is NOW to double down and show your company what their investment in Web analytics is worth. They bought the software, they hired you and the IT department has tagged the pages on your site and added you to their list of internal customers. It's "go" time. To be clear - you have the opportunity to bring your analysis and web analytics skills to the forefront of corporate decision-making when it comes to spending the marketing budget in this economy. Why? Because ROI will be a greater focal point than ever before as companies tighten their spending and put their dollars where the return is the greatest.

Online ad spending may be curbed, but it isn't going away. Aaron Baar made an interesting point in a Marketing Daily column back in January. He pointed out that the companies who cut their marketing spend the deepest will have a damaging impact on their brand. I'm paraphrasing what he eloquently stated in the article, but the point here is that even though companies are going to cut back in spending, they aren't going to stop marketing their goods and services. Their best strategy is to shift the marketing mix where ROI can be measured most effectively and the monetization model is still in the black (even though the values of our investments aren't -- but that's a different story).



So what does that mean to your organization's day-to-day activities? CMO, listen up:

  • Evaluate your marketing spend and ensure that you have the right key performance indicators for every line item and campaign in your marketing plan. Whether it be click-through rate or conversion rate, you need to know what the cost per acquisition is for each dollar you spend.
  • Know who the Web analysts are in your organization (because I bet some of you don't even know their names). They are your data warriors and you need them now more than ever.

    Web analyst, it's your turn:

  • Insert yourself into the campaign deployment process and ensure that every data point needed to calculate ROI by campaign (and creative) is being captured.
  • Know your Web analytics tools and use them. Remember those books they gave you in training? Get them off the shelf and ensure you are using the functionality of the system. Now is the time to review all of those cool things you learned in training or E-Metrics Summits, like funnel conversion rates and latency analysis (measuring those visitors who return to your web site AFTER having clicked through to your site).
  • Be vocal -- don't be afraid to speak up and let the data tell the story. Data isn't emotional, it's factual. It is your job to present the data in such a way that it is easily consumed and readable.

    There is money to be made in this economy, but it is time to be frugal. Only data-driven organizations are going to know how to "shoot the dogs" and feed the "cash cows.". Yes, we are back to Marketing 101, aren't we? It is time to help lead your organization through this economic buckle-down -- so Web analysts, step up to the plate.

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