With apologies to the author calling himself Lewis Carroll, I am paraphrasing what the drowsy caterpillar said to Alice from atop the mushroom. What he meant was that if Alice were a business owner trying to understand what to do first in digital analytics, she would have to state very clearly what her business goals were for her site.
Let’s say that unlike the “real” Alice, and unlike most of us in “real life”, Alice had digital properties and that there was a purpose to her having those digital properties. For simplicity’s sake, we will assume her digital property is mainly a web site. And let’s say that she was pretty sure she knew what she wanted to do as regards Wonderland, and pretty sure she had a web site, but not sure how they were in any way meaningfully connected. Nevertheless, she had at one point created a web site because all the other animals in the caucus race had created one and she was not to be left out.
Lately she had been looking at something called Google Analytics and saw that there were “visitors” and “page views” but nothing that looked to her like information she could do anything with.
The caterpillar asked her where she was going with her digital strategy and she said she wasn’t sure and then he told her it did not matter in such a case whether there were lots of visitors, lots of page views or lots of anything.
Alice believed something must be amiss: for on the surface, before she fell down the rabbit hole, people often had at least a rudimentary idea of where they were going. To the jam-pot for instance, or to town for a bonnet. And there would be roads to take in order to get there. So she told the caterpillar that what she wanted was to go home, explaining that it was a place somewhat to the north and connected to Wonderland by a long tube down which she had fallen.
The caterpillar said she should then have a web site where denizens of wonderland could leave comments about how she might get back to the surface of a place called “England”.
Alice asked what type of site that would be. The caterpillar pointed to a large, flat cake that had words written on it in frosting, and the cake-words said:
If you are a “Content or Branding” site, then you want people to stay a long time and demonstrate familiarity.
If you are an “e-commerce” site, then you want people to buy something right now.
If you are a “lead generation” site, then you want people to get in touch.
If you are a “self-service” site, then you want people to find information and then go ahead and leave if they want.
Alice said that of course she wanted people to get in touch, but that she–
The caterpillar cut her off and said there were no “buts” in digital marketing. In fact, he said, she had a form of lead-generation site. The “leads” were people who left comments about how she might get back to “England”. And that she would want to get their contact information so she could ask them for specific directions.
Alice took the cake and went back to her web development turtle and told the turtle to optimize the site for getting the Mad Hatter and others to leave their contact information so that she could somehow figure a way back home to Dinah the cat.
At this point it is not clear the turtle ever optimized, but we are pretty certain Alice knows in which direction to take her digital strategy.