The 8 Most Common Weaknesses in Your Marketing Analytics (And How to Fix Them)

Estimated Reading Time: 9 minutes

Marketers already know that their data and analytics can help improve their strategy and potentially drive more revenue. But having endless options at their disposal can actually backfire.

According to an article by McKinsey and Company, the volume of analytical options at a marketing team’s disposal leads to paralysis, and they often end up defaulting to one tool instead of relying on an integrated marketing-analytics approach. In fact, even if companies do have multiple tools at their disposal, they don’t use them. Only 9% of marketers have all the marketing technology they need – and utilize it – and 59% say they don’t fully utilize the tools they have.

When you resist using the right marketing and governance tools and harnessing your data, it leads to big marketing analytics gaps in your company. The first step is to implement a combination of tools and apps to track your marketing. But you also need to educate your team on where the most common marketing analytics weaknesses lie, and how to fix them. Here’s what to look out for.

1. Post-Conversion Events

Marketers are usually pretty adept at tracking pre-conversion events and the customer journey from first touchpoint through the outreach and lead nurturing process. But what happens after they convert? Marketers also need to measure their post-conversion events in order to continue fostering those relationships and convert them into repeat customers or brand evangelists.

Create a system for measuring patterns and processes you would nurture through the targeting and lead generation process. Analyze where your customers are engaging in the sales funnel after they convert, what’s sparking their interest, and how to keep their attention.

One way to keep those analytics going is to see where your existing customers are engaging on your website and with your social media channels. Prompt them to leave an online review or chime in to talk about a product or industry news. You can also send deals and announce promotions to existing customers, ask them to fill out a follow-up survey on what your company can do better, or invite them to VIP events at your business. These are all ways to keep that relationship going to gather more data and measure the response during post-conversion events.

2. Call Tracking

Tracking incoming calls can give deeper insights into where your customers are coming from and what motivates them to take action. But it’s difficult to track cross-departmental analytics, like where a call actually comes from and what prompted the action.

For example, your sales team may track where the call came from and then work on nurturing that lead. Meanwhile, your marketing team is looking at the various touch points that led that person to your social media channel to call in the first place. Campaigns should be tagged properly so each team can clearly track the leads that turns into those first calls, whether you’re sending out a few tweets or rolling out a large marketing spend at an offline conference.

3. Unstructured Data

Companies are already looking at those traditional analytics like website traffic to measure their marketing impact. But unstructured data can reveal other insights that are often overlooked, such as where a customer is clicking on your website the most or how they’re finding you on LinkedIn.

There are a variety of ways you can track unstructured data, including adding a heat map to your website. An app like Crazy Egg generates a heat map to show you exactly where your website is being clicked on the most. This can tell you that certain pages, or even areas of your homepage, are converting the best. Including a simple request like “Please hit reply and tell us how you found us” in your email marketing campaign can also shed deeper insights into the customer journey.

4. Customer Expectations and Survey Data

Your company may know what a customer wants, but they’re not always aware of what the customer actually expects. When your marketing materials aren’t aligned with their expectations, it’s tough to retain customers or exceed their expectations. Marketers can’t always clearly measure the connection between expectations and what happens after a customer converts. But following up with a survey and looking at the data and analytics on how customers are interacting before, during, and after the buying experience can also shed light on how customer expectations are aligning with what they’re actually experiencing with your brand.

A company may discover that overpromising or leaning too much on successful case studies is creating disconnect when a customer struggles with mastering a product. This might lead a team to decide to add more tutorials and customer service touch points to keep customers’ expectations in check.

5. Offline Attribution

Your marketing tools can have a digital impact on what’s happening online, but they’re not always congruent with measuring the gap between online and offline sales. Without setting up a trackable trigger like a promo code that can be used in your store, it’s difficult to know when customers go from online to offline converts.

You can also rely on a combination of online efforts and technology that tracks what a customer is doing in, or even close to, a store. For example, a retailer could use NFC tags to alert its email subscribers to deals and promotions when they’re in the store. When a customer walks nearby, they’re alerted about the sale and can take action immediately.

Google is also working to expand its offline attribution and launch in-store sale measurements to help business owners collect more sales data. Its free multi-touch Google Attribution tool combines what’s happening offline, as well as blind spots in online attribution, like generic search ads and digital touchpoints. The idea is Google’s complex multi channel attribution data can feed back into Google AdWords and DoubleClick search to help bidders with their ad campaigns.

6. Channel Deficiencies

Your marketing team may be measuring which campaigns are working and which aren’t, but are they tracking the overall channel deficiencies? Relying too heavily on social media may yield sluggish results that could be misinterpreted as an issue with the marketing message or saturated marketplace. In reality, it may be because your ideal clients aren’t on those social media channels, or the messaging isn’t resonating with them. Instead, marketing teams should A/B test their marketing campaigns across different platforms and channels, and not just their messaging and creative.

It’s also wise to think about how marketing trends are changing. Companies know that mobile is rapidly outpacing other mediums for search, but it’s still thought of as a sub-channel. In reality, your mobile channel may be deficient and not reaching its potential because it hasn’t been properly tested and amplified.

7. Operational Efficiency

Efficiently running a campaign should also be considered when analyzing your marketing weaknesses. Setting the right KPIs, ROI and distribution channels should be measured in tandem, and not in silos, to get a clearer picture of the effectiveness of your campaign.

It may not be readily apparent to you if your campaign could use a boost. But you can ask yourself a few key questions to qualify where you’re lagging:

  • Am I setting firm KPIs and shaping my marketing plan around it?
  • Does my team understand our clients’ needs and pain points, and are they developing cohesive marketing materials around this?
  • What is the ROI of my last marketing campaign?
  • Was the marketing campaign shared with appropriate team members, implemented, and reported on?

Your marketing’s efficiency can’t always be measured in a straight line. Instead, it’s a collection of marketing analytics, from conversions to social media tracking, that yields cohesive and usable data. After all, if your data is just good on paper but no one understands how to really leverage it, it’s not doing much good for your business.

8. Business Impact

Despite your company’s best efforts and most robust marketing tools, not all marketing campaigns can definitively be linked back to business impact.

Let’s say your social media players are struggling to show the direct correlation between their campaigns and how they impact business. What’s the solution here? Instead of getting caught up in complicated tools and platforms, you can simplify the answer as a baseline to get started. Maybe you can track how a promo code or product launch leads to a specific number of sales. But it’s also hard to know how raising social media brand awareness will continue to drive sales.

One way to move towards measuring your ROI is by tracking social media engagement, click-throughs to specific promotions and products, and monitoring what people are saying about your brand. This can be tracked and correlated against business growth to look for patterns to further test and improve upon.

When you know what your weaknesses are, you can do more than just improve upon them. You can also see how to leverage them to increase your customer reach, get hyper-competitive in your industry, and set the trends instead of following them. Start with your weakest link and then work your way towards strengthening your marketing efforts, assets, and analytics.

What common weaknesses have you seen in your marketing analytics? Let us know how you fixed them by leaving a comment below:

Originally Published On December 11, 2017
October 8, 2020