You are watching the traffic numbers and referral data from each of your campaigns but do you know the full story? The real data is extracted from your knowledge of human behavior and sociology. Each are based on environmental factors and cultural evolution. Our priorities in the 80′s were very different than now. Just take a look at Google Trends and type in a keyword related to your company. We will use the travel industry as an example. Type in “travel resorts” in Google Trends and you see that there is a sharp decrease in searches (interest) since 2005 to 2012.
Now overlay the trends to your eCommerce data. Is your month to month percentages averaging at the same rate of decrease? Why? Take a look at the Google News archives next to find out the over arching mood of your audience. Is it the economy? Is it severe weather influences?
Next look at blog posts from your target market during the same time period. What are individuals experiencing during their travels? When they return from their trips what are they telling their friends? Their blogs will indicate their mood.
Which type of fan pages are being created by individual on Facebook? What is being pinned on Pinterest? Which destinations are people talking about on Twitter?
Now think beyond the obvious. Take a look at divorce rates. If the divorce rate is high the travel rate will be influenced. Family trips to Disney will change to friend trips to singles resort vacations. Look at the number of births year to year. Was it higher than normal one year? How will this influence behavior?
In summary, the data will help tell the results of behavior but the why is the question that needs to be answered and reported to stakeholders. It’s gathering ALL the information and being able to successfully put the puzzle together that separates mediocre answers to the complete story.