How to Identify Actionable Insights for Effective Digital Marketing


Data is the fuel of digital marketing. And with data comes critical decision-making opportunities for business owners.

With the switch to digital technology, companies are now able to collect big data that will help them rise to the next level. And with an abundance of this data, how do you know what is important?

This is where actionable insights come in.

Actionable insights are processed data sets that prescribe any direct action you can take based on your analysis. It drives smarter decisions, better outcomes and ultimately leads to more success for businesses like yours.

But how do you identify the important actionable insights for effective digital marketing

What are Actionable Insights? 

First, let’s define what actionable insights are.

Actionable insights include data on things like what content works best for which audience, how long people spend on each page of your website, and what channels you should focus on in order to reach your target market more effectively. 

For example, you found out that 90% of your website’s mobile traffic is bouncing or exiting the page immediately. The actionable data here is for you to check and optimize your website so it’s responsive to all mobile devices. This will improve the session duration of your visitors that will positively affect your website quality.

Now your action isn’t a wild guess, a hunch, or an experiment. It’s a decision that you chose because the information is laid out to you.

It enables you to dive deeper into specific use cases such as identifying trends in customer behavior or uncovering new marketing opportunities with predictive modeling techniques.  

In short, it’s a data analysis that provides enough info for you to make an informed decision

How do you collect data for actionable insights?

Most crucial decisions start from your data.

There are many different approaches to collecting data, but they all have one thing in common: they require an understanding of how to ask the right question and where to look at it.

The best approach will depend on your goals and objectives, as well as what type of data you need (qualitative or quantitative). Regardless of which strategy you use, there are a few key steps to consider which we will talk about below.

Set up your data sources

Your data is the backbone of your business so make sure you know where to find it. Data can be collected from many sources but in digital marketing, these four are the common sources to provide actionable insights for your business.

  • Website Analytics (Google Analytics)
    • Understand what pages are bringing in traffic and which ones you need to improve.
  • Social Media Analytics (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.)
    • Know the content and market that interacts with you.
  • Email Reports
    • Discover the type of content that works and doesn’t work.
  • Survey Responses
    • Ask for feedback and know what your customers really want.

These are just some samples of the most powerful data sources that you can set up. Digital marketing is an ever-changing landscape and there are new platforms and trends that come out every year.

In general, if you have a footprint on a certain channel, know how to read the data that’s available inside the platform.

1. Know the data that you need

The data sources we’ve listed above have lots of information and most of them are not really relevant to your goals. A growing number of businesses are using insights to improve their digital marketing process. They use advanced analytics to extract useful information which then helps them boost their sales.

It can be tempting to look at each bit of information but we’ve listed a few questions to ask yourself to help you find essential information to improve your business.

  • Which channels lead to conversions?
  • Where are customers dropping off on your website?
  • Which offers are most popular with your customer base?
  • Do they use multiple devices before deciding to buy
  • Do they tend to purchase straight away after being directed to a specific landing page? 
  • Which landing pages need to be improved?

2. Understand the context of your data

Your reporting system, whatever it is or does, must provide clear and concise reports that offer the data you want to analyze.

For instance, it’s great if your Facebook Page posts have lots of likes but this doesn’t give actionable insights on how to improve marketing?

To understand the context of your data, follow the 5Ws of reporting.

3. Remember the 5Ws

The 5Ws are usually used as a formula to guide you when gathering data. These includes:

  • Who: Who is your target audience?
  • What: What happened?, What to improve?
  • Where: Where do you need to go next?; Where can you improve?
  • When: When did it happen? When should you take action?
  • Why: Why did it happen?; Why do you need to take action?

These are just some sample questions to ask yourself when plotting your data. The point of using the 5W formula is to know what data really matters to you.

Remember that not all data is actionable

As much as you want to take action on every little thing that your data tells you, it’s not really productive to do so.

Make sure to process and analyze your data and see whether it is worth your trouble. 

When you take action on every piece of information that comes in, it becomes hard to determine what’s important or not. However, it doesn’t mean that they are useless. Observe for a few more days or weeks and if the pattern continues then go ahead with taking an appropriate course of action!


Data-driven decisions for digital marketing are an essential part of your success.

Just remember that there is no right or wrong answers when it comes to analytics – every company has different goals depending on specifics like their product/service offering, target consumer market, etc.

What might work for one company may not work well at all for another. If you ever need help with digital marketing for your business, feel free to contact us.

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