Is tracking a waste of time and money? | DMA

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Is tracking a waste of time and money?


In today’s marketing world, the sheer volume of tracking solutions, methods, parameters and, ultimately, data information makes decisions about tracking more convoluted and difficult than ever before.

There are four core problems that even the largest and most digitally competent companies need to be aware of and overcome because, if you do not get these right, then tracking can be a significant waste of time, money and effort.

The first and, surprisingly still, most common problem we encounter is the lack of attention to detail in the set-up phase.

This can lead to countless hours and money being spent by a business rectifying a poor set-up process, which is often down to a lack of experience, insufficient testing or a disregard for following “the rules” when making changes. Ultimately, this error will mean businesses are innocently listening to incoming data and making decisions based on flawed information.

Secondly, things that disrupt tracking or even negate it are largely out of your control:

  • Adblockers.
  • Default browser set-ups on phones and PCs.
  • Cookie time out.
  • The multiple device issue of trying to track someone from phone to tablet to desktop.
  • Media giants providing “walled gardens” through their own pixels.

These issues are resulting in inaccurate tracking - sometimes extremely inaccurate.

Thirdly, some tracking and analytics software use samples of data and extrapolate. While this is a valid process if you are qualified to manage, it can be disruptive if you are not. Furthermore, it is often the case that organisations simply have too much data and struggle to deal with it in an effective way. In these instances, it is better to generate less data - as long as this data is clearly aligned with your objectives, better insights will follow.

The journey to making sure tracking ISN’T a waste of time and money involves asking yourself five key questions:

  1. Do you know the weaknesses of your tracking provider’s software?
  2. Do your objectives compensate for this?
  3. Do you audit your tracking frequently?
  4. Do you have a clear development process that ensures all site changes are checked for tracking disruption?
  5. Do you get clear insights from your data or simply lots of data?

At Accord we have a dedicated team of data collection, preparation and analysis specialists. Working closely with our clients, we see it as our responsibility to collect and analyse data in actionable and profitable ways. Our mantra is, get your tracking right and then let it inform (rather than make) your decisions. For more information, contact our specialist team today.

Written by Accord West Agency Director, Simon Gear.

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