October 20, 2009
Running a business is hard.
The ecosystem surrounding a business – developing IP, building a brand, motivating people, managing operations – often appears disjointed. We employ separate technologies, have separate (often competing) departments, separate sets of processes, even separate offices. Thus it’s easy to forget that business does indeed operate within an ecosystem, that all these seemingly separate entities must work together to make business flourish. Managing your business ecosystem is hard, but truly successful business – that is, to understand the problems we’re solving and take care of our customers:
1) They understand the business problem they are solving.
2) They take care of their customers.
3) They innovate.
All of our businesses have problems, whether they’re related to internal processes or those of our customers, and we face an ever-widening array of tools we can use to address them within the business ecosystem. Analytics are one of the most basic parts of that ecosystem. They form the connective tissue that intertwines with marketing automation, multivariate testing, business intelligence and a bevy of maturing technologies that make it easier for us to run a successful business that understands the problem they are solving and takes care of their customers.
Yet all too often there is an expectation that analytics are removed from your business. That they are a business within your business. That only from identifying separate processes and separate resources can analytics be successful. I’ve heard businesses say more times that I care to share in the last year that they need to “make analytics successful.” We’ve got it wrong.
Technology can’t be beneficial to your business if it operates in a vacuum of resources and expertise. Maybe your business can be stronger with the newer tools (or maybe the new tools get in your way), but they can’t replace a good recipe and a skilled cook.
Success happens because of people and process supported by technology, not technology in and of itself. Web Analytics is not hard, running your business is. I think you’ll agree, however, that when operating within the context of a well-run business ecosystem, analytics can help you solve your business problems better, take better care of your customers and support innovation. Over the coming weeks and months I’ll be exploring how marketing plays a role in a successful business. How the practice of marketing iteration is practiced and how it is supported by a recipe of analytics, mvt, a myriad of emerging technologies and, most importantly, skilled cooks.
In the meantime, I’d love to know what makes your business hard, what challenges you are facing, and how you use process and technology (like analytics) to make your business better.