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Using data and analytics can seem challenging and overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be that way

Elementive is dedicated to helping small businesses and non-profits understand how to use and benefit from their data and analytics. Consulting and education services help clients understand how to get more website visits, rank higher in search results, increase conversion and retention rates, and achieve greater return on investment from their online marketing.

BusinessInterviews.com: What inspired you to launch your business?

Matthew Edgar: My business partner and I formed Elementive after seeing many smaller organizations struggle with integrating analytics and data into their marketing operations. Using data and analytics can seem challenging and overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Our focus at Elementive is on helping people find simple ways to incorporate data to make better informed decisions and achieve greater results.

BusinessInterviews.com: What issue does your core product help solve and how so?

Matthew Edgar: Our core product is ongoing consultation and support for small businesses and non-profits. The key to a successful website and online marketing is the process of slowly and steadily building on what works and removing the things that don’t work. But knowing which changes to make can be a challenge—there are so many options available that knowing where to begin and where to focus can be difficult. We work with clients on a monthly basis to help them review their data so that they clearly understand what works (and what doesn’t). By doing so, we help our clients understand what changes to make their website and where to invest their marketing budgets in order to achieve the best results.

BusinessInterviews.com: What has been your biggest challenge as a business owner and how have you met that challenge?

Matthew Edgar: The biggest challenge for me is focusing on the areas where I can help clients the most. There are so many ways to help clients with their website and online marketing—technology, design, content, advertising, SEO, social media, web analytics, and more. When I began helping companies with their websites in the late 90s, I tried my best to help clients in every area possible. It is tempting to take this approach and do everything. But, while I achieved some success, what I realized was that there were some areas where I was able to help more than others. However much I may wish it were otherwise, you can’t build a sustainable business trying be all things to all people.

When my business partner and I began Elementive in 2014, we took the time to deliberately think through what problems we were uniquely qualified to help people solve and where we could provide the most value to our clients. It became clear to us relatively early on that where we could help the most was helping clients understand how to use their data and analytics to find where they should make continual, ongoing improvements to their website and their online marketing more broadly.

BusinessInterviews.com: What’s the most exciting thing on the horizon for you/your Company?

Matthew Edgar: The most exciting thing for me personally is that my first book was just published. In Elements of a Successful Website , I discuss the various questions and guidelines that need to be considered, as well as the various metrics that need to be reviewed, as an organization decides how to improve their website. So far, the book has gotten great feedback.

BusinessInterviews.com: What advice do you have for other entrepreneurs and business owners? What do you wish someone told you?

Matthew Edgar: Early on, I tried my hardest to find a rulebook that would tell me what I needed to do. To be sure, there is no shortage of people claiming to have that secret formula—just follow their recipe and things will be fantastic. Except, these secret formulas don’t work. I wish somebody would have told me that sooner.

Instead, what I’ve learned—personally, from clients, and from partner businesses—is that every single business is unique. This is something I talk to clients about all the time and is something I discuss in my book too: what works for you won’t work for anybody else (and vice versa). So, don’t try to just copy what somebody else did or follow somebody’s “winning” formula.

The alternative is to listen to and consider what others have to say. That might include the experts with the secret formula, trusted advisors, your customers, or your competitors but it also includes considering what your analytics and data have to tell about what’s working. As you gather all of that input, use it as a guide for questions to ask and possibilities to consider. From there, you can make a decision that will be right for your business and the people you serve.

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