The importance of using real data to make marketing decisions Keeping fake news out of your business

Information is valuable. Life or death decisions are made over it and when a decision is made with incomplete information the results can be catastrophic. In today’s information age being able to separate real data from fake data is one of the most important things a marketing department has to do. While no one will lose their life because of fake data or fake news affecting your marketing strategy using bad information can affect many lives. After all, you want to stay in business don’t you.

As a marketing professional, or just as a business owner who is in charge of marketing (and several other departments), you have a lot on your plate. From your SEO strategy to social media or generating leads your job is never ending. Your customers provide feedback which gives you some idea about what they are looking for as far as goods and services that you offer and you probably get some queries from the web about what you offer. Trying to generate leads, you may have turned to a lead-generation service that provides you with a name, phone number or email address. You have a lot of data to sort and your marketing strategy’s success depends on you interpreting your data right. Up to this point you haven’t even thought about your web analytics.

Fake data is all around us and is not new. Do you remember when the family pet got a credit card offer? OK, you might have to be over 30 to remember that but it happened a lot. The family dog or cat got it because someone filled out a product registration card in their name for something and that data was then sold to a marketing service. Based off the income section of that card your loving four-legged friend was pre-approved for a credit card. Fortunately that does not happen anymore as a social security number is required when applying for a credit card but it is very easy to get fake information in with the real info. Chances are Fido or Squeaky would not be interested in your product and all you have done is waste your time with that “lead” and you probably got laughed at when their owner received your communication. Technology has helped to change this for the better.

Having the right analytics in place are key. Numerous tools will allow you to see where people are visiting your site from and to see how long they are staying on the page. If you are a local service then trying this will allow you to see if your web hits are local or if they are coming from outside of the area.

For the small business owner who may not have the time to sort through all of this WordPress can do it for you. An analytics plugin can be installed to provide you with as much information as you need. Google Analytics is the most popular plugin and provides information on the number of visitors, where they are coming from, the bounce rate, what kind of device the visitors are using, what browser, the number of organic searches and much much more. Heatmaps can also be installed to show where users are spending their time on your site. All of this data can be made into a customizable and easy to read report. Now you won’t have to search through mountains of data to know what your customers are looking for, Google Analytics will tell you so if your web users are visiting one particular page you may want to market that product harder. If only being a marketing director was that easy!

Fake news has been in the news a lot lately. It is easy to get fooled if you are not paying attention and when staring at a mountain of data to analyze it is easy to lump fake leads and data in with the rest. WordPress and Google have worked to make sure that anyone, from the CEO of a Fortune 500 company to a company of one, can make informed decisions.

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