INTERVIEW | 17 MINS
"We don’t want to spend the time reporting the things," says Kevan Lee, Director of Marketing at Buffer. "We want to spend the time doing the things."
"One distinction that we make at Buffer," says Kevan, "is that we are not data-driven, we are data-informed." Subtle as it may sound, this distinction has profoundly changed the way Buffer deals with data, goal setting, and marketing reporting.
We don’t need to track everything. if we know where we want to go and the metrics tell us if we’re getting there, that’s more of the direction we want to take.
The juggling act between awareness and acquisition is something marketers have been grappling with for ages. Focus heavily on 'transactional' content and you might damage the brand long term. Focus on cool new stuff at the top of the funnel and you might end up with a hip brand that's struggling to make ends meet.
"What we've done at Buffer is split our team of 10 into two squads, an awareness squad and an acquisition squad," says Kevan.
Our awareness squad will report on all the reach metrics. (...) Same on the acquisition squad, they report on new Buffer users, across all our different products.
"It’s better to run the risk of over-focusing (and miss some secondary metric) than it is to throw metrics at the wall and hope one sticks," writes Alistair Croll, co-author of Lean Analytics. The one social media metric that matters at Buffer? Engagement Rate.
Though clicks are important to us, we've shifted our view where it's not so much about referral traffic but about engagement and conversations.
As data continues to proliferate, so does the number of analytics tools and data visualization options. Before you know it, you’re staring at an intimidating portfolio of tools designed to make your life a little easier. Collectively, though, they easily add up to greater complexity and confusion. How Buffer deals with this? You got it: Keeping their tool stack lean.
Kevan Lee heads up the marketing team at Buffer, a social media management platform for brands and businesses. He's written for the likes of Lifehacker, Time, Entrepreneur, Fast Company, The Huffington Post, and The Next Web. You can reach him over at his personal site, where he writes about startup marketing, management, and leadership.
Reporting at Buffer