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Three Big Digital Analytics Mistakes That Marketers Make

by Joshua Reynolds  |  
April 8, 2016

Even the most experienced marketing gurus make mistakes. But in the age of data-driven everything, many mistakes can be avoided by being smart about data and implementing a solid analytics strategy.

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.

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Joshua Reynolds is head of Marketing at Quantifind, an on-demand insights platform for brands.

LinkedIn: Joshua Reynolds

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  • by Becky H Scheinert Fri Apr 8, 2016 via web

    Good article, Joshua! There is an art and a science to interaction analytics and market research, and reading the proverbial "tea leaves" is on the art side. Thanks for reminding us that framing our questions is important, of course, but even more so is listening to customers tell us what we didn't know we needed to ask.

  • by Blair Symes Fri Apr 8, 2016 via web

    Call conversions are a good example of what you are talking about, Joshua. Most businesses and sales teams value a ringing phone far more than a web form lead, yet many digital marketers aren't measuring and optimizing for call conversions. We should be focusing on the KPIs and conversions that matter. This story of how a big resort marketer optimized paid search to drive more calls and business:

  • by James Rendell Sat Apr 9, 2016 via web

    Hi Joshua, great article. I have felt for years that marketers haven't been able to get their analytics right and aren't leveraging technology to give them the right insights. I feel we (marketers) need to change our approach to marketing analysis and integrated marketing solutions and have written a post which I'd be keen to get your thoughts on:

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