5 Myths About Marketing Analytics
In the past 5 years that I have been an active advocate and practitioner of marketing analytics I have heard some whoppers of reasons from small business owners to dismiss marketing analytics. It boggles my mind as to why anyone who is trying to attract and retain customers would not be paying attention to the comings and goings and preferences of their customers as they interact with their website. It’s akin to ignoring customers that come into a store front. You don’t watch to see what they pick up, you don’t consider how you could better display your goods based on the questions they ask, you make no second thought as they bring their items to a register to pay and then turn around and walk out without paying. How long would you stay in business if you ran a store front in this manner? Not long. Yet, very few businesses are making the tragic mistake of not using marketing analytics and paying dearly for it. Here are the 5 biggest myths about marketing analytics that small business marketers seem to believe.
Myth #1: Marketing Analytics is expensive. Marketing analytics is NOT expensive. My favorite tool, Google Analytics, is 100% free. Yes, there are pro versions that come with a price tag, but I have managed the analytics of Fortune 500 companies using the free version. What is expensive is spending money on analytics and not having a clue on the effect this spend is having on your customers. What is expensive is wasting time hoping on “pray and spray” style marketing to pay off and not being able to respond in real-time.
Myth #2: You have to have a high degree of technical knowledge to understand marketing analytics. If you can manage a business you can manage marketing analytics. If you can work with your accountant and go over cash flow statements or your tax preparer and understand your returns you can understand marketing analytics. Yes, you may need to spend an hour or two setting it up the first time and you may have to ask for help. But it is well worth it, and likely will be the last time you have to do this. Once you understand the key terms, understanding the relationship and the interdependence between the terms can be understood and the results far-reaching.
Myth #3: Marketing Analytics are only for big businesses. If you are a small business or just getting started I would argue that marketing analytics are more crucial now than at any point in your business even if you make it to billionaire status. Why? You do not have money nor time to waste. The nice thing about being the small fish is that it is far easier for you to change direction than large behemoth “whale” companies. You have the advantage of being able to respond to what your analytics are telling you without getting board approval or having to get permission from a C-Suite of executives.
Myth #4: Marketing Analytics are time-consuming. The time commitment of marketing analytics is rather like a plane taking off. It is a heavier resource expense early on, but once you reach cruising altitude it’s pretty easy. Once you learn to understand what variables are effecting your business, it takes moments to open a report identify the variables and make a decision. I do think that those that spend more time analyzing their analytics will get more out of them in the end, but for those that spend 10 minutes daily the pay-off can be well worth this minor time expense.
Myth #5: My bottom line is the only analytic I need. This is the same as a fisherman concluding that there are no fish in the pond because he didn’t catch any. Waiting for the results of your marketing efforts to effect the bottom line can rob you of the critical, but fleeting opportunity to make a real-time change that could yield better results. Also, changes in the effect of marketing can be hidden by other operational costs. It would be fabulously foolish to conclude that because you turned a profit in Q3 that this is due to better marketing. It may have absolutely nothing to do with it. Without analytics, you will not know for sure what, if anything marketing did to cause this improvement.
In my experience I have seen marketing analytics become the stone in David’s slingshot taking down giant companies. The most exciting thing happening in entrepreneurship is the emergence of tools that allow small businesses to have the same access to information, customers, and services as large companies. Marketing analytics is one of these “playing field leveling” tools. Armed with the information about where your customers come from; what they do when they arrive at your site; and when and where they leave can tell you exactly what your customers want, fear, and need. Knowing this is worth its weight in small business gold!
Carmen Rojas is a Marketing Technologist and owner of Rojas Consulting LLC. Her consulting group specializes in conversion rate optimization, marketing data analytics, and website optimization. Her work has earned companies millions in new sales and saved companies millions by identifying marketing waste. Her team consists of marketing and data specialists across the United States and abroad.
Rojas is originally from Kansas and has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Kinesiology and M.B.A from Kansas State University. She is Google Analytics and Google Adwords certified along with numerous certifications in marketing, website construction and optimization and other key business practice areas. She is a military spouse and currently resides in Jacksonville FL.
Contact Carmen by email at Carmen@Rojasconsulting.net and learn more about Rojas Consulting by visiting them online: