The Art and Science of Analytics

    1024 682 Jessica Porges

    You’ve put a lot of time, energy and resources into your digital marketing efforts—so you deserve to know the results of your blood, sweat and dollars. When digital marketing performance is properly measured, data can drive real results. At smart panda labs, our analysts are always looking to connect the dots, helping clients determine what’s working, fix what’s not and make digital decisions informed by data.

    So how does your marketing measure up? Here are five tips from our panda analysts for measuring your digital initiatives.

    1. get with the plan

    Your company may have a business plan, a 401k plan and a fire escape plan, but does it have an analytics plan? If not, it’s time to define a method for capturing and evaluating the metrics that serve as your key performance indicators. This most likely means tracking:

    • Who is coming to your site
    • What they’re doing once they get there (their behavior)
    • Who is converting
    • Which conversions are actually driving revenue

    You’ll also need to select an analytics platform for evaluating the data you collect. We commonly use Google Analytics (free or premium) and Adobe Analytics, although there are many others out there.

    Keep in mind that it doesn’t matter which tool you’re using if you’re only using a small percentage of its capabilities. Make sure you have the people and the commitment to understand your weapon of choice. We often help our clients find the tool that is best suited for their needs and budget.

    2. know thy users

    Analytics can reveal more about your website traffic than page visits and bounce rate. If your website functions to capture leads, you may want to know how many visitors are completing your forms and what the most popular path to conversion is on your site. Are there pages, tiles or modules that seem to drive more form completions?

    If you are trying to maximize conversions on a revenue-generating site, website analytics can tell you what patterns are driving visitors to the shopping cart or booking engine. It can also help to optimize these pages to ensure an error-free user experience.

    By taking a long hard look at site traffic, click-throughs and other forms of user data, you can better understand who the real converters are—and focus on targeting them.

    3. integrate channels

    If the goal of analyzing data is to help you see what’s working, then it’s important to tie online activity to offline results. While the Internet may be a key part of your business, you also need to find a way to consistently connect in-person and phone interactions with your data. Multichannel integration makes data more accurate, and therefore more useful.

    Recently, smart panda labs helped a healthcare client understand the online behavior of site visitors who later purchased services over the phone. By assigning an individual identification code to all website visitors and by passing that ID along to the client’s back-end database, it became possible to trace conversion all the way from initial site contact to the final offline transaction.

    Did the customer see an FAQ section? Did they watch a video? Was their initial visit to the site the result of paid search or an email? The goal of analysis is to find out what works, so you can repeat it.

    4. run tests, run

    Once you know what’s working and what’s not, you can test digital campaign changes—variables versus controls—to see if shorter forms, different colored buttons or a change in word choice improves results. Our analysts work closely with our testing experts to make and test assumptions, leading to informed design and development recommendations.

    Learn more about digital testing in our recent blog posts or download our free white paper, “Put Your Digital Marketing to the Test: Data-Driven Decision Making with A/B Testing.”

    5. reap the rewards

    Smart testing, thoughtful analysis and strategic implementation of your findings can lead to a surge in conversions and more successful customer engagement on many levels. Don’t miss an opportunity to measure the metrics that matter most to your company.

    Want some smart pandas on your side? We can provide you with:

    • Straightforward reports that summarize important data and make it simple to review and share
    • Objective recommendations for improving your digital strategy
    • Multichannel integration
    • Analytics tool implementation
    • Audits, tests and more

    Ready to chat about the science of your analytics? Contact us for a free consultation.


    Jessica Porges

    Jessica is an analytics + intelligence expert who applies her strong analytical skills and expert-level knowledge of digital marketing and analytics software to make recommendations and drive value for smart panda’s clients. She was previously the Manager of Web Analytics & Intelligence for Marriott Vacations Worldwide and the primary analyst for, where she was responsible for advanced segmentation analysis, A/B testing, campaign measurement and conversion reporting for large ($500k+) projects. Jessica also worked as an analyst of interactive systems for NBC Universal.

    All stories by: Jessica Porges

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