Do You Trust Your Campaign Data? Here Are 5 Things You Should Know
The saying ‘garbage in, garbage out,’ applies directly to data, analytics, tracking, and campaign performance analysis. Many factors influence the quality and trustworthiness of your data. The following highlights some of the common issues, things to watch out for and options to ensure you’re set up for accurate tracking and optimal performance.
1. Do you have a tagging, data and analytics strategy in place?
If you’re solely relying on reporting from media delivery platforms to determine your level of success and using it to drive your media investment decisions; you’re most likely missing the mark. These platforms typically just feedback what happened with media delivery. They are not set up to make the link between media delivery, outcomes and actual business impact.
Many accounts that we take over don’t even have a real analytics strategy or implementation in place. It takes time and expertise to work through the steps to create a meaningful measurement and tagging strategy. Identifying the right metrics to track and measure in the overall context of the marketing strategy for a campaign or product launch, is crucial to your overall level of success.
2. How data and tagging can steer you in the wrong direction
Whether it’s creating re-engagement campaigns or pivoting to different targeting or bidding strategies; if data is missed, miscalculated, or misinterpreted - it can lead and most likely leads to poor performance. With the wrong tagging in place, you risk missed opportunities where critical data is missed that can help inform media campaigns to perform at a higher level.
When new accounts transition to us, we quite often see major errors in the way that things have been tracked or reported on. It can be duplication in conversion counting, miscalculation of formulas, or creative ‘formulas’ to make numbers appear better than they really are. If you’re a brand working with an agency, look beyond the reports and ask questions. You want to close the disconnect between perception and reality.
3. Common reasons marketers get it wrong
A common error is that analytics and media execution teams are not in lock step. Analytics can often be isolated and used for “validation” without any real connection to the execution of campaigns, where the insights have the potential to influence better outcomes. Analytics is commonly used primarily to report outcomes after the fact, and not necessarily to do better work with actionable insights and learning.
Another fatal flaw can come from lack of knowledge, talent, or even consideration of the importance that analytics have in the media buying ecosystem. Because most agency compensation models are driven from media placement, analytics becomes simply an exercise in post-campaign reporting.
4. What’s behind and underneath data integrity issues?
There are many factors that can lead to data integrity issues with tracking implementations for paid marketing and site-side analytics (Google Analytics) platforms. This will vary depending on the business objective i.e. ecommerce or lead generation, development resources, and website architecture.
Agency set-fee or percent-media-fee models often wreak havoc on what could be great campaign execution and performance. Many times, time constraints with these types of payment models; ultimately negatively impact the granularity of tagging implementations. We’ve seen cases where highly capable agency teams have an allotted amount of time, based upon an SOW; to complete work that requires more time than is allocated.
In most cases, teams are forced to complete a task in an unrealistic timeframe which causes the implementations to have both scalability and integrity issues. This frequently impacts both micro and macro KPIs in advertising and site-side analytics platforms like Google Analytics.
5. What’s the solution?
As a performance agency, we invest our senior human capital resources and time up front in a research, discovery, and often a deep forensic auditing phase. We lay the analytics groundwork before even thinking about launching a campaign. This process allows us to identify potential roadblocks or issues that can be corrected, this ensures that we can execute on each crucial tracking and measurement objective important to the success of any given campaign.
Compensation for performance drives behavior that leads to high performance across every part of campaign planning, performance, analytics and reporting. We commonly invest dozens of hours at our cost to validate that tagging is set up correctly and ensure you’re not triple counting campaign clicks or actions, missing tagging opportunities that can lead to incremental sales and revenue, and a host of other campaign tagging, tracking and analytics issues and opportunities for higher campaign performance.
If you’d like a separate set of eyes and expertise to assure you’ve got every aspect of your campaign tagging, tracking, data and analytics elements mapped out and done correctly; give us a shout. Since our compensation is directly tied to campaign performance, we’re pros at spotting issues that can lead to inaccurate tracking or reporting of results.