To improve performance, optimize spend, and enhance the consumer experience, marketers must inject data and analytics into every phase of their marketing and advertising process. And thanks to ever-evolving digital device types, platforms, and technologies, marketers now have access to more audience and performance data than ever before, so they can make smarter decisions that drive meaningful business results.

Although more data is certainly a "check" in the plus column, it can pose challenges for optimizing marketing and advertising performance: To guide decision-making, the data must be consolidated, processed, and interpreted correctly; in that process, mistakes are common.

The good news is that those mistakes can be avoided.

Here are five common pitfalls when measuring marketing and media performance, along with best-practices for how to avoid those pitfalls.

Pitfall 1: Not Defining Clear Business Goals and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

Before launching a marketing or advertising campaign, it's essential to define what success will look like. For some brands, that goal may be to increase sales or improve media efficiency. For others, it may be to increase engagement among new or existing customers.

Once the overarching goals have been set, the right KPIs must be identified so that progress can be measured and quantified. It can be helpful to define macro and micro KPIs, depending on the size of your marketing budget and sophistication of your media. For instance, a macro KPI may focus on the combined performance of your marketing and advertising ecosystem overall, whereas a micro KPI may focus on the tactical performance of a particular channel or tactic.

Having a structured framework, with clearly defined goals and corresponding KPIs, is a vital first step. It will set the tone for subsequent measurement efforts, and enable you to hone what's truly important to the business.

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image of Manu Mathew

Manu Mathew is a co-founder and the CEO of marketing attributions software provider Visual IQ, which helps brands optimize their budgets and deliver relevant consumer experiences that drive meaningful business results.

Twitter: @manumathewVIQ

LinkedIn: Manu Mathew