Qamar Anwar makes a good point about the importance of data as the foundation of marketing. While it's fair play to call out marketers who are not engaging in data analysis to inform future marketing efforts, I do have two quibbles. First, data on its own (whether from Google or social media platforms) are not helpful if you haven't figured out what data sets to look at, how to decipher what they mean, and, more importantly, the nexus between conversions (what someone does on your site, e.g., submitting a form or signing up for an e-newsletter) and actual file openings. Second, measuring the impact and ROI of brand awareness efforts remains a tricky business. These days sophisticated marketers recognize that there may be many steps along the way to a person becoming a client and each of those incremental steps contributes to ROI, i.e., it may be years before a marketing initiative provides the ultimate payoffs - a new client or a referral.
Marketers need to figure out WHICH metrics will help them measure the success of their initiatives and that is not always easy. As anyone who has spent any time poking at Google Search Console or trying to set up useful dashboards in Google Data Studio (never mind that they keep changing the names of the tools), you know there is a dizzying array of data to be had. The key is to select the data relevant to the questions you want answered. The starting point is always the firm's business priorities for the year. That may seem like common sense, but it is not unusual to see firm's struggling to go beyond "Get more business" and move to articulating what steps best support that goal. This requires sorting out what's been working, identifying new opportunities, making decisions about which of these efforts is worthy of budget allocation, and brainstorming the potential tactics that support your selected initiatives. This is where analytics can most definitely be a great resource, provided you can wrangle the information explosion.
“Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted: the trouble is I don’t know which half.” Marketing pioneer John Wanamaker may have been forgiven for his lack of insight into his advertising budget back in the late 19th century, but what of today’s marketers? Surely in today’s data-driven age, accessing and utilising marketing budget data is commonplace?