Currently, I’m working on a project for a customer which requires me to analyze many small businesses and their online marketing behavior. It’s a super interesting project and I wanted to share some of the insights I’ve gathered through working on it. If you’d rather just play with the interactive dashboard of my findings, you can scroll down a little bit (doesn’t work on mobile version), but if you are more interested in learning about how I gathered the online marketing data of almost 70,000 small businesses in Germany and what the data actually tells us, just keep reading.
Data Source and Online Marketing Score Calculation
The project that I’m working on is a lead generation project and this specific customer is really interested in leads that are already active in online marketing. During my research for suitable APIs, I found the D7 Leadfinder. It offers a pretty neat API for extracting online marketing data about almost any business that is listed on Google. The businesses we looked at are lawyers, dentists, appraisers, moving companies, temporary employment agencies, and tax consultants.
The API offers a variety of information about the business (name, address, e-mail, …), but what is most important for our online marketing score are the following details about the businesses:
- Is the website listed on Google?
- What’s the website’s positioning on Google Search?
- What is the number of Google reviews it’s received?
- What are the ratings of those Google reviews?
- Does a Facebook business page exist?
- What is the number of Facebook reviews it’s received?
- What are the ratings of those Facebook reviews?
- Does the website use Google Remarketing (if yes, the chances are pretty good that the business is using Google Ads)?
- Does the website use Facebook Pixel (if yes, the chances are pretty good that the business is using Facebook Ads)?
- Does a Twitter, LinkedIn, or Instagram account exist for the business?
Every single piece of information was weighted and contributed in calculating the online marketing score.
Insights from Online Marketing Data
I still find it fascinating that, by simply looking at data from different angles, we end up gaining such diverse insights. Here, I want to share two of the insights I gained out of analyzing the online marketing data.
The Differences Between East and West Germany
The visual on the left, taken from the dashboard of my findings, shows Germany and its 16 states. The states with high online marketing activity are green, while the states with low online marketing activity are red. As the title of this paragraph already suggests, it’s pretty clear that there is a significant difference in online marketing activity between former East and West Germany. Even though the fall of the Berlin wall is now almost 30 years ago, the data indicates that differences between the two regions still persist. But at this point it is unclear whether these differences in online marketing activity are happening due to political/societal reasons or maybe there are other influencing factors, such as the population in cities.
Businesses Located in Cities are More Likely to Use Online Marketing Tools
The visual on the right, also taken from the dashboard, shows almost 100 German cities. The size of the bubbles represents each city’s population-size, while the color, again, represents their online marketing activity. Here we can see a clear positive correlation between a city’s population and it’s online marketing activity; the bigger the city, the more likely it is that the businesses located in this city are using online marketing tools. This might be caused by the higher competition within bigger cities – businesses try to use as many marketing channels as possible.
Eastern Germany’s biggest cities, Dresden and Leipzig, have an average online marketing score of 68.3. The average of Western Germany’s cities of that size, such as Duisburg, Nürnberg, Hannover, Bremen, Essen, Dortmund, Düsseldorf, and Stuttgart (all have a population between 480 and 600k), is 74.4. This is a significantly higher online marketing score, so the data indicates that there must be other influencing factors that explain why Eastern Germany performs worse in terms of online marketing activity than Western Germany – can you think of any?
The following dashboard was created with Tableau Public, a great tool for visualizing data and publishing it online for free. By hovering over the states or cities you can see additional data, and by clicking on them, you set a filter to the whole dashboard. Unfortunately, the dashboard only works properly when you open this website on a desktop PC / Laptop.
I hope you liked this article, if you have any other ideas for interesting visualizations or correlations, leave me a comment or send me a message 🙂
I help companies with data analysis, business intelligence, machine learning and many other data related fields.
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