Running a successful and informative analytics program is not always easy. Here are six potential pitfalls that can affect any data-driven process. Remain cognizant of each probable hurdle as you build and refine your own marketing metrics operation.
1. Reporting Rubbish
Are your reports truly providing helpful insight, clearly stated data translations, and meaningful recommendations? While the “insights” or “notes” section of any report is truly the most important, too often these annotations simply regurgitate data tables, charts, and graphs. Don’t let your marketing reports get away with conveying cookie-cutter notes and lackluster insights. For every hour spent pulling data, spend an hour offering up a healthy dose of understanding.
2. Empty-Handed Frustration
The analysis process can lead you down several promising routes that bear no fruit. A data point that initially gives off a promising scent can end up stale and uninspiring. Don’t sweat it. The more time you spend with your data, the better equipped you’ll be to uncover juicy takeaways and ask really smart questions. Remain steadfast, if not stubborn, in your commitment to manipulate marketing metrics to unveil truly meaningful data discoveries. Stay true, and keep hunting.
3. Lack of Creative Appreciation & Cooperation
Be a data-driven organization, not a data dictatorship. Marketing metrics should not command the creative process. Data should inform creative strategy and validate its results. Just because you have the metrics to point you in the right direction, doesn’t mean the journey is complete. Analysts need to know their role. Allow your metrics to inform business decisions without mandating creative approach and execution.
4. Integration Troubles
No matter what analytics tools you rely upon, getting them all to share data or feed one single hub is often a challenge. Integrate data from your various marketing metrics platforms (web, apps, media buys, search campaigns, email, social media, etc.) to make holistic decisions about the current state and future of your program. Having trouble integrating data from one tool with another? Try tools like Zapier, snapLogic, or Skyvia.
No, I’m not advising you to steer clear of perilous pachyderms. HiPPO is an acronym for Highest Paid Person’s Opinion. From the CEO to the intern, we all have thoughts and ideas about the best course of action for our websites, apps, and campaigns. The only opinion that truly matters, however, is that of the customer. Data-driven organizations are democracies ruled by the people. In the analyst’s case, your “people” are your website visitors, app users, and the prospects targeted in your campaigns. Don’t let one person – even the boss – run the show. The voice of the customer as demonstrated by analytics should be the focus of your metrics program and always have the final say.
6. Analytical Myopia
Marketing campaigns fail. So do websites, landing pages, emails, display buys, search programs, and offline efforts. Most often the points of failure are not singular. Avoid becoming so laser-focused on a sole issue that you lose sight of other symptoms. Take a wide view when problem-solving and be willing to change how and what you measure to make the best long-term marketing decisions.