Marketing Measurement and Analytics Top Ten Impediments to Success

by MarthaBush on October 28, 2009

Martha Bush, SIGMA Marketing Group

Martha Bush

Global multi-channel marketing is a reality today for most companies, big and small.  With all the experimentation across new channels and new media, marketers face their biggest challenges in understanding what’s really working and where they are getting the best return on marketing investments.  The proliferation of measurement tools and service providers has created an environment where apples-to-apples comparisons of mediums and channels are difficult, frustrating and often just plain impossible.  Some of the barriers to success we see all the time include:

  1. Measuring things that don’t matter to top management – Measurements must focus on the corporation’s profit drivers.
  2. Information Overload – This can be the biggest threat to inaction. Individual measurements that are not critical should be deleted and only brought out if they move out of acceptable ranges.
  3. Focus on Hindsight vs. Foresight – Many measurement systems only focus on historical trends rather than on forecasts or identifying the gaps to achieving targets.
  4. Inconsistent Definitions – Gaining consensus on the definitions behind individual measurements is critical to avoid constant conflict.
  5. No Executive Mandate – Measurement systems and analytical toolkits need an executive champion.
  6. Misalignment – The executive champion has to facilitate alignment of cross-functional interests and there must be broad agreement on the value of individual metrics.
  7. Lack of Training – Users of the metrics and analytical output will need to be trained on how to read and take action on the measurements.
  8. No Follow-up Support by Ad Hoc Research – Inevitable questions will arise that will need to be researched and questions solved. Without this support, measurement credibility will suffer.
  9. Lack of Knowledge Retention – Once issues are resolved and researched, the knowledge should be documented and made available to all users of the measurements.
  10. Inflexibility – Requirements and targets change, and so must the metrics. As new insights are discovered, they need to be reflected in the measurement tools.

Marketing measurement and analytics can’t be a “do it once and don’t look back” kind of process. Learnings are iterative and, when successful, initial analytics projects will stimulate a keen interest in learning more across the organization. The successful organization will make resources available to continue the research so findings are evergreen.

About the Author:

Martha Bush is SVP of Strategy & Solutions at SIGMA Marketing Group.  Follow Martha on or connect with her on .

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