When you wake up in the morning, you open your eyes. Your eyes receive various data from all around you and your brain translates this to make sense of the world. For example, you know to a stop at a red light. Your brain takes in data and interprets it to tell you a story of what action you should do next. However, if that data is misinterpreted it becomes very difficult to create a story.

Data in Your Everyday Life

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Likewise, when we use the internet, we send out data. Platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter help gather some of this data. When used with Google Analytics, a brand can start to build a captivating story about what is happening within their ecosystem. Returning to the topic of your brain telling you a red light means to stop, that does not mean all red means to halt or that it is negative. Moreover, when using Google Analytics, not all red is bad.

Oftentimes, you might look at a report and see that everything is green and feel great. Opposingly, if you see all red and think something isn’t right and that the team needs to act. This is an oversimplification of the data. Sometimes, red can indicate nothing and green could show a customer that was in the wrong area of your website. Your data tells you a story—you may just be interpreting it inaccurately.laptop computer on glass-top table

How Data’s Story is Unique to Your Company

To demonstrate, let’s say you are a pizza company deciding to run Super Bowl specials for the people in your town. You run display, search, and social ads all leading up to the big game. However, after Sunday night, the ads all stopped. When you compare the 30 days post-campaign to the campaign itself you will see plenty of red arrows on Facebook and Google Analytics. This is because your traffic came for the sale and parted ways when it was over. This causal relationship in the data is not indicating that your website is broken, but rather saying your marketing had worked when it was running.

With the same pizza company, the data could depict a 90% bounce rate, which seems terrifying. However, you know people come on your website and are encouraged to call-in after as opposed to ordering online. They simply went on the page to see the menu, specials, prices, and phone number. Your website home page is designed to give them all of this information quickly, allowing them to exit once they have found what they are looking for.

This data, if looked at from an outside view, or how Google Analytics “normally” functions, would seem to indicate failing tactics. However, you let the data tell the story knowing that the bounce rate should be high. Having Google Analytics alone will not do the trick. You need to know your symbols and what story your data is eager to tell. Do not simply deem red arrows bad and green arrows good in every category of analytics.

Understanding the Story Data Tells Youwhite building with data has a better idea text signage

Data analytics are crucial in marketing. You can make tough decisions backed by real information. Going back to the red light, if you went with your gut because you though no one was coming, it is likely that you will get in a car accident. Similarly, going with your gut in marketing and how you think your customers feel can be catastrophic.

Humans love to tell stories. As marketers, it is our job to tell the right stories – not just to the customers when they need it – but about the customers themselves.

Are you ready to hear you data’s story? Let’s talk.