Ask yourself a quick question, ‘if there was a critical ‘Brand Uptime’ issue that damages trust or hurts my ability to convert a customer along a crucial journey, would I know about it?’
Whether you have powerful data analysis tools, or not, a data science team on tap, or not, you need a simple way to guarantee your customers’ success along their journey through your funnel.
There’s a ton of value in the statistical analysis you get from your data tools, and what we do at FunnelGuard isn’t trying to replace that. But you need to know that your marketing operations are 100% operational today, not next week, month, or quarter.
Let’s be real, as good as the tools are these days, pulling a few dozen data sources into a data warehouse somewhere and then grinding through all the noise to make sense of it is still slow. At the end of this series, you’ll have a quick and actionable process that separates the signal from the noise in your customer journeys and gives you real-time knowledge to get things done and save money.
The following process is manual, tedious, and repetitive (probably best undertaken with Netflix running in the background and, perhaps a glass of wine in hand).
We built FunnelGuard to give our customers an automated and always-up-to-date Source of Truth for their in-flight marketing operations because this is such a pain to do manually. Thankfully, once you put in the effort, you’ll have an easily updated reference tool that supercharges you to be that go-to person that can put out fires before they start.
Pull Your Sources
First things first, you need the data from each channel so you can organize them into one high-level view of your active journeys. This process works for just about any source, from Google Ads to Marketo Email Campaigns, simply, rinse and repeat for each channel, and tailor your data to suit your tools and needs.
Let’s say you’re a B2B company running ads on Google, LinkedIn, and Facebook. You’ll want to pull data reports for each of those channels.
For the sake of simplicity, we’ll focus on the Google ads channel, but keep in mind that you really should run this process for every place where you can pull a report with the data you need.
Keep in mind that the end goal is to end up with a scalable way to pull only the data needed to map your customer journeys, validate everything works, and gauge the impact on your business’ bottom line.
Step 0 (Optional but highly recommended preparations) — Set up a new spreadsheet with links to each channel so you can rapidly download and update all of your data. Google, for example, sends a link with their email reports that will automatically download the most current version of that report. I just copy and paste that link into a spreadsheet for all the accounts I need to update. When you open the link from your spreadsheet, it automatically downloads the most current CSV report you need.
Build Your Reports
Since we’re going for scalability and repeatability, we’re going to build a report in each channel that lets you pull the same data every time.
- Login to your channel and make a new report.
- Create filters to get relevant data. We typically want to see all of the live ads, so in Google Ads, we filter by ‘Ad state is Enabled’ and all 4 of the ‘Ad status Approved’ options. Each channel has a slightly different name for the filters that will get you the live ads.
- Select the data. Because FunnelGuard tracks the customer journey from Ad to Conversion, we pull data that references ads, ad groups, and campaigns and associates them with the first step of the customer journey. You can tweak this to your own needs, but the core data we need to get started is this. (These are Google’s data, but each channel has a slightly different naming convention.)
b) Ad Group
d) Ad Final URL
e) Ad mobile final URL
- Sort your data by Landing Page. Go back to the report we downloaded from your ad channel and sort the data by the ‘Ad Final URL’ column. From here, you’ll want to sort and sum your ads, spend, and clicks by unique URL. If you’re not running experiments, or serving different experiences based on parameters, you may want to filter down to the base URLs. Or, in other words, everything left of …/?. E.g., www.yoursite.com/?
- Once you’ve got all this data into the sheet, rinse and repeat for all the active channels you need to check.
This process can be pretty tedious, but after you get in the groove, it’s not all that bad considering the amount of intel you get.
Once you’ve taken this data and put it into the ‘Customer Journey Map’ that we’ll build in the previous article, you’ll have a single place where you can see the systemic impacts of issues across channels and up and down your funnel. The next “oh sh*t” moment won’t be as scary for your team because you can quickly zero in on the problem and know whether it’s worth panicking or not. All thanks to you!
On the flip side, if everything is working and all the systems you’ve set up are performing as expected, it may be the message, the product, or the pitch that needs to be improved to increase conversions. Now at least you’ll know it’s not the tech or the process.
We hope this helps you be more efficient, effective, and maintain excellent Brand Uptime to keep your marketing operations flowing in a world where every lead counts more than ever.
If you don’t know where to start, or don’t have the time because resources are tight, head over to FunnelGuard and have it all done with a few button clicks.
Originally published on Medium.com