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What is the First Thing You’ll Do?

compass - Internet StrategyThis is the question I get on consulting and job interviews for digital marketing or ecommerce. “What is the first thing you’ll do” to fix my problems. In 90% of the cases, until you sign and NDA or they offer you the job, there is only ONE honest answer.

The Best First Step

Building a comprehensive digital strategy is difficult.  Unless someone tells  you what their most pressing problem is, it’s pretty darn tough to tell them what the first step should be in to solve it. But one thing remains true, when you’re trying to increase traffic, conversions, social media conversations, a PPC campaign’s click through or start and affiliate program that works, looking at a companies analytics is always the best first step. Even then you don’t have the full picture.

Understanding the Analytics

It’s said that numbers don’t lie, and looking at the numbers is always the best first step. There are two types of problems a company faces when it comes to analytics; the problem they think they have and the problem they actually have.

  1. The problem they think they have
    Many companies either half igonre their analytics or don’t look at them at all. When they do look at them, they too often look at just a few metrics without considering how other metrics and off-line activities are doing that are giving them these results.
  2. The problem they actually have
    Here is where you actually have to have enough of real world experience to not only look at the analytics, but to ask the right questions on what the company is doing to cause the numbers they are getting.

Numbers + Actions = Insights

Once you do have a chance to look at the analytics you can see “WHAT” is happening.  The problem is without going further into all the activities that have happened to date, it is still very difficult to tell “WHY” they are happening.  Understanding why is critical to building your plan, and your first step.

Which Lever to Pull

Deciding on which lever to pull when building and adjusting an Internet strategy is not difficult, but it does require a holistic approach to understanding all available data. It also helps if you have previous knowledge of what might and might not work. Once you know your insights as to how a business got to where they are, discovering “what you would do first” becomes a whole lot easier.

If you’d like to know “what to do first”. email me at nickv[at] nickvalente[dot]com

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