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Marketing that doesn’t generate results

Analytics, Strategy
4 minutos para leitura
Marketing digital

Over the last 10 years I have worked with relatively large clients and complex marketing and data analysis teams. Generally, the larger the company, the greater the investment in marketing that doesn’t generate results. In the “data age”, the “end of guesswork” (as some analytics gurus like to print on their T-shirts) is a utopian and foolish vision.

The problem with the data

One of the premises of digital marketing is that (almost) everything can be measured. This is why companies are investing more and more in marketing teams and tools to measure all kinds of metrics.

I won’t go into the merits of data quality in this article, but I can assure you that many companies wouldn’t even need analysts to analyze such erroneously collected data.

Read also:“Digital Marketing Metrics: which ones are important?

Coming back. Offline, you invest an amount in TV or a newspaper, for example, and you know that more than half of the investment is being wasted. You just can’t tell which half it is.

Online, the most qualified teams are able to measure and understand with some degree of precision that many strategies are not generating results. And this is where the conflicts and frustrations begin.

Many companies invest significant amounts in media such as Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and TikTok. When they analyze the results, they realize that the return was practically zero and that a large part of the investment was money wasted. The amounts invested in campaigns that don’t generate results can exceed 70% of the marketing budget in some companies.

Even so, the following year the budget for the same campaigns will be there, and often with an increase. How can I explain this? Well, you need to take a broader view of the business.

Expanded perspective

If you can take one thing from this article, take this:

Not all the money spent on marketing is to generate results. At least not in a direct and measurable way.

Large companies often have many stakeholders involved and you may not be taking a holistic view of the business. It’s very likely that your company has a CMO who loves TV, a CFO who laughs at Instagram or a CEO who won’t give up the printed version of a newspaper.

You need to understand that these investments may be associated with issues outside your remit. A campaign without results can be on budget purely and simply to please a stakeholder, directly or indirectly. There are often business and political aspects involved in this context that you will never be able to see or understand.

These investments can even bring benefits to the marketing and data teams, which can be given more employees or available resources.

Focus on what needs to be measured

Don’t bring analysis to meetings on topics that shouldn’t even be measured. Since these investments are the result of a stakeholder’s “will”, put aside your judgments and focus on what you can optimize and what is generating results.

The problem I see here is that teams often spend years in the dark without their bosses clearly communicating the objectives of certain investments.

Year after year, meeting after meeting and long presentations to show that Instagram isn’t generating subscriptions, that Facebook is taking up employees’ time or that push notifications are generating less than 1% of the site’s overall traffic. More time, money and intellect being thrown away.

Your marketing and data analytics team should analyze things that are decisive and bring measurable results to the business.

Don’t kill HiPPO, learn from it

Many argue that the HiPPO (Highest Paid Person’s Opinion) in a meeting needs to be confronted with data in order to achieve the best investment of the company’s resources. My analyst side agrees, but my entrepreneurial side disagrees with this argument.

Whenever you have the opportunity, try to understand the reasons behind the investments made by the company. Find out the direct and indirect implications of these investments and you’ll have a more peaceful and productive life.

Continue reading:“SEO ROI: how to calculate the value of organic traffic

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