See what I’m doing with the title here? Most internet marketers put a positive spin on everything and give the impression that their efforts always go to plan. Every product makes their customers thousands, all of their email campaigns get excellent responses and their productivity and income are on a continual upward trend.
Meanwhile in the real world online business is just like any other. Opportunities are missed, mistakes are made and failures occur.
I’m not trying to be negative, but rather to point out that such things happen and ask what’s the best we can do to prepare and even benefit from them?
Several years ago I attended a series of workshops on how to grow a business. It was presented by two men with years of experience between them. One of them was an accountant and he had a saying that was almost a motto: “If you’re not measuring it what’s the point of doing it?”
His point being that if you don’t monitor the results of your efforts you’ll never know what needs to be improved, maintained or even abandoned.
The way I used to explain it to our web design clients was to get them to imagine their online shop was a real shop. If they were not measuring what was happening at their website it was like sitting with the till behind a screen at the back of the shop. They couldn’t tell if anyone was in the shop, who they were, what they were looking at or how long they stayed. They only knew something was happening when someone came behind the screen to pay for something.
That’s no way to grow a business.
Fortunately it’s easy to measure what’s going on in an online business. The most basic thing to do is add some tracking software to your website.
Google Analytics is probably the most common one used because it’s free and can give good insights into what’s happening.
For those who suspect Google is using the software to spy on sites a good alternative is Statcounter.
The important thing is to have some way of tracking what is happening in your business. On your website, in your email campaigns and your advertising. That way whether something does or does not go to plan you will be aware of it and can search the results for how to respond.
The alternative is to be clueless if something doesn’t work, and as I asked in the title: what use is unmeasured failure?