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Every chief marketing officer (CMO) wants to know where the sweet spot is: where the marketing budget dollars work hardest and where the best conversion rates live. Digital media, in the middle of the marketing funnel, may be the current darling. Digital, by its very nature, has made measurement easier, but there are some pitfalls that can be hard to spot if you don’t know what to look for. Here are three:

1. Double Counting

Make sure you don’t count the same data twice. Sounds obvious, but don’t discard this warning unless you’ve explored the possibility. Siloed organizations can have disparate systems, as in ad serving, search/bid management, email, and Web analytics, that develop their own codes to assign attribution. When everyone sits down together and talks reality, the results often exceed 100 percent. Duplication guides marketing investments to the wrong channels, sending the budget toward channels that are not working while missing the real performers. Unify and standardize your tracking codes to get real results.

2. Empirical Approach

Even if attribution from marketing analysis is unified, you may be weighting various channels inaccurately. Don’t rely just on intuition. Don’t rely just on last click. Embrace an empirical approach that considers elasticity in driving sales.

3. Holistic Attribution

Traditional media in broadcast, print, and radio can be hard to measure compared with digital media, but its influence is indisputable. Gather the forces together to explore traditional marketing influence on digital, and vice versa.

Traditional and digital often speak different languages. Make sure your managers are fluent in both to develop best practices for focused media objectives.

Stay tuned: Look for future posts detailing best practices to avoid these three major pitfalls.