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Five Common Errors in Marketing-Performance Evaluation and Measurement

by Jonathan Lewis  |  
March 7, 2013
  |  4,102 views

Measurement and accountability are hot topics these days. According to a recent study by consultancy Avidan Strategies, "When asked to name the ways in which agencies must improve, 71% of brand managers cited accountability."

Although the exponential increase in the availability of customer and business data has enhanced our ability to measure success, it has also increased our chances of misunderstanding and misinterpreting it.

The following are five common errors to avoid when setting out to measure your marketing efforts.

1. Neglecting to Set Expectations

As Julia Glass quipped in I See You Everywhere, "I'd rather be pleasantly surprised than fatally disappointed." Without setting expectations with the team about what specific tactics can and cannot accomplish, you run the risk of skewing the perception of how your marketing efforts are truly performing.


For example, Web banners generally have low click-through rates, so unless you have a specific offer or powerful call to action, expect to use this tactic as a brand awareness tool. Facebook ads are creatively limited and also have consistently low click-through rates, but if used strategically to build a social presence or raise awareness they make sense.

By setting expectations with your team at the outset, you'll save yourself a lot of misunderstandings and explanations when the data rolls in.

2. Failing to Set Measurable Goals


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Jonathan Lewis is an account supervisor at McKee Wallwork Cleveland, a marketing strategy firm. He specializes in revitalizing stalled, stuck, or stale brands.

Twitter: @JonathanLewis11

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Comments

  • by Jennifer RSW Thu Mar 7, 2013 via web

    Nicely written.

  • by ScottL Thu Mar 7, 2013 via web

    Well said Jonathan. Marketers do live in a world of "grey" but should consistently be pushing closer and closer to the area of being able to identify direct "cause and effect". I am often grilled by execs that believe marketing too should be like engineering or finance, i.e., there's a direct cause and effect for everything. Until I have that answered for marketing, I'll respond by sending those execs a copy of your article.

  • by Jonathan Lewis Thu Mar 7, 2013 via web

    Thanks Scott. I agree. Let's continually pursue the ability to measure, but do so with our eyes wide open.

  • by Sterling Green Fri Mar 8, 2013 via iphone

    Have you seen any benefit from using multiple analytics platforms at once? Even when I ran Google Adwords and Analytics it helped to solve data discrepancies.

  • by Randy Sat Mar 9, 2013 via web

    Jonathan - your commentary on this topic is by far the best I've read yet!! Very insightful and spot on. My "take-aways" from your well-balanced yet bull's eye perspective will be infused into my daily efforts immediately.
    "Thank You" in 24-size font!

  • by Jonathan Lewis Sat Mar 9, 2013 via web

    Sterling - We tend to run at least 3 platforms at once and if anything, it brings up more discrepancies. I'd be interested to learn about the experience you mentioned.

  • by Gary Katz Sat Mar 16, 2013 via web

    Great article, Jonathan. Marketers need to get a lot better at seeing the whole picture, rather than trying to build a business case around isolated snapshots of activity. We also need to learn how to differentiate leading and lagging metric data so we can ensure our efforts produce both quick wins to build momentum and greater capacity to generate sustainable impact.

  • by Jonathan Lewis Sat Mar 16, 2013 via mobile

    Thanks Gary. I couldn't agree more.

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