If you’re reading this blog, you probably already understand that a great deal of marketing power can come from web analytics. If you’re an analyst, then we share the same pride in being able to take those high level metrics from tools like Google Analytics and slice and dice them to reveal tasty morsels we call insights. We’ve got a wide variety of tricks up our sleeves to help us accomplish this; from cohort analysis to predictive models. But none of that means anything unless you can get the buy-in needed for measurement to even take place.

I’ve written past blogs about getting the support from the decision-makers on data. This included creating a data-driven culture and developing KPIs that matter to form a solid measurement base. These are great, but only once you’ve gained the ears of the prospects. What do you do when they start spatting out excuses?

Excuses, Excuses

We’ve all heard them. In fact, we could all probably write a book with all of the excuses we’ve heard on why web analytics just aren’t a part of an organization’s immediate future ranging from budgetary to resource woes. Here are 3 excuses I’ve come across in the past and ways to help the prospect overcome them:

  1. “We know how many hits our site gets.” – Okay, so the first one on the list isn’t an excuse….directly. This statement is enough to make any web analyst cringe, though. “Hits” don’t even scratch the surface of what web analytics can measure.Solution: Flex those analyst muscles! Explain to them that web analytics goes well beyond measuring “hits”. Wow them. Tease them. Tie it back to dollar amounts by showing them some examples of ROI analysis. With some persuasion, you can quickly open their eyes to a much larger analytical world than they originally thought they saw.

  2. “We’re focused on marketing initiative XYZ right now. We don’t have the time.” – This one’s pretty common to hear, especially for agencies looking for new prospects. Unbeknownst to them, however, holding off on developing measurement strategies could severely impact marketing initiative XYZ.Solution: To overcome this kind of scenario, your best bet is to get more information on the initiative they’re so focused on. Once you have a better understanding of what they’re currently pursuing from a marketing perspective, you can show them how a measurement plan can help save them time and money as well as create efficiencies. We quote the movie Jerry Maguire here in the office a lot. This seems like a good time to do it: “Help us help YOU!”

  3. “We don’t have the right talent or skill-sets in-house.” – This is a sad truth that exists in today’s business world, though it is starting to dissipate. Avinash Kaushik has astutely pointed out in the past that web analytics is in its awkward teenage years. Tools are improving and new strategies are being developed for their uses. Progress in these areas has been completely largely by companies and individuals. It hasn’t been until recently that the industry has started to gain the attention of some educational institutions.Solution: If you’re an agency, hand them your consulting information! If you’re not, find an agency! There are countless web analytics agencies out there that will do everything from full blown implementation and analysis to high-level consulting and guidance for your organization. Good insights only come from organizations with data-driven cultures. This has to start somewhere, so make sure it starts the right way!

Keep in mind that these aren’t likely end-all solutions to get the right kind of buy-in for web analytics. One thing is certain though: The greatest way to gain widespread support for the discipline is to continue spreading the word! The importance of measurement is already (albeit slowly) gaining traction in the business world.

Have you come across some other interesting roadblocks? Share them in the comments below!

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