All Posts By

Sam Underwood

Is More Data Always Better?

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One of the most common problems we help solve at Futurety is, “My data isn’t giving me actionable insights.” In today’s data-driven business culture, we all look at our existing data to help us find new markets and differentiate from competitors; but what if the problem isn’t a lack of data, but a lack of good data?

We’ve all heard the age-old innovation story about Henry Ford choosing to build a car, instead of building a better horse. This is somewhat of a tired refrain in product development but opens up new worlds when we apply it to data problems. What if, rather than organize, systematize, analyze, and strategize our existing data (that hasn’t helped us so far anyway), we can find new opportunities faster, cheaper, and better by obtaining new data on the problem we’re trying to solve?

Here are a few examples:

  1. Not sure why users are visiting your e-commerce site, but not buying? Stop your team over-analyzing pages per session, time on site, and funnel completions, and try surveying existing customers to see where they had trouble before purchasing.
  2. Having trouble justifying an expensive display campaign that maybe is driving search traffic, but also maybe isn’t? Validate the campaign by identifying similar geographic markets and A/B testing by turning off the campaign for 30 days in all the B markets.
  3. Can’t figure out why certain products on your site aren’t selling? Install Google Tag Manager and see how far people are scrolling on the page and what buttons they’re clicking on to identify a pricing or photography issue.

Generating new, actionable data isn’t the resource-hungry process it once was. Tools like Amazon Mechanical Turk, affordable and flexible survey options, Google Tag Manager and Optimizely, and many more are making high-quality data much easier to come by, and in a matter of days rather than weeks or months.

If your past data projects have been underwhelming, maybe it’s time to rethink your data sources. Contact us for a free data strategy audit with one of our analysts, and let’s find out what ideas we can create together!

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

Use These 5 Internal Data Sources to Transform Your Marketing

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For many of us, realizing that our marketing or product communications plans are getting stale can be a moment of panic. What worked a few weeks, months, or years ago is looking like it’s running out of gas, and reinventing that strategy is an intimidating process. Should we run focus groups? Survey our past customers? Test and learn until something works? The options are endless.

In our work here at Futurety, we’ve found that many of our clients overestimate their need for external data. Often, you already have the information you need to identify a new marketing or services delivery strategy, it’s just a matter of organizing it so you can brainstorm on it. Here are a few sources that often trigger new ideas and insights:

  1. Google Analytics. Bear with us–there’s a lot more here than you may think. You probably already know what channels are driving traffic or sales, but what are your top exit pages where people drop out of the funnel? What search terms are people using who ultimately convert vs those who don’t? Does landing on a certain page impact if that user will ultimately place an order? This is all available in Google Analytics, it’s just a matter of slicing and dicing the data the right ways.
  2. Google Ads. We often call Google Ads (formerly AdWords) a “crowd-sourced focus group.” Google Ads are great for testing messaging in real-time, even if you’re not primarily selling your products or services online. Put a $100 budget on a campaign with 3 ad copy variations, and see what gets the highest click through rate, and voila–you now have a good idea of what messaging gets you the most attention from the average user. Google Ads are great for A/B testing landing pages, value propositions, and discounting strategies, too.
  3. Email Data. Much like Google Ads, your past email sends can tell you an awful lot about what your prospects or customers want to hear from you. What subject lines get the highest open rate, and what does that tell you about your offerings? What specific links within emails get the most clicks, and what emails led to the most orders from your site?
  4. Your Sales and/or Customer Service Team. We’ve often found that the best ideas for innovation come from those who spend the most time with the customer. Most sales or customer service reps have strong opinions on how your products could be better positioned to your customers–they spend all day doing it, after all, and want to do well for themselves. Consider asking these front-line types their honest opinions, or hiring an intermediary to conduct an anonymous survey and see what anecdotal ideas are created.
  5. Google Trends. We make frequent use of the Google Trends tool to see what the top search terms may be around our clients’ industries or services, and how that could impact our work on their behalf. For example, over the past 90 days in Columbus, the top related searches for “tacos” include “fish tacos” and “shrimp tacos.” A savvy Mexican restaurant might launch a new campaign featuring their fresh fish and shrimp lunch specials.

      Photo credit: Campaign Creators