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In this episode of In-Ear Insights, Katie and Chris discuss quarterly review and planning. When you do your quarterly review of marketing metrics, what do you look at? How do you strategize? What insights do you glean? As mentioned in the show, this week’s episode comes with two visuals so you can follow along with the review. Enjoy!

The customer journey map:

The most valuable pages map:

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Machine-Generated Transcript

What follows is an AI-generated transcript. The transcript may contain errors and is not a substitute for listening to the episode.

Christopher Penn
In this week’s in your insights Happy New Year or Happy new fiscal year, I should say it is, as we record this the beginning of July. So for a lot of larger enterprises to have an offset fiscal year, it is literally Happy New Year. And for everybody else, it is beginning and end of quarter. And we typically take a look backwards to see what has happened over the past quarter and start making our quarterly plans for what we’re going to do ahead. So, Katie, Happy New Year, Happy New Year. What are you looking at? What are what are we looking at? And what should folks listening, be looking at when it comes to end of quarter review? and planning ahead for the quarter ahead?

Katie Robbert
Well, so you know, the end of q2 is I feel like it’s treated a little bit differently than the end of other quarter. So obviously, at the end of the quarter, you want to know, did you make your goals? Did you reach your KPIs? Did you bring in all the sales, you said you were going to, but the end of q2 means it’s that how year mark, so it’s six months in six months to go. And so I think this is the time when you start scrutinizing things with even a finer tooth comb than you have been. And so you might revisit everything. So you’re revisiting the strategy that you put together at the beginning of the year, you might even throw it out and ditch it and start over. But at a very tactical level. as marketers, you should be looking at things like conversions, you should be looking at how well your content is performing, you should be looking at your customer journey map. So things that are pushing you towards your goal, things that are working, what’s underperforming? What’s over performing, where do we need to double down for the rest of the year? What do people want in the second half of the year. And so again, we’re in sort of that unique time, because July in the United States is smack in the middle of summer. And so for a lot of people, that means you know, their kids are home or they’re on vacation. And so the way in which they’re working and consuming information has also changed and it will change for the rest of the year. Because this is one we’re now thinking about the holidays and the end of the year, which is strange, because it literally is July 1. So I think that it’s it’s good that we’re looking back at what happened but there’s very much a focus on how are we going to get to that homestretch the end of the year.

Christopher Penn
Yeah, it is sobering to think about that. And I know for our colleagues who are in retail, this is when you really build your your holiday plan, because you need to be executing it. As soon as September one rolls around, you know, before the end of the quarter, you really have to go into high gear for the holidays. Because the Christmas season begins on September one, right, right after Labor Day.

Katie Robbert
Oh, weird. It really is.

Christopher Penn
So let’s do this. I think this would be a fun exercise for you who’s listening along. To follow along with us. If you go to the blog post that goes with this episode will have to images one of a customer journey map one of most valuable pages metals walk through this. So our customer journey map is probably where you want to start, because that’s what Katie said, you start with your goals. And what’s been working best when I look at this map from beginning to end from left to right is is the sequence of time how, what’s the beginning or end of the customer journey? And obviously, the the size of the bubble indicates how much impact that channel delivers. Now to start off the obvious one, of course, is organic search 30, almost 31% of the conversions for the quarter were from organic search. So that begs the question, what’s working what’s not working? Right?

Katie Robbert
Right. And so if organic search is a strong channel for us or for anyone else, then that means that our SEO efforts, our content creation efforts, the website itself that we’ve put up with the services listed those things, when people are looking for digital marketing agency agency that does our official intelligence, whatever the phrase is, they’re finding us. And so that means that that’s great people know what they’re looking for, they have intention with their search. So it’s then our job to make sure that we are continuing to tighten up our SEO efforts so that they’re finding us even easier, even faster.

Christopher Penn
And it’s towards the left hand side of the chart, which means that it is one of the channels, if you were to divide this into thirds, roughly, this is definitely what the challenge was people, people do find us. And what’s interesting is, it’s not on here. But it’s something that if you are not, by the way using Google Search Console, or have it integrated into Google Analytics, you call us because you need that information. Trust insights is actually the number one term for which we get search traffic, it is the number one clicked on term, yay, branded search, which means our brand efforts are working. That’s also why organic search is not so far to the left, because people have heard of us in some other way first, and then go search for us by name. So that tells me as a marketer ha great branded efforts working, we need to work more on our unbranded search, we need to pull that bubble more to the left. So that would be a case where we want to dust off our predictive calendar and and start looking at what additional content one of the thing that stands out to me is the email bubbles which are towards the bottom right hand corner, there’s two of them, we have some tracking issues of our own to, to clean up email for us, our newsletter represents about 18% of our conversions, conversion impact, and it is towards the end of the journey. To me that says that we’re doing okay there in terms of of what we put in our newsletter and and using our newsletter to get people to take action. But the one that really stands out is that bottom row slack. When we put stuff in our Slack channel, it converts, and it’s an edit, understand what is at the very end of the conversion pathway. So I guess I would say to UK, what should we What else could we be doing with our Slack channel to get more of those conversions? Because we know like coffee, slack is for closers.

Katie Robbert
So you know, it’s interesting, slack is one of those. It’s not a newer tool. But I think the way in which people are using it is in transition. And so the goal of our Slack channel is for people to come together in a community setting to learn from each other to ask questions to be around like minded folks. It’s not meant to be a sales tool. And so I think that that’s where we as a company will need to decide, how are we using slack? Is it okay for us to be promotional in the Slack channel that we own but with this community that we’re building trust with, who don’t want to be sold to in this particular instance. And so, you know, I think we need to find that fine line. And maybe, for us and for other people who have similar scenarios with Slack, maybe it is opening up it in independent channel within that slack instance, promotions only. So here’s where we are going to sell stuff to you, you know that going in, here’s the expectation. The nice thing about slack being so far down the chain, and what is expected is, the farther down the journey you are, the more people know about you, the more they trust you, the more they’re aware of you. So it’s not that hard sell. It’s the I already know who you are, just give me the thing. And that means that the folks in our Slack channel, we’ve done a great job of introducing ourselves, letting them know what we’re all about keeping them informed of what we’re doing. So when, on rare occasion, when we do offer them something, they take action immediately, there’s really no question. And that’s what you would want to be doing with any of these other channels as well.

Christopher Penn
And I would also by the way, one thing really important if you if you have a slack group or Facebook group or some kind private group, and you’re not seeing your Google Analytics, it’s because you’re not using UTM tags. If you don’t use UTM tags, it will come in as direct not and you will lose that information. But I think the idea of a sort of an announcements only channel is a is a great idea to to balance it online. But even with a relatively non promotional strategy, it is still closing for us on Google Analytics versions. So let’s flip over to our most valuable pages report. What do we do this past quarter that the homepage is the number one converting place for us?

Katie Robbert
Well, first and foremost, we redesigned it. You know, and so that was a that was a very conscious specific decision that we brought in someone from the outside with the goal of making the homepage of our particular website, less confusing, more informative, and the calls to action very clear. And so what we’re seeing, after having launched that relaunched it is that it’s doing what we intended. So that’s great. That’s what we would want to see if we weren’t seeing that in this most valuable pages analysis. We would have to start over again, or perhaps give it a little bit more time.

Christopher Penn
Yeah. Now the other thing that really stands out for me on this in terms of again, what content helps create conversion impact Thought Leadership Studies, study, research, benchmark, study, study, research benchmarks, it is all of our data heavy stuff. It’s really interesting because you know that our podcast isn’t on there are regular blog posts on there. It is the super number heavy stuff 2019 social media influencer benchmarks are our instant insights pay and our white papers and our webinars. So by the way, if you are reading on someone’s LinkedIn that you know, webinars are dead. Yeah, they’re trying to sell you something webinars are clearly not dead. When you look at this, what do you see? What do you see? How does this to give you as as the CEO yo direction for what to do next?

Katie Robbert
So what this tells me is that pages where we’ve asked somebody to take action, or sign up for something or download something, so our first page is the homepage, that’s what you would expect. But then you have our newsletter page. Well, on that page, we ask people to sign up for something. On our one question survey page, we have someone to take action on our resources, our thought leadership pages, we asked them to fill out a form to get this thing to me that says that we are creating this exclusivity around the content that we’re creating, because the content that’s not as exclusive. That’s just generally useful, great, people are reading it, but there’s no incentive for them to come back to it or do something with it, or reach out to us afterwards. Because we’ve done our job, we’ve answered their question so they can move on to something else. With these other pieces of content, they have more questions, they will want more information. So they are willing to take an action in order to get the information that we’re providing. So that to me is a very powerful piece of information.

Christopher Penn
The thing that stands out to me too, is and this is a very tactical thing with the technology that is used to build this is something called fourth order Markov chains. And what that means, the fourth order means that you take into account not the last thing somebody did. But the last three steps somebody did on the way to a conversion. That’s one of the reasons why we use this technology is because it is so well suited to understanding the path somebody takes. And I always see a couple of blog posts on here. To me that says, I need to maybe increase the visibility of the Hey, you might also like and link to some of these other higher converting resources to say like, yeah, let’s see if we can use in our in our blog post nudge people towards towards these other pieces of content, because we know that convert that these are the instant insights from and stuff maybe we need to make that call up box me change the run a Google Optimize test and and see if we can get the people to take another step in the process because this is very much a Pareto curve, you know, it’s at 20 at the top, but from a planning perspective for the next quarter go Okay, what can I do to get more blog posts in here? Because we’re spending a lot of time and effort on content marketing, what can I do to get more blog posts in this chart? And what can I do to get people to to higher converting resources from those blog posts. So if you are thinking about your own content marketing, especially, especially in July, August in the United States, when it’s the slower months, we talked about that in last week’s episode, this is where you start. What else would should we be doing, Katie?

Katie Robbert
Well, so you know, it’s interesting, the the two sets of analysis that you’ve put together, they actually work together very well. And they answer that question that you’re asking about the blog post. And so if we flip back to the customer journey for just a second, some of the things that we see at the very beginning with that awareness on surprisingly, our social media channels, and so you have Facebook as a referral, you have general social media. And then you have the Google organic, which is the SEO, blogs can do all of those things. And so, we, you know, anyone in this position, if you’re looking to get your blog, to be more of a driver of traffic awareness, make sure you’re sharing it on social, more frequently, make sure that people know how to get to the blog very easily. But then also make sure that when you’re putting your blog together, that your SEO is being thought of so you’re thinking about what keywords to use, how it’s formatted your headers, you know, your, how you’re tagging it, your images, all of those things play in to your SEO as well. I mean, the same is true for YouTube, I think people don’t realize how much SEO power YouTube has. And if you’re interested in learning more about that we do have some resources on our site to teach you about that. But back to your question, Chris, about the blog, specifically, we are creating a lot of content. So then the question that we would have to ask ourselves is, is that content getting out there? Are we getting content to the people instead of asking the people to come to the content?

Christopher Penn
I would agree with that. And I think certainly when I look at this, I was surprised to see that Twitter in particular is in the middle of the journey in the sense that it’s not some it’s not a discovery channel. It’s for people who already know us and and want more. So that tells me change our messaging on Twitter to be Hey, explore more resources. We can build out more of those evergreen tweets like Hey, have you? Have you tried our instant insights, downloads and things like that get people to look at those things. I think that to me is interesting. And then I was surprised see LinkedIn doing so little given? It’s a b2b network. We’re a b2b company. I think we need to look at maybe do a strategy change on what we’re doing with LinkedIn, because it’s clearly not delivering the goods.

Katie Robbert
I mean, and this is perhaps a topic for another time, but do you think that people are maybe burnt out on social media? And maybe they’re not turning to it? Yeah. So I think that that’s something to consider, or the way in which that they’re using social media has pivoted, they’re not looking to social media, as their new sources, their information sources anymore, they go there with the intention of I already know what I’m looking for or following a person, I just want an update. And that goes to your point, we need to think about changing our strategy on how we’re using some of these channels. But you know, as again, as we look at our digital customer journey analysis, YouTube is at the top in terms of awareness. So what else could we be doing with YouTube? are we creating enough video? Yeah, we’re creating a lot of video. Are people able to find it on YouTube? How are people? You know, getting that information? So that’s where we would start with that one?

Christopher Penn
Yep, completely agree. And I think we we definitely need to take a look at as you mentioned, that other sources of attracting audience. One thing, that’s the two things that stand here that are missing the number one, I don’t see paid stuff on here. And I know we’re not doing a ton of paid stuff right now. So we definitely need to, to revisit that. And to I don’t see being on here. And even though people like to laugh at bing, bing is 30% of all searches, it powers search results in, in smartphones, with voice interfaces, power searched on most smart devices in your home, because being as much more liberal about its API, then Google is and so I think that we need to take some time to register our site with Bing Webmaster Tools and and maybe do some being specific optimization, which is very different than Google Search optimization. So to wrap up, quarter, beginning of quarter, look at the data. But don’t just look at what happened. figure out why. And then the most important thing, which is what we’re going to be doing for the next couple weeks, at rest insights is what are we going to do about it, how we’re going to change things to double down on what’s working, and what’s not. Totally shameless plug time. If you would like a customer journey map for your company to help with your beginning or end of quarter planning, or a Google Analytics most valuable pages report for your company. Please drop us a line in email sales at trust sales at trust insights.ai or just go to the website trust insights.ai. I’ll be happy to help you get one of these so that you can do really, really insightful marketing planning and knock out your next quarters numbers. As always, please subscribe to our YouTube channel and our newsletter, and we’ll talk to you soon thanks for listening.


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