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Friday, Jun. 3, 2011 at 12:09 pm

Avinash Kaushik Says, Tell Your Analytics to Grow Up!

By Whitney Wilding
June 3rd, 2011

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to attend Avinash Kaushik’s webinar. It dealt with using your analytics to gain insight into acquisition cost, revenue, net profit, micro-conversions, and economic value. The webinar is finally available to the general public. If you can spare the time, I strongly recommend you set aside an hour today to watch it, as you will learn how analytics can increase marketing accountability. However, just in case you can’t squeeze that kind of time out of your schedule, below you’ll find a brief summary of the main concepts from the webinar.

Before we dig into the details, I hasten to say that a big reason I am such an avid follower of Avinash is his focus on outcome driven marketing and analysis, which is the very foundation of our subscription services here at Futurenow. If you want to find out how to glean insight from your data, this webinar won’t disappoint. Using adwords marketing as an example, Avinash breaks down data analysis into three phases of development: toddler, teen, and adult with each level digging deeper into data that holds meaning for your business.

Toddler Phase

The most rudimentary level of data analysis for your ad campaigns, likened by Avinash to the toddler phase of adult development, involves measuring the cost and conversion rates for your campaigns. In the toddler phase you are looking at the data that is available to you as soon as you set up your adwords campaigns. This includes metrics such as clicks, impressions, click-through-rate and average cost-per-click.  This information is essentially driving at having an understanding of how much you are spending on your adwords campaigns and is available to you without any effort on your part other than creating your campaigns. But the toddler phase doesn’t end there. There is one way to take it to a slightly deeper level: by tracking and analyzing the conversions for your campaigns.

You can integrate the conversion optimizer into your adwords campaigns by simply placing a bit of code on your conversion confirmation page. This code allows you to capture conversion tracking information. If you have Google Analytics set up for your site, you also can import any of your conversion funnels into your adwords account and get an understanding of how well each campaign is converting that way. If you think this kind of analysis sounds rather advanced, consider this: just one level beyond toddler phase, analysis involves not only understanding the cost and conversions for your campaigns, but analyzing the effect campaigns have on revenue.

Teen Phase

The teen phase Avinash discusses in the webinar primarily focuses on how to get at revenue, and more importantly, net profit data.  In order to move on to this level of analysis, you first must have an analytics tool implemented on your site. If you are using GA, you must tie your adwords account and GA account together.  In so doing, you automatically have access to all of your adwords campaign data through your GA account, without having to do any additional tagging.  If you’re not sure how to do this GA has excellent help articles to guide you.

Once GA begins to pull your adwords campaign data, one of the easiest ways to get at relevant information is to create a custom report. If you’re a director of optimization for a website, this report will most likely include information about your visitors and their behavior, such as the % of new visits and bounce rate… but why stop there? Now you also can access revenue in your reports. You can take this one step further by calculating the net profit for your business. Think about what the cost of production is for your goods sold during a certain time period, and subtract that from your total revenue for the same time period to calculate your net profit for the period. Now, not only do you know the cost of your campaigns, but you know how well they are contributing to your bottom line.

Adult (Ninja) Phase

The bulk of what Avinash covers in the adult phase of analysis (he also refers to this as the ninja phase) are topics we have written about here on the Grok. The adult phase takes you to a level of analysis where you finally quantify the economic value of your marketing. Shifting focus to the economic value of marketing efforts provides a bigger picture about the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns beyond the success marker of a macro-conversion (i.e. online order, lead form, etc.).

Avinash asks us to think about the estimated 90% of prospects who find your site but do not complete the macro-conversion on your site – these people still interacted with your marketing efforts and your site, and some may have done so in a way that adds value to your business. Consider the various micro-conversions out there for a b2c retailer: newsletter sign-up, wish lists, videos, etc. Each of those micro-conversions contributes to the success of your business in some way, and can and should be tied back to dollars. Not too long ago, I wrote a post here on Grok detailing how to tie your micro-conversions to revenue dollars. You can also read Avinash’s similar post to see another example and get some additional tips.

The Takeaway

Analyzing your marketing efforts’ data can seem like a daunting task, however, if you want to understand what is valuable for your business, it is not only doable, it’s a must. You are investing money (your time comes at a cost to your company too) into various marketing efforts. Don’t you think it’s about time you know how well your campaigns are performing – not only in driving prospects to your site, but with regards to contributing to your bottom line? Avinash’s webinar is an excellent guide, walking you through how to dig deeper and deeper into your data.

If you’re still struggling to do this, and to figure out to improve your marketing results, contact us to learn how we can help.

Add Your Comments

Comments (29)

  1. Understanding how well your campaigns are performing is a must. I used to just use the “throw everything against the wall and see what sticks” approach. Now, I use a much more controlled approach to marketing so that I don’t waste time, effort and money.

  2. The thing that I found fascinating about Avinash’s webinar was how he identified the accountability of online marketing compared with that of paper or television. As the campaigns are very specifically geared towards those people actually interested in the product and all the data can be traced back, it gives the campaign and ads associated with it accountability as everything is out in the open.

  3. I have been avoiding getting into analytics for my e commerce shop fro quite some time now. But I now realize that This looks like a necessary evil. What I wish for is a non-techie user friendly tool to help me out. Looks Like i will have to wait for a long time :(

  4. Great tips in this one, although I find that it does summarise a lot of common sense strategies for working with web analytics, there’s one or two nuggets of info definitely looking into.

  5. I have been a hardcore user and advocate of google analytics since its inception. These tools are INVALUABLE! They are also incredibly deep and complex. Attending classes or seminars where you’re taught the ins-and-outs of GA sounds like it could potentially be so very useful and borderline -required- if you want to get the most out of GA.

  6. It’s a really good point that just because users ahve not converted through your main revenue funnel doesn’t mean that they have not interacted at all. This proabbly works with all levels of interaction past a straight bounce. I will try to make time to watch the video later.

  7. Seems I’m still lurking at toddler’s phase !
    But hey – thanks for presenting the summary I’ll try to check it out when I could squeeze some time – a this is a field which is ever evolving and has no end for learning and Avinash is a Guru in this field!

  8. First time I heard of Avinash, but I sure learn a lot about marketing accountability linked to analytics. Our company has been trying to figure out how to justify the online marketing dollars spent and its ROI. Tying the analytics to conversion is definitely a big factor for us. How can we have miss that feature for so long? Glad to have read this article.

  9. Great article. I have been toying with my analytics for a while now in the hopes of getting some better incite as to my marketing strategies. I am now getting a better understanding of analytics and adwords.

  10. I used to ignore Google Analytics out of sheer ignorance but once I started using it I learned SO much about how my sites were being used and how to improve them. Ignoring analytics is like forgetting to put anything in your title tag.

  11. Thanks for this! I’m heading over to youtube now to watch the full video. Can’t wiat to learn more…I definitely need some help with analytics and I think this will be a great learning experience for me. I just started looking at my analytics but not too sure what I’m doing so thanks again!!

  12. I’ll be honest, I used to be a little intimidated of Google Analytics.

    I must say though, once you start using it, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it. Thanks Avinash!

  13. For awhile I had switched to clicky analytics, and have just come back to GA. Both are excellent, but a keyword tool I’m now using syncs directly with GA, so I made the switch back. I agree wholeheartedly with the takeaway, analyzing site metrics is a MUST!

  14. Google analytic is such a fantastic tool that makes my SEO and PPC activities at ease. Google analytics and adword conversion tracking tools can be used to determine accurate conversion rate.
    The conversion rate is the number of conversions completed in your site dived by total number of clicks.
    Conversions / total clicks = conversion rate

  15. Google analytics is an excellent tools to know which contents we should focus on. But for those who use black hat to improve website performance, they should not use GA as it’s going report what happen to its Google master.

  16. Google Analytic is the best tool available. I am using it since 2006 and it helps me a lot.
    Recently they have added new features and those are awesome as well..
    Keep it up google..

  17. I have used Piwik too Google Analytics is the best by far!

  18. Thanks for the great article. We were considering our analytics / SEO to be mature and it turns out it’s only growing from the teenies and about to go to mature phase…

    Great post

  19. I’ve found out I’m definitely in the toddler phase! For some time, I had swiched to a couple of other tools, then I went back to GA and I am glad I did.

  20. It still shocks me how many campaigns I see running where people are literally just throwing money away. The other day I saw a PPC campaign where they were spending hundreds a week bidding on clicks from countries they diddn’t even ship to!

  21. Google analytics is a great way to track the performance of the website. Many of webmaster throughout the world use Google analytics to track and report the data of the website.

  22. As the campaigns are very specifically geared towards those people actually interested in the product and all the data can be traced back, it gives the campaign and ads associated with it accountability as everything is out in the open.

  23. taught the ins-and-outs of GA sounds like it could potentially be so useful & borderline -required- in the event you need to get the most out of GA.

  24. I’ve found out I’m definitely in the toddler phase! For some time, I had swiched to a couple of other tools, then I went back to GA and I am glad I did.

  25. Thanks for the great article. We were considering our analytics / SEO to be mature and it turns out it’s only growing from the teenies and about to go to mature phase…

  26. Avinash is really expert in analytics. By watching his videos i learned bounce rate is quiet important metric.
    In avinash words Bounce rate is ” I came I pluck I quit ” …

  27. Google Analytics is def. the cream of the crop. i can now track so many things other than just the amount of visitors coming to my site. i can see search terms, keywords, etc… thanks for the post.

  28. surely google analytics has always helped me and now more than ever help in palavas keys and improvements to my site

  29. It dealt with using your analytics to gain insight into acquisition cost, revenue, net profit, micro-conversions.

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