Are your metrics creating confirmation bias?

Data-driven thinkingis written by members of the media community and contains fresh insights into the digital revolution in media.

Today’s column is written by Elise Stieferman, Director of Marketing and Business Strategy at Coegi.

A marketing campaign is nothing without a solid measurement strategy. Every channel and every tactic you invest in should be held accountable for business results. Confirmation bias creeps in when you consider a KPI that is easily manipulated but does not accurately reflect business results.

Vanity metrics like CTR for search, engagement rate for social media, or completion rate for video are handy substitutes for more legitimate metrics, so it’s important to look at a data set. wider to accurately gauge whether your efforts are moving the needle. And marketers who fear transparency in reporting do so because they can’t tell the story.

Here are three ways confirmation bias can hurt your campaigns:

Your information is based on irrelevant metrics

Be wary of creating or receiving marketing reports that everything is working perfectly. Although this is what we all want, it is not realistic. Telltale signs are when media metrics are added that are not relevant to the desired business outcome. If your goal is to generate sales, but your analysis focuses on click-through rates rather than conversion rates, you can safely assume that you are not meeting your conversion criteria.

In this case, look at period-over-period sales data against the marketing mix and spend. It’s best to recognize where the gaps occur and pivot quickly. In some cases, teams fear the repercussions of negative results, fearing that budgets will be cut or trust will be lost. But the best marketing teams have enough leeway to fail, learn from the wrong assumptions, and make quick adjustments. Don’t let confirmation bias allow problems to bubble up beneath the surface of your campaign.

Failure to integrate third-party metrics

Media metrics rarely tell the full story of marketing impact. Data outside of your platforms provides unbiased insights into changes in consumer behavior that are directly related or correlated to marketing initiatives. Control vs. Exposed studies break down marketing impact on full funnel results by audience, channel, message and more. When merged with media data, it provides the equivalent of 3D analysis. Media metrics alone are 2D and often lack the dimension needed to inform business decisions.

When studies aren’t feasible or don’t answer your key questions, turn to other tools like Google Trends or social listening technology. These solutions will help you understand if changes are occurring as a result of changes in your marketing campaigns.

Reluctance to break the mold

It’s the biggest red flag of all. A reluctance to explore new channels or tactics, seek out new partners, or adjust an audience strategy are signs of complacency. These marketers rely on historical confirmation bias and don’t look beyond their silos.

Inevitably, these brands will be overtaken by competitors that evolve with consumer demands, allowing data and research to inform action rather than just instinct.

While it’s important to follow your intuition, it creates an environment where bias is more likely to creep in. Put checks and balances in place to accommodate diversity of thought, but perform in-depth analysis to enable the greatest possible success.

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