2 Ways to Read Your Data
Thursday, December 04, 2014 | Greg Kihlström

Edmund Wilson, the noted literary critic once said, “No two people read the same book.” It could also be said that no two people will make the exact same analysis from a complex set of marketing data. There are a number of ways to read the numbers and a wealth of solutions to each problem or challenge they present.

This article describes two ways to look at your marketing data, and two potential approaches based on what you find.  


The first scenario could have a number of first steps. Perhaps you have recently launched a new campaign, product or website. Or maybe you have happy shareholders or a board of directors that is pleased, but you now have access to some new insights or data. 

When your numbers are good but not quite great, and you know that some small changes or additional tactics could help, it’s time to optimize.

Optimization can take a number of forms. It could be reevaluating some of your vendors’ performance, or adjusting your media mix. Perhaps it’s time to adjust the creative again. It could even be optimizing the user experience to incorporate responsive design into your web platforms. As long as what you do can be measured and incorporated into your current marketing efforts, optimization can extend the life of your campaign and continue to improve your results.


Our second scenario generally starts with dissatisfaction. It could even be that you have been running a successful campaign for years, but the numbers have simply flattened. Or it could be worse and your numbers may be on a steady decline, even if it is a small one. 

Chances are, at this point you’ve been optimizing for a while with diminishing returns, and there are not many more tactics you can modify. It’s time for a bigger move than a few adjustments. Time to innovate.

Innovation may sound like a scary word to some, but it really doesn’t have to be an intimidating proposition. Not every marketer is going to invent a new paradigm or turn the industry on its ear. 

If you’re not ready (or don’t quite have the budget) to launch a groundbreaking marketing campaign, there are some easy ways to innovate with limited resources. Look around at other industries, for instance. A strategy or tactic may be innovative for your company when repurposed from a non-competitor in another segment or vertical, and you gain the benefit of seeing the results of their efforts. 

Innovation can also take the form of rethinking the user experience. Many times processes are built upon other processes over time, and pulling them apart can find simple, innovative solutions that increase customer satisfaction and are relatively easy to implement.


As digital marketers, we spend a great deal of time looking at numbers. We also have a wide range of options at our disposal, but must always choose wisely when making big (or small) decisions about changing elements of our marketing campaigns. Knowing when it’s the right time to make small optimization adjustments or when it’s time to think of some innovative solutions will help keep all of your efforts on the right track and allow you to keep your campaigns in perspective.

Category - Analytics