Here’s a simple but not easy question: how subject to cyclicality is your marketing?

Human beings are naturally cyclical in nature, because that’s how the planet around us operates. We do things differently when it’s summer weather than when there’s a foot of snow on the ground. That’s so obviously logical that it shouldn’t need to be pointed out. Strangely, many marketers forget this basic truth when they design their marketing programs and instead assume a static customer who does the same thing all the time.

Here are two quick tests to examine whether your business is experiencing any level of cyclicality. First, go to Google Insights for Search, switch to time range, choose the last four years, and type in the top search term for your business. Here’s an obvious example of cyclicality in the searches for iced coffee:

Google Insights for Search - Web Search Interest: iced coffee - 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009 - United States

It should be absolutely no surprise that search volumes for iced coffee go up when the weather gets warmer. Go look at search traffic for your own business for the last four years and see if there’s any cyclicality in it.

Second test: go into your web analytics and download the monthly dataset for as long as you have data. Create charts that do exactly the same thing – show you year over year website traffic. Again, look for cyclicality. For bonus points, repeat with funnel metrics like conversions, closed sales, and revenue.

Is there a cyclicality to your search results from test #1 that you don’t see in your website traffic or business data? If so, you may be missing business opportunities that your audience is looking for that you’re not providing!


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