Drilling Down on Web Marketing Statistics Through Profiles

(updated in May 2016 with deeper information on types of web marketing metrics. The article continues to use the term “profiles,” though “personas” is the current rage.)

I envy the statistical information available to baseball managers. Elias Sports Bureau provides major league teams with clean and consistent data for every single pitch: who’s pitching, who’s hitting, pitch thrown, inning, count, temperature and much more.

Not so with marketing analytics statistics. The main limitation Web marketers face today is that the analysis data set available in aggregate form. I’ll leave it to others to debate merits of Internet privacy protection and marketing analytics. My focus is getting the most out of the available data.

Web marketing metrics drill down

The antidote to aggregate data sets is to build profiles of target buyers, perform drill-down analyses on the profile’s data segment and disproportionally attract users to your site that are within your profile.

Profiles in Success

Consumer marketers have managed to profiles for years focusing on statistics like gender, age, income and geography. These profiles remain critical today for print and television advertising efficiency. They are less useful on the Web and with B2B purchases. As Peter Steiner’s New Yorker cartoon famously states, “On the Internet, no one knows you’re a dog.” In other words, you need to create profiles based on the data you have, not the data you choose.

When defining profiles, remember the goals of your analytics efforts:

  1. Ensure you are attracting a sufficient number of visitors who match your profile to your web site in a given period

Earn conversions in the mind. Measure web marketing metrics on your site.

  1. Measure visitor satisfaction with the information on your web site.
  2. Excel at persuading visitors in your profile to provide you with contact information. In marketing parlance: convert.

For B2B enterprise software purchases, sales and executive teams have learned to appreciate profiles based on the following web statistics:

  • Geography/locale
  • Visit Source
  • New or Returning
  • Conversion

Work up-front to get consensus on your profile from the executive and sales teams. This should be an exercise in strategic success, not an internal effort by and for the marketing team. Executives in particular will have greater confidence in funding marketing programs that continue to drive measurable improvements.

More and more brands are embracing 3D product animation nowadays as another marketing medium. Business owners hire animation companies to bring their products to life, highlighting the unique features and functions of each one to help customers better grasp their value and understand how they work.

Drilling into Metrics

Web marketing metrics fall into one of three broad categories.

  1. Magnitude metrics. Magnitude metrics provide an accounting of outcomes. Examples include number of visitors, number of conversions, and duration of visits (pageviews or time on site).
  2. Trend metrics. Trend metrics look at a single magnitude metric over multiple time periods. The focus is to explore changes over time. Percent change ( [new value – old value]/old value) and Compound annual growth rate are two examples of trend metrics.
  3. Productivity metrics. Productivity metrics measure, among other things, whether you are improving at your goals. Among the most important productivity statistics are % of visitors who fit a profile and conversion rate. But there are others like bounce rate, time on site and depth of visit.

What should you measure? The’s no single right answer. It’s a rare company that grows through a singular focus on one statistic. Good marketers, like good baseball players are (at least) five-tool players.

And remember, the goal isn’t the numbers in the report; its improving the business. Focus your efforts on performance improvements and use the metrics to prioritize and keep score.