What To Do When Marketing Metrics Fall Short

Written by: Jackie Gonzalez on 12/6/16 3:56 PM

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The great thing about having access to enhanced marketing data is that it shows you what works. The corollary, of course, is that it also shows you what isn’t working in your marketing mix. Although unpleasant, digging into the drivers behind underperforming metrics are critical to improvement in your bottom line.

When your team puts a lot of hard work into a marketing campaign that they’re proud of and so sure will succeed, getting results to the contrary is a letdown. Here are a few do’s and don’ts that can help you turn a moment that feels like failure into something valuable for you and your team.

Don’t scrap the whole campaign – ask why.

Data can show us when something isn’t paying off, but it still takes human analysis to understand the why behind it. Just because a campaign didn’t necessarily produce the expected results doesn’t mean it can’t be salvaged.

Consider the seasonality of your efforts. For example, a campaign in late July and early August has to compete with the dog days of summer. This usually means vacations abound and countless out of office replies, despite a confirmed successful delivery from your MAP tool. Or, perhaps your landing page experience is failing to convert. A great email is for nil if the landing page is confusing or lacks the appropriate CTAs. Lastly, did you optimize for a mobile or desktop experience? If your message was too verbose or lacked adaptive code, those accessing on-the-go might miss key elements.

Your analysis will require doing a bit of guesswork so you won’t know for sure what’s behind the results, but you can make some educated guesses by drilling down into the data and bringing the full knowledge of your team to the challenge.

Look at how your current marketing data compares to past data on similar campaigns.

Proper data-driven marketing often requires the practitioner to play the long game. Information in isolation can result in false positives or unfounded conclusions. Given this, a shade of historical data adds invaluable content to your latest metrics.

Look at how the data for this campaign relates to earlier campaigns. Analyze what was different in each and look for trends over time. You’ll be better able to analyze what specific parts of the campaign worked and which didn’t when you can see how today’s performance compares to the performance of past campaigns.

Try A/B testing to isolate the specific factor that didn’t work.

Marketing campaigns are made up of a lot of different moving parts. Maybe your content was great, but your promotion efforts didn’t pay off. Or, maybe the issue was as simple as the design of your landing page or CTA button. Seemingly small factors can make a difference in what people respond to.

If you’re not sure what caused your campaign to underperform, do some A/B testing to see how results might change based on slight tweaks. You’ll come away with more specific knowledge to apply to future campaigns.

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Pay attention to the parts of your campaigns and efforts that do work (and celebrate your wins).

A marketing department that only focuses on failure will have a hard time achieving employee satisfaction. Don’t ignore it when the data tells you something isn’t working, but do make an effort to celebrate with your team when the data shows their work has paid off.

Use the knowledge gained in a successful campaign to inform the starting point of your next program. Over time, these incremental improvements will result in sophisticated and market-tested tactics.

That said, a marketing department must always concern itself with continuous improvement. A change to callouts or copy might produce an uptick today but yield flat results tomorrow. Leverage the occasional marketing stumble as an opportunity to diagnose your efforts and better inform future practices.

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Topics: Hive9, Marketing Insights, Campaigns