To say that last month’s marketing challenge report was delayed, would be an understatement. Now, this month’s report has been even more delayed. Truth is, I’ve been thinking. About strategy. You see, I realized that I didn’t have any! Oh yes, what I did have was lots of scrappy notes in paper form, in Evernote, OmniGraffle, Trello and various other applications. I had ideas about my strategy –but I hadn’t organized it all and with deliberation and zest decided on a direction, a path to take.
A marketing journey without a path; is an aimless journey.
Furthermore, two things have bothered me (immensely):
- Even though I wrote a great deal about finding your OMTM – aka One Metric That Matters, the one metric that you should measure and follow on a daily basis, I’ve been unable to find (or maybe decide) on that elusive one metric that matters – to me and my business.
- Assembling my monthly results report during the last four months, has been way more time intensive than anticipated. As an example, to find my Hello Bar metrics was an exercise in meticulous diligence and patience.
An example: to find my Hello Bar metrics for the preceding month, I had to comb through the five Hello Bar “weekly report” covering that month. Months and weeks don’t start and end in sync, so it wasn’t just a simple matter of selecting the four weeks of August, no no no no no, that would be waaaay too simple. So the first and last weeks of the month each had to be divided by 7 to get a daily average to multiply with the number of days within that month.
Now… “why on EARTH would any sane person, let alone marketer; do such a cumbersome task?” you may ask. Hold it right there! (tilts baseball cap, puffs up chest):
- I’m not sane!
- Marketers are even less sane…
- I never wear a baseball cap;)
Seriously though… I had to do it that way because Hello Bar’s rudimentary stats doesn’t have a date range selector, so I couldn’t simply grab those monthly metrics; I had to gather them in that awkward, cumbersome way.
Marketing Metrics – Daily
To act on your metrics, you need them available to you, anytime you need them. As mentioned in an earlier post, Hubspot found that marketers who dive into their metrics more than 3 times per week: are more successful with their marketing!
Obviously, my Hello Bar analytics acrobatics routine described above, was counterproductive, as I couldn’t keep my eyes on the metrics I was interested in, on a daily basis.
Trends, Graphs and Growth Percentages
Absolute numbers (like f.e. “4.738 visits”) may be pretty – but are also pretty useless.
A more useful number, would be a percentage, answering the vital question: “what’s the growth rate?”
To make matters worse, my marketing report spreadsheet had improved numbers (compared to last month) highlighted in blue – and “poorer numbers” highlighted in red. Design-wise, it works well: it’s easy to see which numbers are deemed good, and which are bad. But it’s also a binary, suboptimal way to display metrics. Say I had 3 more visitors in a month, compared to the previous month: that number would turn blue, but the story to tbe told would rather be one of stagnating growth, since the change is so small.
And imagine this scenario: If the last 10 months has been trending downwards – it doesn’t matter much that last month’s numbers went upwards a bit.
In stock trading that’s seen as a “correction” – not a trend reversal. It’s just a correction, before the market continues the overall direction of the trend. It would be pretty unusual to see a stock that only goes up (or down) in a completely linear fashion. There are sell-offs, and the world is cyclical/dynamic. See the principles of Polarity and Rhythm in The Kybalion for a spiritual take of that (couldn’t help throwing that reference in there: The Kybalion is a profound read!)
Anyway. What yours truly (truly ADHD that is!) is getting at, is this:
- Percentages are better metrics to follow. I did know that before I embarked upon this marketing journey of mine, I just somehow made a scorecard spreadsheet that didn’t pay much attention to that knowledge. Why? Because it was easier / more straightforward, to just use the raw, absolute numbers. Laziness? Not as much as… I dunno… Argh, okay: let’s deem it laziness then. Found guilty as charged:)
- Furthermore, graphs are better because they show trends. And because trends tend to continue their direction for a while (due to momentum etc) they give a better idea of likely future performance. Graphs are not crystal balls per se, but they’re much more informative and useful, than mere absolute numbers, highlighed in cute red and blue – even if those reds and blues adhere strictly to my brand identity… ahem… yes, that’s what a design nerd like me has paid extra special care and meticulous attention to, while putting together my monthly reports :o)
Simpler Marketing Metrics
The above factors (and a few more that I won’t bore you with) of course made me look for a better alternative.
First I had to, finally, find and settle upon my One Metric That Matters. The one metric that makes most sense to pay closest attention to, on a daily basis, because it’s the best indicator of traction, aka fruitful marketing efforts.
To find my OMTM, I asked myself a great question I’ve read somewhere in a book recently:
The question goes something like this:
Which single activity, if I did only that, every day as the only thing: would have the biggest impact on my businesss – aka make everything easier or unnecessary?
I can’t remember its source. I may have made it up from several such questions I’ve read in books like The One Thing, The 12-Week Year, or some other business productivity book.
My answer to the question is this:
To create content for my upcoming products (online course / ebook) and release useful fragments of these as blog posts or YouTube videos, to stir up excitement and interest, as well as test ideas with my audience (aka: you!) This will allow me to make serious progress: publish more content, while simultaneously working on future product creation. Publishing high-quality, truly helpful content also generates traffic to my site, rejuvenates my relevance, and helps me build new connections and relations.
So I needed a single metric that I could check daily, to motivate and guide me, by visualizing whether my efforts are paying off.
I really wanted to tap such a metric directly from my Rainmaker account. It would be so cool to simply snap a screenshot and share that with you. Authentic metrics for a marketing challenge revolving around my use of the Rainmaker Platform.
Alas, I couldn’t find a report in Rainmaker that could be useful for this particular purpose. Part of the reason being that Rainmaker’s Google Analytics reports, like Hello Bar that I rambled about above, earlier in this post; doesn’t have a date range selector. So I couldn’t generate a traffic report from f.e. “last month”.
Please note that it’s only true for the GA reports. Rainmaker has some super-nifty, flexible (and date range selectable) reports for things like sales and membership activity, affiliate partner performance, and such. Unfortunately, those are not the metrics I need to keep an eye on, at this stage of my business.
So I turned to Moz Pro, which has a built-in PDF report function which, if I could find the right metric, would greatly alleviate the time-consuming task of doing a manual report each month, as described above.
Lo and behold! I found a beeeeaaauutiful graph that, in a single visual, displays both my 12-month search engine traffic trend, as well as an overlay of URLs receiving traffic. That last part is borderline genius! It’ll motivate me to (hopefully) publish more blog posts, more landing pages, product and service pages, update and optimize old blog posts – an activity I’ve been wanting to do for months.
Another thing I like about that graph is that it focuses on search engine traffic only. Leading me to the next part of the results report, which is social media.
I’ve seen some healthy traffic spikes (primarily from Facebook) which I can’t ignore – and has finally made me reconsider my Facebook-aversions (it distracts me from doing deep work, so I’ve weaned myself off Facebook to the point that I only go there on a weekly basis).
Now.. ahem… if only I hadn’t been neglecting my Facebook fan page for years – leaving me with a measly current fan count of… ahem… 94… If I could kick myself in the nuts for that ignorance; I’d do so. I deserve it. Else why would I not have had a simple “Like” button on my site during the last 4 years or so? That simple, tiny little implementation would have left me with a markedly better starting point now, anno… 2016… (argh! if only I could kick those nuts of mine…)
Okay, every day is a new beginning – so I’ll give social media marketing a try. And for that reason, I’m including a few social media marketing metrics in my monthly report.
Oh, I almost forgot! You can download my new report right here!
But hey, you may be wondering why I use Moz Pro, when this is a Rainmaker Platform marketing challenge? Fact is Moz has been paid for, an annual subscription which lasts me until somewhere in March/April 2017. I might as well take advantage of it.
And that brings me to:
My final marketing tools list!
I began this challenge in April with 24 marketing tools on the list. There comes a point where you can’t simplify your processes further, without seeing diminished returns, or even introducing new complexity due to the removal of functional parts. This is a great state to arrive at, and one we need to watch for, as it can so easily be missed, if you relentlessly march on, passing it without realising it.
It means you’ve simplified the process as much as you can. Bravo:) Einstein would be proud a’ ya! Remember – good ol’ Albie was quoted (or paraphrased) for saying:
“Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.”
So I’ve now reduced my marketing toolset to a small handful of marketing tools that I’ll stick with, for now. Without further ado:
♥ = amount of love for current tool/service. ♥ heart = a little. ♥ ♥ hearts = some. ♥ ♥ ♥ hearts = a whole lotta luv.
Number of crosses indicate ferocity of execution. ✝ cross = a reluctant goodbye. ✝✝ crosses = “jolly good fella – he just ‘adda go”. ✝✝✝ crosses = executed at dawn, with no last breakfast.
Goes without saying that I’m using the wonderful the Rainmaker Platform as my basis of course – PLUS the following additional tools:
- ✝ ✝ ✝ Advanced Marketing Institute’s Headline Analyzer – See #2 below.
- ✝ ✝ ✝ CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer – See my quick correlation test (with video): Headline analyzers are horrible at predicting headline success.
- ♥ ♥ Crazy Egg – Excellent for heatmaps (seeing where on pages users click and scroll to) – so I’ll keep on using it. Google Analytics’ equivalent In-Page Analytics tool isn’t anywhere near as useful.
- ♥ ♥ Followerwonk – Great for audience research! Which words does your target audience use to describe themselves? Neat eh? A keeper.
- ♥ ♥ Google Analytics – Rainmaker gets its stats from it, making it a keeper, too. I’m digging Google Analytics more and more.
- ♥ ♥ ♥ Google Search Console (f.k.a. Webmaster Tools) – Essential. It’s how Google perceives your website.
- ♥ ♥ ♥ Google Trends – I just LOVE Google Trends. I’m almost addicted to it. Really.
- ✝ ✝ Hello Bar – I love it! But I have stopped using it. Why oh why?? Because Rainmaker has recently got a Site Notices feature. Arguably very rudimentary compared to Hello Bar, and has no A/B-testing features: but I feel making good use of it will bring me much of the value I’ve got from Hello Bar, in a fraction of the time, since I can’t fall in the trap of A/B-testing stuff that isn’t really warranted. A promotion is a promotion, and writing it on “gefühl” (gut-instinct) is 10x faster than writing variations for A/B-testing – and will likely still yield at least 80% of the results or more – to put it in an 80/20 Principle perspective;)
- ✝ Mailchimp – My email marketing is now 100% on RainMail, the email marketing service built into Rainmaker. So the chimp’s dead! Freddie… is dead😉 And yes: do click that Freddie-link there, for some great music, by one of the greatest artists the world’s ever been blessed with: Curtis Mayfield. His performance at Ronnie Scott’s in 1988 is one of the first destinations I’d choose, should Doc ever drive by and offer me a ride Back to the Future… or past… Anyway: you’ll find me in the 80s, and likely I’ll be at Ronnie Scott’s jazz club for that epic, legendary Curtis Mayfield concert! =)
- ♥ ♥ ♥ Mixpanel’s A/B Split Testing Calculator – Super-nifty tool. Keeper.
- ♥ ♥ Moz Pro – I really enjoy Moz’ new Keyword Explorer! Its index is fresh and it has a wonderful Potential score, based on an algorithm that takes into account how important the keyword is to you – in addition to the usual suspects of volume and difficulty (see screenshot below).
- ♥ ♥ Vimeo – When I launch my next online course, I intend to check whether Rainmaker’s built-in video hosting can replace Vimeo for the membership videos. I currently have somewhere around 50-100 such member only (aka: protected) videos hosted on Vimeo. Moving them to Rainmaker wouldn’t make sense. The ROI on that activity vs Vimeo’s low annual cost, would be laughable.
So yeah: 8 tools is what I could reduce my list to. But to be fair, and cut myself some slack: 3 of them are free Google tools, and Followerwonk is a “bonus” part of Moz Pro – so really, the number is “somewhere less than 8”. Pretty good if you ask me:)
That’s all for now. Long blog post, this one. From this point (or rather: post) on, I’ll try to keep future monthly update posts short and sweet, while sharing my experiences and learnings in separate blog posts. Better that way;)
PS: I love you! (sweet movie btw) I really do love you, for reading this. May the spirit of Curtis Mayfield lift you up <3