Are You Over-Analysing And Under-Thinking Your Business?


When Heineken was developing a US advertising campaign for their tequila-flavoured beer called Desperados last year, they experimented with two different platforms. In some states in south-eastern America, Heineken ran traditional television commercials. In other states they ran ads only on mobile phones at specific times of the day. Within three months the statistical analysis showed that Desperados had grown from zero awareness in the states where the mobile ads were run to a massive 23% awareness. This was well above the rate of awareness in the states where only television advertising was used.

Heineken’s senior media director Ron Amram, said ‘…we’re attributing the increase in brand awareness to context and personalisation. We used the right media type in front of the right person at the time when they’re most receptive.’ Heineken correctly assumed that most 20 to 30 year olds are not in front of the TV on Friday night at 9pm – they are socialising and checking their phones and social media.

What did Heineken do? Continue with a campaign for Desperados that is entirely focused on mobile devices. They’ve used statistics to change the way they advertise. In 2015, 30% of Heineken USA’s advertising budget is to be spent on digital platforms.

Whether you’re a global giant like Heineken or a single premise business in Sussex, you cannot escape the proliferation of data tools currently available. Analytics, statistics, metrics, KPIs, big data – you’ll see these terms in many, if not most, of the articles and posts you’re reading. Google, LinkedIn, Facebook and web analytics packages like KISSmetrics, all have sophisticated programmes and tools that give you metrics that matter – a true picture of your bottom line. If you’re a numbers nerd, you’ll be in your element!

Whether your marketing emphasis is through social media, email marketing or mobile marketing it is now easy to look at website traffic or click-through rates and find beautiful graphs, pie charts and neat rows of numbers shouting out the state of play. But in plain terms every graph, pie chart and display of numbers is simply revealing one truth; engagement levels.

Most businesses are becoming more and more data-centric in their decision making.

Three success metrics are pivotal to most businesses: revenue growth, return on investment and conversion rates. And with so many tools available to provide you with a very detailed analysis of who’s looking at your business you can’t ignore the appeal of looking at the artistic breakdown of facts. However, over analysing is easy. The tools are there and the picture can be clear.

But thinking is not so easy.

It’s what you do with the information that counts. How many businesses actually use the information directly to make positive changes in the business and then re-measure?

Let’s throw a figure out there. (I’m sure there is a tool that could provide me with a beautiful bar chart…..) I’m suggesting it should be a 1:5 ratio. For every one hour you spend looking at how many people have viewed your profile on LinkedIn you should spend another five hours actually improving your profile.

For every one hour you spend looking at Google’s analysis of how much traffic your website enjoyed last month, you should spend another five hours improving your website.

Many businesses have been blinded by the overuse of the ‘metrics’ term. Measurement is critical, there is no denying that. But all the spreadsheets and bar charts in the world are pointless unless you actually do something with them!

My five top tips for using metrics to make a REAL difference in your bottom line:

  1. Analyse the data and develop a three-tiered action plan; immediate changes, monthly changes and yearly changes/improvements.
  2. Make it clear who is responsible for implementing the changes.
  3. Invest in the changes – if the statistics show your website has an extremely low click through rate, employ the services of a design company which has the skills to develop a brilliant website.
  4. Follow up; set dates for future follow-ups and use metrics to hopefully show the incredible improvements!
  5. Be prepared to change direction. If you are a ‘head in the sand’ dinosaur who thinks you know what is best, don’t bother with metrics. You won’t change direction anyway. Be fully prepared to drop your own views and ideas as to what is best and FOLLOW THE DATA!

Have a great month.

Jonathan Winchester

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