You're running a business, you've got multiple online channels and you spend hours a week carefully curating content, trying to beat the algorithms and reach your target audiences. But have you really got any clue about how you're actually doing online or are in a state of blissful ignorance?
Just as you need to get a handle on the finances in your business by checking you figures on a weekly or monthly basis, you also need to get a handle on your digital footprint.
When driving a car or flying an aeroplane, you have a dashboard containing an array of instruments which give you minute-by-minute information on key indicators such as fuel, water pressure and oil pressure.
So why would you not want the same in your business? Website analytics, social media insights and email campaign statistics are your own key indicators and can tell you so much about not only your digital footprint but how all your sales and marketing activities are performing.
This is priceless data which you can put to immediate use. From understanding the customer experience on websites to measuring the impact of social media posts, it gives the only unbiased and factual picture of what is actually going with your brand online.
Yet too often this vital part of business intelligence is overlooked by enterprise advisers, accountants and indeed bookkeepers who just want to focus on P&L, sales figures and cashflow. Whilst these are equally important, in order to gain a 360-degree view of how a business is performing, you need to marry up the finances with the data gleaned from your digital footprint.
Together they can provide you with the full customer journey, from seeing a post on social media, a mailshot or landing page on a website, engaging with the content then responding to the appropriate call to action by becoming a paying customer/client and making a financial transaction.
There are now so many tools on the market to help you extract this data quickly and simply. On the financial side most of the popular accountancy packages offer dashboards - Sage, Xero, Quickbooks.
Whilst it is slightly more complicated to put all your digital assets onto one dashboard, sites such as Sprout Social and Maybe allow you to measure a range of different channels in realtime.
Remember that knowledge is power, so the more data you possess on your business, the more power you will have to change the fortunes of that business.