Good Habits For 2019
You’ve made it, the bleakest month of the year is almost over. You’ve conquered Blue Monday, completed dry January and maybe even managed to do 4 weeks of veganism (apart from that one bit of halloumi last week, but hey, no one’s perfect). But what happens now? We may not be able to help you maintain your virtuous New Year’s resolutions throughout the whole of 2019, but we can give some advice on how to make (and keep) good habits when it comes to your analytics.
Commit to Planning
It may sound simple but making sure your marketing strategies are carefully planned before they are executed can save you time, money and headaches. The planning stage is often overlooked when companies are thinking about their analytics and this can lead to no end of issues. When you overlook the importance of plotting out the measurement of your data, you leave yourself vulnerable to gaps in learnings and a misunderstanding of return on spend – which might mean you are starting the year allocating budget ineffectively.
Before jumping headfirst into your next campaign, try to get into the habit of taking time to consider what information key members of the team require to inform their decisions, how that information will be collected, where the data will be stored and what the reports need to look like. It can also be useful to include your technical team members in these conversations so they can understand the business reasons behind the data infrastructure you’re creating and can advise on different ways that can be achieved.
Review Your Objectives
The commercial world is in a constant state of flux, with various elements affecting consumer behaviour. From a decline in sales on the high street to the uncertainty of how Brexit will affect the economy, the world is changing all the time and businesses are having to amend their marketing, acquisition and retention activities accordingly. But is the same agile approach taken when considering your analytics? For many businesses, the answer would be ‘no’. By failing to revisit and review the objectives of your analytics, you could be hindering your decision making processes and running reactive, rather than proactive, strategies.Once you have set your key objectives, KPIs and strategies for the year at the planning stage, get into the habit of regularly reviewing them to ensure they’re still relevant and assessing whether they need revising. You should take in to account new markets, developments in technology and seismic shifts in consumer behaviour – on both a brand specific and global perspective. As you are doing this, ensure you have the correct infrastructure to collect the relevant information accurately and that your team can access it easily.
Stay On Top Of Your Documentation
Companies without a solid paper trail of plans and technical setups are leaving themselves open to a whole host problems down the line. As a magic number 8 ball would say – the future looks bleak. It’s easy to skip over this crucial part of the process, but it’s often difficult to understand a business’s rationale behind certain decisions just by looking at the set up, especially years later. Whether it’s internal team members or a third party who are trying to decipher the analytical strategies of yesteryear, having a clear and up to date written record can help. It can also be tricky to determine if analytics tracking is working correctly if you have no idea what it was set up to do in the first place!
Do future you a favour and make 2019 the year you dedicate to documentation. This can be done in the best way to suit your business but however you record it, make sure it’s secure but easily accessible – especially important as your business grows and you have new team members joining. However, remember it’s not enough to simply document the initial setups – they must be updated every time the system is tweaked or altered to make sure the most recent information is always available to those who need it.
Share Your Information
Getting in to the above good habits is great, but if your teams are working in silo then you’ll never see tangible progress across the whole business. Make improving communication between teams your focus this year and get into the habit of sharing information. Sharing issues that arise in one department could really influence the actions of another. For example the insights the customer support has on what customers are struggling with could be priceless information for the content team, so they can adjust the information on the website to improve the user experience. Sharing success stories is important too, as they demonstrate what’s working and the contributions different areas of the business are making to that success.
This exchange of information doesn’t need to take place at a big, official meeting that eats time in to your already hectic calendar. Colleagues could arrange a casual fortnightly catch up over coffee, or you could utilise existing internal tools, such as your intranet or Slack channels. Tapping in to your company culture and understanding what form of communication works best for your team will give you the best chance of maintaining this good habit long term.
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