Did Google Analytics Ruin Marketing?

In a recent post to the TechCrunch website, Samuel Scott led off with the following in an article titled, “How Google Analytics Ruined Marketing.”

Marketers in the high-tech world who use phrases such as “social media marketing,” “Facebook marketing” and “content marketing” do not understand the basic difference between marketing strategies, marketing channels and marketing content. And Google Analytics is to blame.

Those are provocative assertions. Are they substantive or merely the rantings of a crank unsettled by a changing world?

HOW GOOGLE ANALYTICS RUINED MARKETING

Thoughts of a Marketing Veteran

Our friend and marketing pro, Doug Fletcher, brought the article to my attention. I spoke with him about Scott’s piece and why Doug thought it worthy of mention. Read the article and listen to what Doug had to say.



The Digital Channel Is Important…But It’s Not the Only Channel

Doug highlights Scott’s concluding thought:

How would you market yourself if the Internet didn’t exist? Answer that, and it’ll help your online marketing too.

We can be reflexively drawn to the activities surrounding digital marketing channels for several reasons:

  • Fear of missing out – most of us have figured out that this internet thing is going to be huge, but it’s not entirely clear how we and our businesses fit in the digital realm. We immerse ourselves in all things digital because we want to learn and explore. That sometimes means, though, that we neglect other channels.
  • The allure of the measurable – tools such as Google Analytics offers us the prospect of measuring the impact of our marketing efforts. That’s appealing, as so much of the return on our marketing investment is difficult to gauge. But not all that is measurable is worth measuring, and all that analysis comes at a cost.
  • Lack of marketing background – most of us aren’t trained marketers (any more than we are trained product developers, webmasters, or financiers). That’s not always a disadvantage, as it frees us from the constraints of hidebound dogma. On the other hand, lack of familiarity with frameworks and concepts that have stood the test of time can inhibit our critical thinking and make us susceptible to the fashionable or limit us to the readily accessible.

It’s not that digital channels aren’t of increasing importance to most of us. It’s just possible, though, that we are often insufficiently thoughtful about how we choose marketing strategies, channels, messages, and measurement tools such as Google Analytics.