Sounding Off: Inge Van Eetveldt “Avoiding Marketing Metrics Tunnel Vision”
Marketing companies and especially digital marketing companies are focussed on cultivating a data-driven culture. Because digital media is famous for being the most measurable channel available to brands and marketers today, it's not surprising that agencies have become well, a little obsessed with metrics. When it comes to email marketing open and click through rates are the big ones, while leads acquisition and website analytics also become factors in other forms of digital media.
While metrics can offer extremely valuable insight into campaign performance and keeps marketers accountable and aware of company goals, there is the danger of over-emphasizing the importance of metrics.
The unfortunate occurrence of metrics tunnel vision
Metrics 'tunnel vision' is a regrettable side effect that occurs when metrics, statistics and numbers are over-emphasised. Marketing teams can become so preoccupied with their metrics that they could end up losing sight of the bigger marketing picture. This can then negatively influence any strategic planning that should be focussed on more holistic ideas.
Using metrics as an excuse to follow poor marketing rules
Another major problem that could develop because of metrics tunnel vision is some lapses in good judgement. When brands and marketers start thinking of only improving a metric or reaching a particular target - many ethical and even logical tactics fly out the window as the hunger for metric perfection takes hold. Suddenly, devices which would not normally have even been considered are called in all for the sake of the metric. For instance, a social media manager who becomes enthralled in the process of gaining new followers or Facebook 'likes'. Now imagine if that Social Media Manager started breaking Facebook's rules of engagement in order to get more 'likes'? It's not ideal, and it's not going to reflect well on the brand that has to live with the consequences after the campaign.
Avoid metrics tunnel vision and allow creativity to flow
One of the best ways to prevent the onset of tunnel vision when it comes to statistics, marketing metrics and analytics is to allow brands to trust in and experiment with their own creativity. By focussing on creating campaigns that are targeted to people, subscribers, consumers - instead of numbers you're likely to reach your metrics goals anyway. Innovative campaigns are often viewed as risks that may impact a certain campaign's set targets in terms of metrics. But, innovative and exciting campaigns are what keeps people interested in a brand and get people talking.
Finding a balance between being a slave to the stats and letting it all happen as it does is really the key to creating successful campaigns that benefits the overall goal of the company.
Inge Van Eetveldt is an email marketing and digital media specialist at Digital Fire. Digital Fire specializes in full service opt-in email marketing, email data rental, email database management, social media consultancy and management as well as Search Engine Optimisation.
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