Analytics   |   October 6, 2016

How to Make Analytics Lie for You

A 2 minute read by Tom Ellis, CEO/Founder

Too many specialty agencies fight to take full credit for conversions for which others should get recognition. They also boast about numbers that look good but mean very little. For example:

  • Leads get double-counted, such as both a first click and a last click
  • Conversions get misattributed, such as one channel taking full credit for a conversion when multiple channels helped lead to the conversion
  • Numbers reported do not actually represent the business drivers and KPIs, such as a focus on high web traffic that doesn’t correlate to sales, leads, or conversions

So, how do we fix this problem when multiple specialty agencies will claim they report the “right” metrics?

Your brand—not the individual agencies—needs to create and deploy your attribution model based on your marketing strategy.

Our recent post about attribution modeling will help you do the following:

  • Understand your business, including your customers’ purchasing lifecycle, buying habits, and purchase complexity.
  • Assess the channels you use and want to use.
  • Take a holistic view of your marketing efforts.
  • Ask yourself what information will help you take action in the future.

Decide what holistic KPIs you want to track and work with your multiple agencies to ensure that you receive reports based on your KPIs—not theirs.

If you cede control to your multiple agencies, you’ll receive plenty of good-looking but potentially useless metrics about email click-through rates, social engagement, and website pageviews. Instead, start by defining KPIs that matter—like sales, leads, or conversions. Then, focus on secondary metrics that support those KPIs and attribute them properly. For example, you may use multi-channel attribution to focus on how effectively SEO, paid search, email, and social help contribute to an online sale.

Create a unified analytics platform that shows common metrics based on what makes sense for your digital goals.

Your analytics platforms should tie together multiple metrics that all point toward your most important business goals and KPIs. Otherwise, you might look at several dashboards from multiple agencies that showcase complex metrics that benefit the perception of that agency’s value more than you. A strategic internal marketing team or agency that specializes in holistic marketing strategy can help create this unified analytics platform while coordinating reports from all specialty agencies.