In the rush to launch marketing campaigns and achieve quick results, overlooking the crucial step of setting up proper tracking before dedicating a substantial part of the marketing budget to creating and running compelling campaigns is not as infrequent as it might seem.
However, this "marketing first, analytics second" mindset can have negative consequences. That's why, in this article, we are going to explore why prioritizing marketing over analytics can ultimately prove to be a costly mistake.
The Broken Tracking Dilemma
Let’s have a look at a not-so-uncommon situation we are sure any data product has encountered at a point in time:
Companies and marketing departments come seeking help acknowledging they have a tracking problem, either because (1) they cannot efficiently evaluate the success of their marketing efforts, (2) they cannot trust the data they have, or (3) they simply have been too busy to work on establishing proper tracking set-up.
However, even though the issue is there, and they have started to suffer the first consequences, they are still hesitant to invest money in fixing it.
Again, the urgency to see quick returns on marketing investments kicks in by letting companies think they can continue treating data quality and proper analytics tracking as a nice to have, or simply as something they can afford to get around later.
But, as Himanshu Sharma (@analyticsnerd) brilliantly points out, with broken tracking and flawed analytics data, this urgency can only lead to wasted resources. That means that, by the time you start thinking about working on having accurate tracking, you’ve already lost a significant amount of money and time running ads and campaigns without an effective tracking setup in the first place.
What’s more, considering that what seems manageable now can easily become a disaster later on, in case you want to fix all these data quality issues you’ve encountered, it is very likely it will be too late and there won't be much you can do besides burning the system down and starting over.
"The Marketing First" fallacy
When logic takes a backseat to the desire for immediate results and businesses start prioritizing marketing over analytics, its consequences will not wait long to kick in.
Whether we want it or not, data has become all we have to understand our customers’ needs, and that is why its accuracy and quality are the basis upon which your next marketing strategies and campaigns rest to deliver targeted, tailored, and enjoyable experiences.
Moreover, digital marketing has a competitive advantage over other traditional marketing methods. And this is precisely because digital marketing provides you with a treasure trove of data to evaluate the success of your efforts.
On the contrary, when conversion tracking is flawed or even non-existent, marketers are left in the dark about how to allocate resources effectively, where to be 'deep' on where it matters in order to achieve the best results, or what to do in their next marketing strategies, as there won’t be any data-driven hint to inform your future actions. In this sense, making actionable recommendations based on the results generated will just be impossible.
That is why the "marketing first and analytics second" mindset is one of the main reasons many businesses struggle to scale their advertising efforts. To scale marketing processes or a funnel successfully, one must be able to fully track and understand what is being tracked. Otherwise, money, time, and resources are continuously wasted until there's nothing left to burn.
Clean Analytics Tracking with Trackingplan
As we’ve mentioned, clean analytics tracking is necessary for measuring the success of your marketing campaigns by providing insights about which actions bring the best results, which marketing channels are the most effective, and which lead to conversions. This is useful for ensuring a better comprehension of your users' behavior and reducing unprofitable business procedures while enhancing existing marketing strategies that are performing well.
In this sense, creating a tracking plan serves as a reference document for improving your analytics strategy. Trackingplan automatically creates it for you by auditing and monitoring your data collection technologies and user paths to ensure accurate and secure customer data. Here are some of the things you’ll be able to do with Trackingplan:
- Ensure all your pixels work as you expect. Trackingplan will automatically alert you when a Pixel is gone from a page of your site or is completely offline. That way, you can ensure everything works just as you expect on the landings you're sending traffic so that the money invested in your ads and campaigns doesn’t go down the drain.
- Correctly measure your UTMs to ensure clear and accurate conclusions to guide your next marketing strategies for optimized acquisition based on quality data. With Trackingplan, you can set up customized warnings for all your referrers, campaigns, mediums, sources, landings, and pages to track them with more granularity. Trackingplan will always propose predefined alerts based on your business type, but you can configure them as you prefer to ensure you receive a warning only when the conditions you specify are met.
- Have everything in one place, monitored and controlled in a single source of truth to know what's really happening at all times.
- Set up User Acquisition specification warnings to validate your campaigns, landings, referrals, pages, mediums, sources, and event attributions. Trackingplan will alert you if any of your campaigns don't meet the custom rules you've defined so you can get them fixed in record time before compromising the performance of your marketing investments.
Accurate tracking is not just a nice to have; it's a mandatory requirement for running profitable marketing campaigns.
Data products, acting as ROI-generating data assets, offer a clear and quantifiable value. Thus, improving your tracking setup should be perceived as an "investment" in the success of your marketing efforts, not a 'cost'. The true cost here lies in wasting money on ads and campaigns with broken tracking and flawed analytics data.
So, the next time you find yourself tempted to rush into a new marketing campaign without ensuring your tracking is spot on, pause and reflect. Prioritizing analytics might not deliver immediate gratification, but it will pave the way for more sustainable and profitable marketing efforts in the long run.
For more information, feel free to contact our team, or try Trackingplan for free, and start monitoring your data to be informed whenever something goes wrong with your analytics, marketing automations, pixels, or campaigns.
And remember: your journey to marketing success starts with accurate analytics tracking.