When you have a growth hacking mindset, data is at the core of everything you do.
Why are analytics important?
- They keep you honest
- They shift your focus
- They can predict the future
- They make your success repeatable
But where do you begin?
Setting up actionable goals is the best place to start. Without a clear goal in mind, you will not know if you are successful or not.
If I ask people about their marketing goals, most say: “I want to grow my company” This is not an actionable goal, because it doesn’t give you a clear direction. Do you want to grow the amount of employees and the number of offices? Do you want to increase your product line?
Always ask yourself “how” if your goals are too broad.In the picture below, ‘increasing daily active users’ is an actionable goal and “increasing content creation by members by 15% by the end of 2018” is a SMART goal . You can directly think about different marketing actions that you would be able to set up.
Next, you should track the right metrics.
A lot of marketers trap themselves by reporting on vanity metrics. It’s really cool that you have a Facebook page with 500.000 fans, but are they converting in paying customers? Or are they generating word of mouth for your brand?
A good metric is a metric you can act on, like a ratio. If you would tell me that 25% of those 500.000 Facebook fans are paying customers and that 10% has given you a referral that made it to a sale, I would congratulate you for sure! But it would also indicate that you can get to 30% paying customers and measure your process along the way.
As marketers, we have all been there: your boss wants a report on how the website, social media channels, campaigns, … are performing. So you dive into analytics and spend hours making screenshots, graphs or crunching Excel files in order to create a fancy looking report.
This will get you nowhere.
By reporting the numbers of visitors on your website, but not having a clue how you can influence them and if the number of visits even has an impact on your bottom line revenue, you are wasting your time. Much more interesting is reporting on exploratory metrics or finding correlations and learning.
Look at behavioral patterns in your data. Do people who start their journey via search engines convert more easily because they show buying intent?
Are there more sales in the weekend than in during week days? Why would that be?
A lot of us marketers love to build fancy data dashboards that track just about anything.
Want to know the number of visitors who are using a Samsung S7, you’ve got it!
But data should be simple. It should answer this one straightforward question: ‘Are we going in the right direction?’
If you can’t answer this question in 1 minute by looking at your dashboard, you are wasting your time..
It’s easy to create a wealth of information, but this often results in a poverty of attention.
Only share the most important data with your team and your management so that all noses are in the right direction.
So how to make sure that your data is actually helping you move forward?
Use One Metric That Matters (OMTM) methodology to check if you are reaching your marketing goals.
This metric is a growth hacker’s true north and makes sure every marketing action you take can be evaluated.
To know which metric is your North Star Metric or OMTM, you need to define the stage and model your business is in. Here are some examples of well known companies:
For instance at Zalando, customer acquisition cost is very important.
If the cost they pay to get customers (mostly from advertising) rises, they will be less profitable. They know that a customer keeps coming back once they have been acquired, so their OMTM is the initial acquisition and the cost of it. This is true for most eCommerce platforms.
SalesForce focuses on the customer lifetime value with their extensive marketing suite. They try to sell you an entry product and up sell the rest of their tooling once you have reached your digital maturity or when your amount of contacts in the database increases. Tools like Hubspot and other marketing automation tools also use this model.
For Pokémon Go and other game apps, the time spent per day in the app per user is the most important metric for.
Why? Because they are still working on their product/market fit.
If the time you spend in the app per day decreases, they should make the game more engaging. In a later stage, monetizing their users will be on the agenda and metrics such as ‘average in-app spent per user’ will be their metric for growth!
Forbes and other media platforms focus on the cost per engagement, because it’s their main goal to create as much engagement (clicks, views, time on site) as possible.