Let’s look at what those challenges are, how to avoid them in the future, and how analytics can ultimately give marketers a bigger seat at the table.
Mistake 1: Marketing analytics aren’t mapped to the KPIs that your company and board care about most
One of the biggest challenges around analytics for online marketers is measuring what’s easiest to count instead of measuring what counts the most to their businesses. Too often, marketers over-invest in metrics that aren’t intelligently correlated to the business KPIs that CEOs and boards track most, such as revenue, sales, units shipped, profit, and customer growth.
As marketers everywhere have learned, there’s often a massive disconnect between things like buzz, sentiment, and engagement on the one hand, and actual business performance on the other. Even if some loose correlation is found, it rarely tells you why marketing did or didn’t work.
To avoid that mistake, online marketers need to correlate their marketing data to core KPIs, look for the correlations that matter, and be ready to equip their CMOs with findings that demonstrate an understanding of what is and isn’t driving business.
Mistake 2: Analytics are focused on the wrong questions
The only thing worse than the wrong answer is the right answer to the wrong question. We often see marketers that are married to their theories and hunches, using analytics to confirm biases rather than to explore alternatives.
If you interrogate the data long enough, however, eventually it will confess to whatever you want it to. For example, many online marketers turn to predictive analytics to determine the likely ROI of a campaign rather than use analytics to help them understand what is and isn’t working, why, and what some creative alternatives might be.
The way to avoid the wrong question is to let your data whisper to you and engage in an iterative approach that provides the ability to adjust an inquiry as the process moves forward.;