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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Invest in Analytics

Analytics is not one of the favorite topics when someone speaks about digital marketing. It is one of the crucial components of digital marketing but Social Media, Mobile Marketing, Paid Search, SEO or UX just sound way hotter. That’s probably the reason why it is rare to find someone who truly understands what they are doing when it comes to implementing a tracking system let alone having enough experience adapting to the constant changes in digital measurements.

My friend who has been in the analytics field for over 5 years said she can almost always find errors in tracking when looking at a company’s website. To my surprise, she added, a lot of the large fortune 500 companies with media budget over hundreds of thousands of dollars do not know that their vendors and agencies are tracking the sales wrong and being rewarded for conversions that were not created through their marketing effort. If you are a marketing director working with an agency, try asking your account managers if they often run into tracking problems. Almost all of the experienced account managers can tell you how messy it can get when it comes to tracking.

Beside the standard Google Analytics, some of the paid tracking systems with high reputations out there are Ominture and Comscore. Many companies actually have huge problem implementing them. On one hand, these software offer a wide ranges of metrics that allow marketers to learn about their customers, but on the other hand, digital marketing get stuck with solving the problem such as why the URLs aren’t being tagged right. For smaller business, Omniture and Comscore are already out of the picture since allocating enough human resources to assure these systems work properly is already over their budget.

What is the key takeaway for this post? I would say the solution is to find the consultant or employee with years of experience in analytics and tracking. If there is marketing budget for doing it right, it is investing in the human resource. Sure there will be more options for simple and low maintenance tracking systems over time, but it takes an experience analyst to assure there is no glitch.

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