Take Action on Your Web Analytics Results

Yesterday I mentioned the top challenges in the Bienalto annual survey of web analytics.

In yesterday’s article the topic was analytics staffing challenges. Today it is the challenge of how to take action based on web analytics results.

It’s unrealistic to expect that analysis and subsequent quantitative insight will lead directly to a decision or action. That’s not how people operate.

Yes, people need supporting proof, but only after they’ve made a decision based on other criteria like how much they trust the other people involved.

Shared beliefs lead people to take action

Even in a data-driven organization, it’s only when we are confident that we share common beliefs, that we agree on “why” we should work together, only then are we willing to take action based on quantitative results.

In order to take action, people need to be in agreement. If people are not already in agreement, they will have to negotiate a change.

Simply stating facts based on analysis is unlikely to be persuasive. Otherwise we would all be getting more exercise and eating more fruits and vegetables!

People are more likely to be persuaded when they are shown how the change is in their interest. Or if they are shown that something they care about will improve (e.g. more revenue, more customers, or weaker competitors).

Organize your observations with a systematic approach

So how can you increase the probability your organization will take action based on results?

Web analytics is not about finding ad hoc results and insights and then trying to persuade the organization to make a change based on the results.

It’s about supporting a systematic approach to finding, winning, and keeping customers. It’s about using a consistent planning process and a digital marketing and measurement model to obtain quantitative insights about what your buyers do online and what they want from you. It’s about testing different options and picking the winner of the test.

Put the Web Analytics group in Marketing

It’s also about making organizational decisions that optimize your chances of using analytics results to improve your online results.

The Bienalto survey revealed that in only 20% of companies does the web analytics group reside in Marketing. Web analytics resides with the Web Team in 40% of companies and in other groups in the remaining 40%.

If Web Analytics was a part of Marketing in more organizations, they might have more success when they try to take action based on analytics results. Certainly that is the argument that Kaushik makes in an article on who owns web analytics:

“Which division / department offers the best possible home for Web Analytics?
After a lot of experimentation and failures I have come to realize that often (if above conditions are met) Marketing is the best organization for Web Analytics to be in. It is optimal because Marketing is in the business of raising awareness, connecting with customers, presenting the company’s value proposition etc etc.”

“ In my humble experience Marketing tends to have the right set of skills, motivations and their core existence is around current and future customers.”