Marketing Metrics: The Good, The Bad, And The Irrelevant

©IDG Communications, Inc. Photo contributed by Matthew Mikaelian., 3/17/11

Metrics can be a good news-bad news situation for marketers. They’re necessary to gauge our marketing efforts, of course, but picking the wrong ones can be worse than using none at all.

The fundamental problem, marketers told, is that most of the time they can’t measure what they’re really interested in, so they end up using metrics that stand in for those numbers. The question then is how closely the metric is related to the desired business objective and how accurately it reflects what they want to know about that objective.

Of course, some marketing metrics directly reflect what they want to know. “If you’re looking at something as concrete as sales on a site, then the ROI becomes a walk in the park,” said Vadim Tulchinsky, search engine marketing manager for inSegment, a Needham, Mass., marketing agency. “You can see down to the penny what the ROI is.”

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