12 Key Business Analytics for the Creative Mind

12 Key Business Analytics for the Creative Mind

Your brain can be ambidextrous too. In fact, that’s what makes for the world’s most successful business owners. Elon Musk. Richard Branson. Bill Gates. They’re dual-brained. Digital is shifting the culture of marketing and the way a brand’s message is heard. Insight-driven companies and ‘smart” enterprises are changing the standards of practice.

By the year 2020, 1.7 megabytes of data will be created every second, for every person on earth. Technology has brought on a swift paradigm shift that is unforgiving to those caught up in the right brain. Thus, the importance of business analytics.

Data-driven Functionality

To stay on top of trending strategies, the creative mind must give into analytics. The most successful methods in modern sales and marketing are a combination of calculation and innovation—and that’s no mistake. Data-driven marketing tactics are taking prevalence over legacy systems. You simply cannot run a successful business today without tracking what works and what doesn’t. Don’t play guessing games with your wallet!

It’s about active business intelligence and “both-brain” marketing. Take advantage of the information that’s in front of you. Critical business analytics allow a company to grow and compete with organizations that may be out of their league. Knowing the numbers gives you direction and combining that insight with creative content is a win-win for all. The importance of business analytics is apparent when you study some of the following key metrics:


Business analytics can involve a multitude of different scores through a variety of channels. In other words, you have to know which numbers to collect that will affect your brand. There may be an element of trial and error to this process as you need to gather a baseline of data to measure everything against. Established benchmarks are crucial for definitive results. Once you’ve set some standards, consider tracking the following figures for branding:

Site Traffic

Beep Beep! It’s important to understand which sources are driving people to your website. Gauging the traffic coming in is crucial for brand management because it shows you how engaged people are with your message. The lower the traffic, the more likely you need to make some important changes to your content. Tracking traffic can answer questions like:

  • How effective are my digital marketing strategies?
  • Am I generating brand advocacy?
  • Where are people finding my website?
  • Are people loyal to my brand?

Measuring traffic is valuable because it gives you insight into which multi-channel marketing campaigns are the most successful. You can then make it a point to focus efforts in that direction for faster growth.


You gotta’ know who your people are, right? The more you understand your audience, the easier it will be to relate. This type of natural business flow is what inspires advocates and attracts influencers. It creates credibility through authenticity and builds brand trust. There are a lot of smaller metrics to track within this umbrella term, like:

  • Country/region
  • Device being used
  • Occupation
  • Age
  • Interests
  • Etc…

The demographic analysis is up to you but keep in mind it should be relevant to your marketing campaigns and tie into a theme somehow. Using social data this way will help to refine your target market.

A high-quality visitor is also an important metric to track when it comes to audience. These people will typically stay on your site for a while and view multiple pages. They are the dream come true for inbound marketers. To better understand who your quality visitors are, look at metrics like “Pages per Session” and “Average Session Duration.” High-quality users also make for incredible brand advocates.

Bounce Rate

How many people are clicking away from your site after it loads? What is the rate of people literally “bouncing” out? A universal standard for bounce rates that is considered “acceptable” is in the range of 26-40% . Anything more and you may be in trouble.

It’s important to study the content that is turning people off to better understand your audience. This information can assist a company in further refining their brand. If your message simply isn’t working for your target audience, perhaps it’s time to give it the ole’ heave-ho!

Key business metrics


In addition to considering your brand, social metrics are important for gauging the success of your digital marketing campaigns. Most social media platforms make it fairly easy to track your social metrics. The top dogs have even created additional sites simply for collecting key business analytics related to social. Check these out:

The Google Analytics dashboard is another amazing tool to help with tracking social data. The site focuses on 5 crucial metrics for business analytics:

  • User flow
  • Bounce rate
  • Referrals
  • Time on site
  • Unique visitors

The tool can be tricky but there are tons of Google Analytics platform guides online to get you started. No matter what site you choose, consider paying attention to these figures:

Reach and Impressions

Many people confuse these two figures, but they are actually quite different. Impressions refers to how many users overall saw one piece of content. Every time your social campaign flashed on their screen, the ticker clicked again. That means, even the same visitor can give you many impressions on the same content in a day. Say someone refreshes their screen and sees your message again, that’s another impression.

Consider it like driving past a store with a sign that says “10% sale Today!” You are not going in to purchase (that would be a conversion) you are simply seeing the brand as you drive by and noting they are having a sale. Impressions are good to know for brand efficacy, but they do little for your bottom line.

Reach is where it’s at. Tracking your reach is about seeing how far your content carries across the virtual seas. Reach speaks more about engagement. It’s about the net you’re casting and “reaching” the unique people that may not know your brand. Therefore, tracking reach is critical to knowing if you need to boost your marketing efforts to attract a greater crowd.


Only about 1 in every 200 readers will leave a comment on your blog. Although being consistent with your content is important, it also has to be interesting. In fact, the market is so diluted, your stuff has to set the page on fire. You do a tap dance for visitors or they simply click away. Generating engagement is not as easy as it looks, but you don’t have to be a creative genius either. Just talk to people. That’s all.

Tracking engagement is easy because most social platforms will display that data openly. Engagement and marketing metrics vary across platforms but involve actions like:

  • Shares
  • Likes
  • Page views
  • Page visits
  • Comments
  • Retweets

Just pay attention to your people and you should be fine. Give them the courtesy you expect with your content. Comment on a few things. Like a post in your audience. You’d be surprised how much simple actions can affect your engagement metrics on social media. That’s what makes it a key figure for business analytics.


This is a simple figure that’s easy to track. You should always consider who is social listening and watching your brand. People “follow” or “like” your digital footprint because they dig the content coming out of it. The more followers, the more you are doing right and the richer social data you can collect. Full speed ahead, muchachos!


Want to know how healthy your business is? Check the referrals. Brand advocacy is swiftly climbing the ladder of successful marketing strategies and the result is a robust number of referrals from all over the online arena. A high referral rate is indicative of successful marketing campaigns and spot-on differentiation.


A portfolio of key business analytics would not be complete without measuring the stuff that makes you money. It’s not as important to uber-track these numbers as it once was, but they shouldn’t be ignored either. Your revenue is the reason for everything, so it must be taken into consideration with all business tactics. Here are a few main metrics to keep in mind when making your weekly/monthly tally:

Average Amount per Customer

All your customers for a certain period of time, divided by the total amount of revenue will determine the average of what your customers are spending. This will also help define the audience. Are people frugal or big spenders? When are they spending at a higher rate? Measuring the average spend will help with customer retention and improve on existing touch points. Pricing can also be defined based on the results of these metrics. You may need to adjust them according to this figure.

Percentage of Leads Converted

The ultimate goal is converting more leads to customers, not just getting them in the door. Everyone can browse your store, but if no one is approaching the register, you’re not making any money. So, defining how many people are being convinced to purchase by your brand efforts, is an important figure. In some cases, a small bump of just 5-10% can mean doubling your revenue.

The Cost of Acquisition

This is the primary measure to use for creating a budget. If you understand this metric, you can better manage it and start to bring in new business. Remember, you want this baby to be as low as possible! Ideally, people would parade in your door for free, but reality says different. Consumers expect a lot for a little these days. In the end, you want to shoot for the lifetime value of a customer being significantly higher than the cost to acquire them.

The Common Pitfalls of Data Analytics

Sometimes with math, things can go brutally wrong. We’ve all been there during that failed test in grade school. It’s not easy organizing and understanding all of the data you collect, and the methods aren’t foolproof. At some point, you may be measuring the wrong thing, focusing your attention in the wrong place, or simply doing bad math. It happens. Here are some business analytics samples where things can steer of course:

The Silo Effect

Although the amount of useful data is expanding, only a tiny fraction of big data potential is being realized. Don’t get comfy in blinders. Yes, focus is a good thing, but too much focus, and you lose sight of the bigger picture. We have a tendency to only consider data that is most relevant to our position, but that’s not thinking outside of the proverbial box. Data doesn’t live in just one channel, department, or unit. It’s literally everywhere, and some of it that you wouldn’t have considered, can be very telling about your brand. The more data…the better the insight.

For example, website traffic is often siloed away from other important data that can give you a greater understanding of what’s happening holistically. Social media metrics and an email marketing strategy should be combined with search engine optimization and pay-per-click figures to truly define how each channel influences the other. A Social Media Manager and SEO expert might come together and discover that reducing ad spend on Facebook caused a decrease in organic traffic. It is these insights you are missing when you silo data.

Misinterpreting Business Analytics

Using data that is segmented also leads to misinterpretation. Engagement rates across social media platforms mean very different things. So, defining them under one umbrella will lead to bad data.

It’s about communicating with everyone on your team and looking at the information from a group standpoint, rather than a pinpointed focus. Ratios are different between channels and industries, so without taking the bigger picture into consideration, you are missing a large chunk of the story.

IDC predicts that from 2010 to 2020, the digital universe will increase 50-fold. Information is swarming all around. To consider how important business analytics affect your entire operations is the key takeaway here. From branding to business—and even your social presence—looking at the numbers is essential to understanding the inner workings of your company. The ability to work in a manner that’s “both-brained” is the ultimate means of obtaining success.

It’s important through all of this data-driven process, that you maintain a creative and innovative approach to your strategies. Content should be about quality over quantity. No matter how much time it takes. Modern consumers are extremely smart. Do not mess with their brains! They don’t like it. Create value for people, and your metrics will grow like weeds.


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Greg Arthur

Greg Arthur has a deep understanding of marketing and sales and has been an advisor to software start-ups in the mobile and SaaS areas. Specialties: Digital Marketing, Building, and Growing companies, Marketing, Business Development, M&A.

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