Steve Young: ”numbers do not tell the whole truth”.

As soon as Hall of Fame football quarterback, Steve Young, uttered the words, “Number do not tell the whole truth, they just cannot tell the story,” I could feel my fellow attendees at the Adobe Summit in Salt Lake City squirm uncomfortably in their chairs. It took guts to stand in front of 7,000 people who eat and breathe data and numbers for a living and tell them that, in order to get the most out of situations, they need to analyze and understand situations on a psychological level.

Steve Young at the Adobe Summit
Steve Young at the Adobe Summit

I heard Young speak last week, in the industry’s leading digital marketing conference of our partner, Adobe. The Summit was a marketing celebration, where I met many of our customers and participated in interesting sessions. The highlight for me was the presentation by Young at the general session. Sure – it’s easy to get inspired by a famous, smart, attractive, ex-football player who is also a highly successful businessman – but it was his message and personal story that resonated with me and touched upon my core professional philosophy.

Steve talked about actively listening to what people say and reacting to it in a smart and creative fashion. And while many of the attendees seemed uncomfortable about the notion that numbers do not tell the whole truth, we at Clicktale couldn’t agree more. The data businesses get from traditional analytics tools, cannot tell the story of what the customer tried to do, why she or he purchased or didn’t and whether they were happy or frustrated customers. The analytics tool will aggregate data of many customers and put it in chart and statistical forms but can you really understand your customer from this data?

Good marketers use data all the time but great marketers understand each and every customer. So how can digital marketers truly understand their customers and learn their entire story, the story behind the numbers and data? By observing the customer journey online; literally watching what they do from the first moment they access your website until they leave. By being able to watch and analyze visitor session recordings you see your website as it was experienced by the visitor. Data-Rich Heatmaps reveal the page parts that were most looked at, clicked on, focused on and interacted with. With this intricate knowledge you can optimize your website’s user experience, eliminate frustration and increase engagement.

I am not suggesting you watch millions of sessions, just as I do not expect P&G to talk to each and every one of their Tide customers to understand what and how they buy. But I recommend that digital marketers use smart segmentation to focus on recordings of major steps in the visitor journey, to gain a deep understanding of where visitors hover, click, scroll, type, retype, get confused or navigate with ease. It’s especially mind opening to watch recordings of sessions where customers abandoned their shopping cart or didn’t make a purchase to understand why they left the funnel.

Clicktale’s ready-to-use SaaS solutions including session playbacks, data rich Heatmaps, conversion funnel and form analytics analyses,  effortlessly integrate with traditional Web Analytics, A/B Testing and Voice of Customer tools and adds powerful new insights and visualizations, optimizing your website’s digital user experience, improving engagement and increasing conversion. To understand how your customers experience your website, book your own private demo with a Clicktale product specialist.

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