You’ve all heard of the “hockey stick,” right? It’s what happens when a chart takes a sudden, upward turn for the better, like what you see in May on this chart:
In May, something good happened. Maybe it was a new campaign. Or improved search marketing. Or a phenomenal post on a blog. But whatever these folks did, it worked. And it didn’t take any sophisticated analytics to show, because the hockey stick tells a pretty compelling story.
I have a friend who’s been running the same promotion for over a year. He swears it’s working, even though his weekly and monthly sales figures have been relatively flat. For a year.
Um… dude. I hate to be the one to break it to you, but that’s silly.
I am, of course, well aware of what it takes to track performance. Loads of tools exist, yet still we struggle to understand what’s working and what isn’t. And, for many companies, it’s worth it to break down the performance into granular pieces. For instance, if the chart above came from a company running 4 or 5 different marketing initiatives in a given month, you need deeper levels of reporting to understand what got the result you’re looking at.
But, if you’re not a billionaire yet, look for the hockey stick first. Even simple tools like Google Analytics can help you easily isolate where your big jumps are coming from. Or not, as the case may be. Because, as the title above says, if it’s that hard to measure the result, in all likelihood, your effort isn’t working.
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