Marketing Analytics: A Can of Worms?


Four reasons why not opening your can of worms now can lead to trouble tomorrow.

Metaphorically speaking, to open a can of worms is to attempt to solve a problem, only to inadvertently create even more trouble. As many fishermen will attest, opening a can of worms can oftentimes mean much more trouble than you bargained for. As a marketing manager, it’s time you used marketing analytics to open your own can of worms—the one containing all the misguided decisions, strategic errors, whims and blunders you have made over the years without the benefit of data. Here’s why:

Reason #1: You don’t know what you don’t know

An undiagnosed gap in your marketing campaign performance or product line appeal can lead to grade AAA trouble down the road. You may believe that you have a handle on the effectiveness of your efforts, but without constant, systematic monitoring, perceived results may not match your reality.

Reason #2: Being a hero today does not guarantee you won’t bomb tomorrow

We all know how the winds of corporate favorability shift faster than you can say customer lifetime value. Today’s performance might be stellar (sales and profits up, return on sales never looked better). But if you are not looking beyond the internal, rearview mirror stuff, the future infestation of change might be waiting to overwhelm the good news. Are you measuring customer lifetime value, retention rates, and service quality? Do you even know where to start? These are the core analytics that help steer the business, keep it on course and allow you to capitalize on opportunities not evident in financial data.

Reason #3: Owning your fears will set you free

This is the old “knowledge is power” thing. For too long marketers have been relegated to the back of the bus when it comes to taking an equal seat at the management table. Results and projections based on data provide information, insights, and ultimately, knowledge. Justifying the budget, getting additional funding, supporting radical marketing tactics suddenly become easier with backup data and insights into the marketplace. It’s time we break the perception that marketers are “creative.” Yes, we are creative, but we’re also smart, clever and sharp…and have the ability to be infinitely analytical too.

Reason #4: Opportunity only knocks once (or in this case probably three or four times)

Not many marketers are using analytics effectively in their day-to-day business management. It’s hard to find people who know marketing and analytics at the same time. Here’s an opportunity to step away from the pack, differentiate your skills, add value (aren’t those marketing’s favorite words?). In a recent AMA (American Marketing Association) survey, 85% of CMOs said they had analytics on their radar screen but only 60% were just getting started at making it an integral part of their business. Take advantage of the scarcity of resources and overcome your fears.

So peel open your “can-o-worms.” Start with some important data and see what’s happening with your business beyond the tried and tired measures you always use. Go past the monthly web analytics review —that only tells a small part of the story. You may be pleasantly surprised or you may be scared to death. Either way, you’re a lot better off knowing. At least now you can do something about it. Right?

Need a better can opener? To learn more about our offerings in marketing analytics, visit our course page for Marketing Analytics MKTG-768.