The Pitfalls of Data Driven Marketing

I recently read an article on Econsultancy’s blog called 6 ways you can fail at data driven marketing.  This article goes into detail about some key pieces that data driven marketers measure your marketing effortssometimes miss in their marketing efforts.  The two that stood out for me though were not measuring and testing relevancy and confusing metrics with goals. The first one is pretty self-explanatory but I wanted to talk a little more about the second one.

As a marketer it is critical to understand the difference between goals and metrics, and too often when marketers are unable to accurately measure the results of their campaigns these numbers become confused.  As the blog post so succinctly put it: “You have to know what strings to pull before you can become the puppet master.”  This couldn’t be more true – if you have no idea what marketing programs drive the most revenue, bring in the most net new names, etc. how can you possibly align your marketing plan to meet or exceed your goals?  Taking that one step further how can you even set realistic goals if you don’t even have a ballpark figure to begin with?

This brings me to what I would say is the 7th way you can fail at data-driven marketing: not having the proper tools in place to track and measure the results of your marketing programs.  I hinted at this a bit in the last paragraph but in order to avoid all of the 6 ways to fail that were brought up in the blog post you need to have a tool (or tools) in place that enable you to accurately capture, measure, and analyze your marketing data.  There are many different ways to do this – the built in reporting functionality in your CRM or Marketing Automation solutions (and native applications that enhance those capabilities), external Business Intelligence (BI) tools, exporting tons of data to Excel to analyze, etc.

Every company does this a little differently, but each one has the same need – a solution that enables them to understand what marketing programs are working and what marketing programs need to be tweaked or just dropped.  My preference as a marketer is to measure this data in my CRM solution (salesforce.com) leveraging additional native applications to get the full picture, so that my Sales team has access to the same information I do (key for Marketing and Sales alignment) and so I can drill down to the individual account or lead in the reports.

Wherever or however you measure your marketing programs I am sure we can all agree on one thing though – when it comes to data driven marketing it is absolutely critical to have the right tools in place to accurately track and measure the results of our marketing programs so we can make informed decisions about how to leverage our budget to drive revenue.

Josh Rosenberg

About Josh Rosenberg

Josh earned his MBA from Santa Clara University's Leavey School of Business in 2012 with a concentration in Marketing Management. Previously he worked in marketing at Zscaler, Inc. and is currently the Marketing Manager for Full Circle Insights.