There are myths for every profession or field of work, marketing analytics is no exception. Based on Hubspot’s article in this topic I have collected 10 very popular marketing analytics myths, just to make sure to bust them 🙂 Most of these points are connected to the general misconception that marketing analytics is something hard and super complicated.
If you have read any post here or the introduction of this blog, then it is clear that Easy Marketing Math stands exactly for the opposite. I’m not saying there is no learning curve or that there are no advanced topics, but any marketer can get started with analytics easily. It is only a matter of willingness and, well, not believing the analytics myths I’m about to mention.
Myth #1: You must have a mathematical background to do analytics.
While it is true that mathematical and logical thinking is needed for analytics, you can be very comfortable with most tasks just using high school algebra.
You may go deeper into analytics and then you would need statistics and other mathematics, but during most of my exposure to these topics I either could find a simple tool on the web allowing me not to dive deep in statistics or did not actually need more than basic maths we all know. And actually the second scenario was way more frequent.
Myth #2: Having data matters more than taking action from your data.
I have written about it, mostly connected to my opinion on big data, that starting an analytics strategy with connecting more data is in most cases the wrong way. So much data is generated around us these days, that you already have some lying around unutilized. This is your real treasure, something wich can get you to the first insights, the first actions and the first pack of money driven through analytics. I suggest you focus on the “low hanging fruit” first and then once you utilized everything than you might invest into collecting more data.
Myth #3: Analytics always take a lot of time to measure.
I’m not saying it can not. There are tests which need time to bring real assesible results, but most of your analytics can be real fast once set up.
There are two keys to speed:
- Having a defined set of KPIs – with tracking well set up. Once this is done the majority of your analytics will go quite fast if you are not overcomplicating it.
- Know how to handle your analytics tool. I believe that most tasks can be done on this level with excel, learn it’s ins and outs. Like the 10 excel tricks every marketer should know.
Myth #4: Analytics won’t tell you anything you don’t already know.
Just give it a shot. I have been surprised many times myself. Just because you think you know how a campaign will perform it does not mean it will always go that way. Let’s say it will work differntly from what expected in only 10% of those cases, but this is the opportunity where you can grow with your business.
The point here: just don’t assume everything is predictable.
Myth #5: Your company isn’t big enough to need any analyses.
Starting from the first blog post, article or customer you will have something to analyze to learn from. You do not need to go sophisticated from day 1, but you better start integrating in your workflow some recurring analytics to make sure you are on track and noticing how to improve business.
Might sound odd, but once your business starts to take up you will be happy you have given some attention to analytics in the early days.
Myth #6: You must report on every single metric.
Please don’t do that. I have seen many times how much useless work is put into producing reports and KPIs which never get used, because there is no real connection to business.
I suggest you pick your 5, max 10, most important metrics and make sure you follow those and understand which one drives your business. Don’t waste time on more, becasue the additional info you gain from that will not be worth the effort.
Myth #7: You only need to report on visits and leads.
If so, can you tell me how you got X leads from Y visits? Would you be able to tell me where to improve your website, where to tap into pricing and why did your campaigs work? You would be missing a big part of the picture if you have no tracking placed within the conversion funnel. Now don’t go overboard, see myth 6, but make sure you have the critical points of a full customer journey covered.
Myth #8: Data from different software platforms should always look the same.
Fact is, it won’t in most cases. Different platforms have different definitions of the same metrics many times. That is not even mentioning how they visualized and store these metrics.
There are though integrations available among many platforms (through APIs). This way you can connect different data points, though it needs some skills to set up. You are better off if you are not trying to compare the seemingly same data coming from different platforms. You will only be frustrated on the fact that data is not matching, spend a lot of time to uncover the reason to end up learning that it is only a difference of definition or a technical issue. None of these will lead you to actionable insights so better avoid it.
Myth #9: You need a dedicated analyst to start digging in your data.
I keep saying that the real data revolution in business comes when every marketer knows how to tame the data at their hands. This is why I believe that especially in the beginning you really do not need a dedicated analyst.
In many cases it is even better not to have one. I have seen many times that having an analyst in the team just enables marketers to distance themselves from the issues of tracking, reporting and understanding data. This ends in difficulties in acting upon insights and can significantly slow down the insigth-to-action period. Now I’m not saying that you should not invest into an analyst once you have enough work for one, but that at the start you do not need one and that in the same time do pay attention that your marketers stay close enough to their data.
Myth #10: Expensive software is required for setting analytics up.
There are so many free analytics software out there to get you working. Just think of free Google Analytics accounts. They do get you really-really far and I just mentioned the first and most obvious choice.
When we get down to disecting that data, then you might think you really need to invest. Actually not. I have already written a collection on the free software I’m using to analyze data and actually that list just keeps on expanding.
All in all
Don’t be afraid to start dealing with marketing analytics. Once you start you realize that you can always learn new stuff while you do not need to invest significant knowledge, HR or money into this process.