Powerful tools such as marketing automation and analytical tools have made marketers jobs easier than ever before. There are so many of these tools that it can be a little overwhelming. It may seem that your data is scattered all over the place.

If you’re looking to optimize your marketing plan, here are five steps to get to on the road to analyzing the right data:

1. Determine What Data to Focus on

It’s important to figure out which metrics are necessary for the growth of your business. Metrics known as key performance indicators (KPIs) can be used to track data. While looking at the metrics tracked by businesses in your industry, this is only a start. The metrics you track should be directly tied to your business goals. Do you want to increase profits for the next quarter by 10%? Do you want to double your conversion rates for your website? Think about what elements go into increasing your profits or conversion rates. Narrowing in on what data to focus on will give your marketing plan direction.

2. Collect the Data

You know what you’re going to track, but how do you go about collecting this data? There are many applications available to track your metrics. QuickBooks and Google Analytics are just a few resources to track finance and website metrics. Beginners in data analytics can take advantage of Asana or Leadin for WordPress that have an attractive, user-friendly interface and educational tools (Scott Gerber, Business). As technology becomes more advanced, data collection tools can be seamlessly integrated into your business marketing strategy.

3. Organize the Data

Hiring a professional to sift through your data will save you time, but there’s the potential loss of data due to human error. This information needs to be turned into actionable analysis with minimal fuss. To avoid information overload, applications like Yaguara will aggregate your data from different third-party applications based on the KPIs you chose in the first step. There are applications whose basic features are free, such as WolframAlpha’s Facebook Reports (Jonathan Blum, Entrepreneur). These features will give you an idea of how data organization works and whether a premium version of the application is right for your business.

4. Analyze the Data

What does your data mean? In this step, you’ll need to look for trends and how certain events and actions impact the data. Analyzing the data will help you determine what you’re doing right and what needs to change. For example, if running an ad campaign produced a spike in your conversion rate, take note of what you did. Extend this campaign or run a similar one and see what affect this has on your conversion rates.

5. Take Action

At this point you have all the information to lay out a clear marketing plan for your business. Take the knowledge you’ve acquired to adjust your previous marketing plan. During this process, you will find the strengths and weaknesses of your methods. Utilize your metrics to expand on your strengths and make modifications to everything else.

If you have any questions or would like us to expand on any of these steps, please leave a comment below or message us on Twitter @YaguaraApp.

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