Measurement scares the snot out of a lot of marketers. I’ve written about it here and here, in case you forgot. Sometimes is scares me, too. The thing about tracking things is you never know what you’re going to see. It’s like stepping on a scale. When you know it is going to be bad, you won’t look at it. When you know you’re doing awesome, you can’t wait to peek.
But, sometimes, you’re not sure how you’re doing. On those days, it just feels better to guess. Because guessing means you can’t see the holes in your product or campaign’s funnel. And that means you don’t have to actually DO anything about it. But then you think better of it and put on your brave pants and look, for the stuff you can cheer about as well as the areas that offer you an opportunity to improve and grow. You know, like I did recently. Like many of you reading this, I have a passion project. And after months of development and bootstrapped marketing, it was time to really look at the data. And I admit I was pretty scared to look.
Pull the bandage RIGHT off
So, we started digging into the data on CredHive over the last few weeks, we’ve been live and in beta since early this year. We were looking at Google Analytics and saw that we were converting at a nice 17% clip from visitor to join. That felt really good and the celebrating ensued. We continued to pat ourselves on the back when we saw that about 81% of people authenticated their account. And because we are bootstrapped in our marketing, we were pleased with a cost per join of $2.14! WOOHOO! Based on these surface metrics, people want what we are offering, which felt really validating. But, we all know that’s only half the story because our team is never satisfied.
We got comfortable with our conversions and so on. But we collectively recognized a need to dig deeper into the data. Because we know it isn’t always about traffic and conversions, it is also important to look at loyalty. In the start up game, to make an impact, you need to get people to LOVE your product. Not the idea (which they seem to like), but the product. We needed to make sure that people LOVED using this platform.
Beyond basic conversion metrics
So, we started looking at people who were actively using the platform. Were they uploading work and building Creds? How were they using the tool? What didn’t they understand about how it works? Nuggets can be gleaned from this data alone. SO we gleaned ‘em!
We found that there is a subset of people who might not understand how the tool works. This is low hanging fruit because we can tweak messaging to help people understand how it works once they’ve signed up. We found that there was a nice group of very active people on the platform. They are frequently visiting and uploading work. But, they are not recommending us to others because there is no mechanism to do that. Duh! Guess what’s in the next release? And we found an even larger group that was not active. If we were to compare our platform to a sales funnel, where we could use the most development is converting leads (people who join) into sales (people who are active) so that’s where our focus is 100% now.
Never be satisfied with your “good” metrics, there is always something to work on until the whole world LOVES your product, which is a heavy lift, but it is the lift that can only happen if you are measuring AND doing something about it. Which, let’s be honest, is the hardest part. Because any fool can measure their activity. The bravest of the brave not only measure, but also closely monitor and choose to take action. But, the data is not the only part; you have to give your data context by talking to real customers.
Remember, it isn’t enough to measure, those metrics have to drive action and drive improvement, or you will be stuck in the “meh” category, where no one loves you or hates you, but you are barely a consideration.