Modern marketing is all about data and however hard you might try, you can’t spend any time around marketers online without being subjected to endless thinkpieces, how-to guides, ebooks or other dreck about how we need to track and measure and count every little thing.
We’ve got click rates, impressions, conversion rates, open rates, ROAS, pageviews, bounces rates, ROI, CPM, CPC, impression share, average position, sessions, channels, landing pages, KPI after never ending KPI.
That’d be fine if all this shit meant something and we knew how to interpret it. But it doesn’t and we don’t.
The reality is much simpler, and therefore much more complex. Most of us don’t understand how data is collected, how these mechanisms work and most importantly where and how they don’twork.
Email open rates don’t actuallyindicate that an email was opened, merely that a request was made to a server
The black boxes inside Facebook and other ad exchanges give you flat out wrong data about how your ads are performing
The audiences you’re targeting on Google, Bing, etc are fraudulent and don’t even exist
The exchanges you’re purchasing media space from are cheating you
And even if we know how the data is collected, what it means and what it’s actually tracking, most of us don’t have the technical chops to analyse the data we’ve collected1. I don’t mean to rag on anyone by saying this, but we do need a reality check.