“Half of my marketing budget is wasted. I just don’t know which half.”
That saying was popular years ago, but now there are plenty of ways to track return on your marketing efforts down to the penny. However, with more and more data available, is it causing other issues? For small and medium size business with limited resources it can be overwhelming, or simply cause you to choose the marketing tactics that are easier to track, rather than what might have the best impact.
Trackability has traditionally been thought of as a blessing, but it can be a curse. Data is great if you have the resources to comb through and analyze, but let’s take a look at a few signs your analysis is putting your team into paralysis.
More Data Than Insights
Are you receiving too much data without being able to glean usable insights from it? Many marketing teams are small and busy. Most of my clients say, ‘There’s no way I can look at all this. Tell me what I need to know.’ However, if you don’t have an agency or strategic partner, it can be hard to focus on the numbers, let alone make decisions based on them. When you have a print deadline due, an event, and a campaign going live, the reports will be the first thing to get overlooked.
Many businesses get excited about the prospect of what CRM systems can do for their business. However, many systems are bulky, and most of the features go unused because of the man-hours it takes to turn that data into usable information or actions. You end up paying for much more than you can ever use.
Do you find yourself utilizing marketing tools because they provide you more results data? It’s always been the marketer’s frustration to have to prove the return on every dollar. Many marketers are shifting more of their budget to lower-funnel tactics which provide the best conversion results, but are leaving the high-level funnel empty.
A common example is how PPC most always provides fantastic returns. When someone is looking for your product or service, you’re there to say, ‘Hey we have it. Here it is!’ The conversions look great, but what about those people that were great candidates for your product or service but just didn’t know about your company? You need awareness, which takes other marketing channels that aren’t always as trackable, but are still important. While PPC is getting the credit, the higher funnel tactics that led the consumer to search are less measurable.
What to Do
Select the metrics that truly matter to you and your business. What are your goals, and how can you measure against them? If you stay on top of those, you’ll be in good shape and can focus on more metrics down the road.
For instance, companies sometimes focus on SEO as a vanity metric instead of looking at their overall organic traffic growth. “I googled [insert keyword here] and I didn’t see my company!” can quickly skew your efforts for something that’s not a valuable metric. Set tangible goals: If you want your organic traffic to increase by 25 percent YOY, look at that number. Don’t worry about googling yourself weekly and trying to track your SERP. You’re only paralyzing your efforts.