Saturday 21 Sep, 2019

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Businesses must learn to fail

What emotion does the word failure engender in you? I suspect, as with the most seasoned analysts it represents fear and concern! The fact is most Analysts and Digital Marketers need to learn to fail in order to be successful – how do you know what good looks like if you haven’t seen bad?

No one gets it right first time. Adopting a culture of constant testing allows businesses to fail faster and learn quicker from their experience. Times have changed and we must learn to love failure in order to succeed.

So why do businesses fail with analytics? It’s not the tools, nor the people (rarely) but a lack of understanding and investment by senior management. Those that are succeeding in analytics today are those that have invested in people, either through in-house teams or outsourcing to an agency. After all tools provide data, analysts provide insights.

Traditional marketing revolved around print publications and TV adverts, with analysis happening well after the campaign ended. Assessing the impact of offline campaigns such as these, and calculating a return on investment (RoI) was speculation at best.

If a brand is to embark on multichannel analytics then they need to commit and invest with conviction. Senior management need to clearly define and communicate what the business objectives and goals are. KPIs are only effective if they are in-line with site goals and associated targets, otherwise you’ll never know if you succeeded.

So, now all of that is in place, we get on to my earlier point about learning to fail. The great thing about digital is that it allows you to tweak things as you go along to improve performance. Traditionally, this was not possible but digital allows marketers to be more agile and learn from their mistakes quickly, then make the necessary alterations and test again. Bricks and mortar stores are costly and changes are time consuming and expensive, with failure being potentially critical. Online businesses can publish a website with ease and tweak it until they get it right.

Nobody gets this stuff right the first time around, with digital analytics the learning curve is steep and quick, but more importantly cost effective. Senior executives need to learn to fail in order to maximise marketing budgets, Brands need to be brave and allow for failure, but failure should not be seen as an excuse.

What do I want you to take away from this? Learn from your mistakes and don’t repeat them.

Author: Kelly McClean
Position: Digital Analytics Consultant EMEA, Webtrends

Webtrends is a MeasureCamp Silver Sponsor. To discover how they can help you power your digital marketing success, visit www.webtrends.com, come say hello at MeasureCamp or check out more details on