Avoiding the Five Deadly Sins of Marketing Analytics

Matt Hertig Analytics for Marketers

There are a lot of things that can go wrong in marketing. Some of them are less in your control like customer sentiment or an economic downturn. But there are five marketing analytics mistakes that are totally within your control to either fix or completely avoid. I call them the five deadly sins of marketing analytics. 

five marketing analytics mistakes to avoid

1. Creating a SPOF

The SPOF, or single point of failure, is someone who would stop an entire department from functioning correctly if absent. If only one person knows how your marketing analytics Frankenstein was built, you are just asking for trouble and creating unsustainable risk. Plus, the longer the SPOF works, the more comfortable everyone gets with it. But what happens if they leave, go on vacation, get sick, or get promoted? Everyone wonders where the SPOF got the data and how they got the numbers.

2. Too many metrics, not enough meaning

Data is king! We’ve all heard that before, but what’s missing is the word “right.” The right data is king. It’s tempting to measure anything and everything: media conversions, website visits, click-through or open rates, bounce rates, and conversion rates. 

However, reporting on metrics that aren’t meaningful to the P&L will do more damage than not having enough data. Leads, revenue, and customers are meaningful to the business and should be your focus too. Sifting through all the noise and concentrating your efforts on the data that will feed into these business-aligned KPIs is the only way to measure success.

3. Vanity over substance

Ensuring your dashboards and reports will wow your stakeholders visually  is a fool’s errand. If you are worried about colors and fonts rather than the data story, you are focused on the wrong things. Sure, making your metrics digestible and easy to understand is essential. Still, we often lose sight of what matters—being able to show marketing’s value to the business.

4. Gathering data manually

We’ve all been there. It’s the end of the month, and it’s time to report on what the heck marketing accomplished. And the data gathering hamster wheel starts turning. You go out and manually gather data, turn it into some kind of visual, and plop it on a PowerPoint slide. All the while you’re hoping no one asks any questions, because you haven’t actually had time to analyze the data and come up with recommendations. Then the next month, the cycle starts again. 

Spending all your time manually gathering data into spreadsheets and building reports is a huge waste of time and effort. Automate as much as you can, so the data is ready for analysis when you need it to make performance-based decisions.

5. No accountability

Wins are amazing. And ideally you’ll be able to explain how you got there through good analytics. But we learn even more from the losses. Not being honest about the actual results only hurts you and the organization in the end.

How Can You Avoid these 5 Marketing Analytics Mistakes?

A good analytics platform can help. Here’s what to look for: 

  • Integrations with all of your marketing platforms and your CRM (or at the very least Google Analytics). At minimum that’s what you’ll need to report on real, business-impacting marketing results.
  • Attribution models that don’t rely on third-party cookies to report on marketing engagement and conversions. The more engagement and conversion data you own, the more reliable and accurate your insights will be. 
  • Automated dashboards that show a holistic view of performance across platforms as well as across the sales and marketing pipeline. That way you can demonstrate the real impact of marketing beyond click-through rates. 
  • Compatibility with other systems owned by your IT team. You’ll get more buy-in if the platform works with other tools, like Tableau or Power BI, that have already been vetted by your IT team. 
  • A good support team that knows your implementation and can help onboard and transition new stakeholders, eliminating that single point of failure. 

Get in Touch

If any of these marketing analytics mistakes resonate, we’d love to hear from you. ChannelMix was created to help solve these problems and more. We can explain how in a quick 30-minute intro call.