3 Misunderstood Data Points and Why You’re Paying Too Much for Them

Data can be a treasure trove of information that provides vital information and insight to drive marketing strategy. Or, it can be dozens of numbers that create confusion. Plus, the lack of standardized language around marketing metrics can make analyzing success metrics even more confusing. 

Between the overwhelming amount of available data and the lack of consistent definitions across data points, data can quickly become a mystery for many marketers. The truth is that data and analytics are more straightforward than they seem; marketers just need to develop a foundational understanding of data within each marketing channel used. With a clear understanding of the right data points, marketers can quickly gauge the success of their marketing strategy and manage performance throughout the campaign’s lifecycle.  

Three of the most common data elements that do not have a universally accepted definition include:

1: Conversions

First and foremost, marketers need to understand the working definition for a conversion because this can change across platforms and even campaigns. Even with that consideration, tracking conversions can be simply defined as tracking the rate at which people are taking the actions you want them to take. A marketing funnel may have multiple actions for an audience to take that may be identified as a conversion ranging from clicking a link, signing up for a newsletter, liking a social media profile, to ultimately making a purchase. If marketers are using multiple strategic platforms, having a standardized understanding of the different conversions is vital. 

At Prizeout, we keep it simple for our merchant partners, and a conversion simply means a customer that has successfully cashed out for a gift card.

2: Total users

The idea of identifying total users for a marketing strategy can be flexible. For example, the total number of users on a website can differ from the total users of an app or total users of a loyalty program. Because this term can be flexible, platforms may inflate this number and create a vanity metric that does not help the long-term success of a marketing campaign. At Prizeout, when our reporting cites “total user,” we specifically mean the number of customers who have completed a transaction, or as we defined above, those who have converted. We further drill down and distinguish between new users and returning users, which can help inform a customer loyalty strategy.

3: Cost Per Acquisition

CPA is a foundational data point marketers use to identify their strongest channels that provide the highest ROI. Much like the flexibility of the term conversions, CPA can mean different things such as CPA for new email subscribers, loyalty program members, and of course—customers. Because most channels charge for ads whether or not they convert to an acquisition, CPA rates are on the rise across platforms such as Facebook and LinkedIn. At Prizeout, we keep your CPA low by only charging your brand when there is an actual customer acquisition.

Beyond having metrics that may have different meanings or utilize different data, each marketing channel may offer its own unique metrics that may not be found across other platforms. Frequently, these are vanity metrics such as page likes (Facebook), duets (TikTok), or story completion (Instagram). Prizeout offers one metric of success not often seen on other platforms— revenue connected directly to marketing promotions.

Creating a clear connection between marketing and revenue has always been a challenge, and the challenge continues to grow. Because pixels and many data-tracking strategies are quickly becoming obsolete, it is becoming increasingly challenging to connect a promotional strategy and revenue directly. For many small businesses and D2C merchants, correlations are often the only metric available to determine whether or not increased sales are connected with a promotion.

In contrast, Prizeout is designed to capture as much first-party data as possible. Any revenue that is directly connected with a promotion through the platform can be identified. This means marketers can experiment with promotions, see actual financial outcomes, and use the results to make informed decisions. By making the most of the testing and targeting capabilities available within the Prizeout platform, marketers have a straightforward way to see which elements make a difference for new and returning customers.

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