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5 Marketing Metrics Mistakes to Avoid

January 17th, 2012 ::

Frustrated marketer

We often read about what to do for a successful marketing metrics strategy, but sometimes it’s just as helpful to study what not to do.

Trying to decipher which metrics to track from the hundreds of marketing metrics out there can be overwhelming.  Whether you’re just starting to measure your marketing efforts, or you’re fine-tuning an existing strategy, here are five mistakes you’ll want to avoid:

1. Focusing on activity instead of results

It’s easy to see marketing activity, such as the time and resources invested into a social media campaign.  It can be much harder to see marketing results, especially if they often create more tangible results in other departments (sales, for example).  You can’t measure what you can’t see, so be careful not to overlook marketing activities that are driving results throughout the business.

2. Using vanity metrics

Marketers are often tempted to use vanity metrics that sound good and impress managers rather than those that will improve profitability.  Don’t focus solely on press release impressions, email sign-up lists, and Facebook “Likes” just because they look good on paper.  Find the metrics that lead to performance, and track those instead.

3. Focusing on quantity instead of quality

Marketers who focus on lead generation often get caught up in the number of leads they bring in, while ignoring the quality of those leads.  This skewed focus can cloud decision making when programs that look good initially end up falling short on delivery.  Be sure to include a metric for tracking quality in your plan.

4. Being efficient, but not effective

This point is similar to the one above.  Too often, focus is given to the number of Twitter followers, or the number of attendees at a conference.  But what if those followers and attendees aren’t the people who will help your business succeed?  Marketers should strive for doing the things that have impact rather than simply getting the job done.

5. Measuring what’s easy

It can be difficult to pin down metrics for revenue and profit, even though these metrics are what executives are most interested in.  The problem comes when marketers use stand-in metrics for those other numbers, forcing the marketer to prove a relationship and jeopardizing credibility.  Give colleagues what they really want by measuring bottom-line metrics.


Have you made marketing metrics mistakes not listed above?  Help your fellow marketers avoid them by sharing in the comments section below.

Image courtesy of creative design agency Arrae

The views expressed here are the author's alone and not those of Network Solutions or its partners.

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Posted in Marketing | 4 Comments »

  • Ultimatetravel2003

    These kinds of articles are nice but the problem is they state the obvious without offering any concrete solutions.

  • Tony

    Anybody with a hotmail email address is not a qualified lead…!!

  • AJ Perisho

    Great start!
    I find more often than not, businesses are measuring only top line revenue. The challenge is not understanding how you go there.
    Thanks for sharing!

  • http://webscoutmarketing.com/ Laura Greeno