Do you track the money you spend on marketing and advertising?

Do you track the money you spend on marketing and advertising?

November 5, 2017

It’s a simple question that requires a simple answer. If the answer is “No,” then you really should be tracking your dollars and the results they produce. But if the answer is “Yes,” do you know if your advertising is being effective? Is your return on investment getting you positive results?

If you are only using one form of marketing or advertising you probably have a pretty good idea if what you’re doing is effective, but what if you’re taking a multi-prong approach? Let’s say you’re doing email campaigns, Facebook, Google AdWords and Instagram.

How much of the money your company spends goes untracked? Do you know? Does anyone in your company know?

The digital marketing industry is saturated in new technologies that allow companies to optimize their marketing spend by refining attribution, to the point where each step along the customer journey (in some cases including analog or offline touches) can be measured and assessed for their impact on revenue.

But the best optimization and attribution tools in the world can’t help you derive real insight if the initial tracking data you used is flawed.

By the same token, if the tracking data you’re using can’t be looked at holistically — in other words if you cannot directly compare performance from one platform to another because let’s say your Facebook campaigns don’t use the same tracking conventions as your Google AdWords campaigns — then your ability to develop real analytical insight for your company is being hampered.

To take full advantage of optimization and attribution tools that are on the market, it’s critically important for your in-house marketer (if you have one) to do two things:

·        Sync up tracking data from the first instance of data collection.
·        Ensure that all subsequent marketing data is tracked consistently over time.

This is no simple task. When managing the process, it is far too easy for data quality to become compromised. Whether it’s the issue of tracking data consistently across platforms or capturing and measuring deviations from the original tracking codes as they happen in real time, your company’s ability to obtain full value from the marketing automation can be distorted without anyone realizing it.

When compromised data is discovered, a few things usually happen:

·        Companies will throw manpower hours at the issue is an attempt to “fix” the data. In cases where the data cannot be corrected to insure trustworthiness, a company may have to literally start from scratch with new tracking protocols.
·        Company leaders question the idea of data-driven decision making may be called into question as flawed reasoning might conclude “if we are spending all this time and money, and we still can’t get to a greater than 80% confidence interval, is it worth the effort?”
·        In the window of time before your data collection mistakes were uncovered, business decisions may have been made based on incorrect data, determining thousands of dollars of ad expenditure. When mistakes are uncovered, the effort that goes into data triage inevitably takes an analytics team’s time and attention away from current business priorities in an attempt to salvage campaigns that have already passed.

All of this is why, according to a Harvard Business Review article, IBM estimates that bad data costs U.S. corporations $3 trillion per year because bad data equals time and money.

Wouldn’t it be ideal to ensure consistency in your campaigns from the first instance of data collection? We certainly think so. There is a better way!

There are only a handful of companies trying to meet this challenge by helping organizations build their entire network of marketing data analysis on a solid foundation of data collection. If your campaign tracking is structured the right way from the beginning, you can continue to build upon it indefinitely without fear of the whole thing falling apart. You can also derive full value (and real insight) from successive efforts to optimize your campaigns and define attribution.

At Louis Mamo & Company, through our network of consultants and strategic partners, we can provide this service for you. To learn more, call our Las Vegas office at 702-931-2022 or email Howard Brody at howard@lmc123.com.