Avoiding Archaic Success Metrics in Marketing

While many marketers are in the midst of holiday campaign madness, some are beginning to look ahead to next year. Even among the proactive, many are stuck on analytical autopilot, measuring success against archaic metrics that no longer fit their goals.

Before current performance against historical KPIs are used to plan for the future, it may be time to turn off analysis autopilot and revisit what’s actually being measured, and why.

Just as campaign strategies shift, so do the indicators of success. However, many marketers are often on autopilot, reporting against the same KPIs year in and year out that their CEOs have come to expect.

To avoid the use of archaic reporting mechanisms that aren’t a true indicator of growth, marketers must revisit their KPIs every so often. While Q4 is chaotic for many marketers, it’s still best to begin this process now, before next year’s dashboards begin populating with data that doesn’t matter.

However, turning off this autopilot is easier said than done. Last year, eMarketer surveyed nearly 5 thousand senior digital marketing managers, and many reported significant barriers preventing them from revisiting how they define and measure success, including:

  • General satisfaction with the status quo
  • Limited resources to change things up
  • Limitations of external partners
  • Internal expectations
  • Unaware of alternatives

Even for the 24% of marketers who are generally satisfied with their current measurement methods, the end of the year is still an excellent time to pause and ask if there’s any data they wish they had or want to apply more weight to in 2020.

For the 76% of marketers who aren’t satisfied with their current measurement, something needs to change. Unfortunately, 17% don’t have the time to figure it out, 16% have their hands tied by external partners, and 17% face internal pressure to maintain the status quo, whether that’s due to the current way of thinking (14%), or a lack of executive support (3%).

Whatever the pressures marketers face, Danielle Krauter of GoodWay group offered this important reminder to eMarketer:

“Brands can resist changing metrics, but their competitors won’t.”

So, before this year’s dashboard or spreadsheet is copied as a template for next year, go off of analytical autopilot for a few moments and ask what data is no longer helpful and what would be more beneficial instead.