Pitfalls of Strictly Focusing on Digital Metrics

Expressing my views on Elevating the Human Experience on Social Media.

I was privileged to speak at the Social Media Week Lagos 2020, on a panel tagged “Elevating the Human Experience on Social Media”. The event was put together by Social Hour Productions, a South African based social media marketing company led by Lihle Nkosi. My topic was focused on the pitfalls that marketers face by focusing on digital metrics when running marketing campaigns. I had quite a lot to say about this topic, so I wrote about three major ones that I believe cuts across board.

The perks digital marketing brought in the marketing world is nothing short of revolutionary. As long as customers and companies are online, digital marketing analytics will be crucial for businesses and marketing. To improve performance, optimize spend, and enhance the consumer experience, marketers have to inject data and analytics into every phase of their marketing and advertising process.

Although more data is certainly a “check” in the plus column, it can pose challenges for optimizing marketing and advertising performance: To guide decision-making, the data must be consolidated, processed, and interpreted correctly; in that process, mistakes are common.

Pitfall 1: Not Defining Clear Business Goals and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

Before launching a marketing or advertising campaign, it’s essential to define what success is for your business. For some companies, that goal may be to increase sales or improve media reach. For others, it may be to increase engagement among new or existing customers.

Once the business goals have been identified, the right KPIs must be set so that progress can be properly measured and quantified. It can be helpful to define major and minor KPIs, depending on the size of your marketing budget and the platforms used. For instance, a major KPI may focus on the overall performance of your entire marketing campaign, whereas a minor KPI may focus on the tactical performance of a particular marketing channel or tactic.

Having a structured framework, with clearly defined goals and corresponding KPIs, is a vital first step. It will set the tone for subsequent efforts to track the success of your marketing campaign, and enable you to choose what’s truly important to the business.

Speaking at Social Media Week Lagos

Pitfall 2: Expecting Perfection

Marketers are challenged with trying to predict human emotional responses to marketing and then accurately measuring which channels and tactics were most effective in driving each desired outcome. Marketers all dream of having a marketing campaign that runs perfectly so that they can accurately quantify performance by audience segment, and quickly optimize from there. But, in reality, perfection is rare. The risk of waiting too long to optimize often outweighs acting on the data that’s available.

Although mitigating risk is important, it comes with an understanding that there is no exact predictive science of human behavior, and you may be forced to optimize quickly, even if the data and results are only directional.

Pitfall 3: Disregarding the importance of your “Story”

In my experience as a business development consultant, the above pitfalls are a real and present danger to organizations focused on transforming their Go-To-Market strategy to create positive results. However, avoiding making a mistake might cause you not to make solid moves, these efforts will only make you invisible if you don’t transform your customers’ perception of why you do what you do. You need to change how customers understand, engage with, and experience your brand. Brand stories connect you to your target audience and customers. 

Look at who has dominated the 21st century, and those who are leaving their mark. The best brands excel in the 3S’s: Story, Strategy, Systems … in that order! It is about understanding your customer and crafting your Story. Brands that dominate? – their Story is Simple, their Strategy is clear, and their Systems are aligned to bring their Story to life at every possible customer touchpoint.

Miss Universe Nigeria (Tosin Araromi), Ozee Mbadiwe, me, Lihle Nkosi.

In conclusion, the work we do at Halisi Consults for our clients constantly involves us advising entrepreneurs to not focus on likes and follows. The main focus for every business should be to make profit, hence our mission to help businesses launch, grow and profit. Focusing on likes and follows, expecting perfection with every marketing tactic employed or failing to tell your brand story in a way that resonates with your audience would lead to you not meeting your targets. There is a cognitive dissonance with businesses today when it comes to digital & social media marketing, and it could be better, it should be better.