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The 7 Deadly Sins of Marketing Analytics


Marketing analytics is absolutely becoming one of most important components of being competitive in business today.

More than ever, marketing analytics allows you to discover which types of marketing have been profitable – and which have not. It enables you to look forwards, and project with greater accuracy what marketing will be most profitable. Finally, and most importantly, it allows you to discover and create new business value.

However, many businesses fail to do marketing analytics properly. They make errors, get incorrect results, and lose out on valuable opportunities.

Here are the 7 deadly sins of marketing analytics – and how to avoid them:

1. Lack of Integration

For your analytics to be as effective as possible, it’s essential that all of your data is integrated. This means being able to access information across different silos, programs, and more. In support of this, you need to be able to partner with departments such as finance, sales, customer service and more.

2. Outdated Numbers

Another mistake that businesses make is relying on past data, rather than current data. In the past, it was difficult to get real-time data. However, new technology enables you to get up-to-the-minute marketing data. Your competitors are using current data, you should also or you run the risk of falling behind.

3. Relying on Partial Data

Another error that companies make is analyzing data subsets, rather than studying the complete view. For example, a study of website visits might be based on two visits per customer. However, those customers in fact averaged 10 visits, but due to poor system integration, the system only captured two visits. And by capturing only 20% of visits, you get a partial view – which could lead to incorrect conclusions. In order to make sound and accurate judgments, it’s critical that you have all the data to see the whole and accurate picture.

4. Excessive Emphasis on Tactical Data

Many marketers place too much of an emphasis on tactical statistics, such as click-throughs and open rates. These are important in analyzing particular campaigns, but they do not reveal the executive-level, bigger picture. And while a campaign might have a high click-through rate, that doesn’t mean any of those clicks will be converted to customers.

5. Quantity over Quality

Many businesses put too much emphasis on quantity of impressions or leads, rather than the quality thereof. Again, particular campaign might have generated a record number of clicks or visits. But these might be very low quality leads, such as students or researchers. It’s essential that marketing analytics also focuses on the quality of leads and engagement, rather than just the quantity.

6. Lack of Enterprise View

Another common failing is the lack of an enterprise view: many businesses just at the campaign level. That’s a mistake, because often times the value of marketing comes from the aggregate of efforts, including offline channels, which are harder to measure. In order to get the full view, it’s essential to look at the enterprise level: what did marketing contribute to the financial bottom line, across the enterprise?

7. Lack of Discovery

Many organizations do analytics and look at the numbers. Unfortunately, that’s all they do. They fail to take the next and most important step: data discovery. Perhaps the greatest value of marketing analytics is finding new customers, opportunities, product ideas, marketing strategies and more. For marketing analytics to pay off, you must do discovery.

In conclusion, the power of marketing analytics depends on how well you use it. Get integrated, real-time data. Get all the data, and take the enterprise-wide view to see marketing’s total impact. Focus on the financial business result of campaigns and leads. And finally, fully embrace discovery to uncover new customers, products, and business value.

By Iuliia Artemenko

Iuliia is Black Ink's Product Manager.

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