Kill Your Data Darlings

I first heard the phrase “kill your darlings” from Stephen King, which gives it a particularly sinister edge. But the tough-love technique of reviewing your writing, or your business, and “killing” any elements which are unnecessary or unhelpful (no matter how attached to them you might be, or how nice you think they sound) results in better work.

I implore you digital marketers: kill your data darlings.

One of digital’s many great selling points is measurability: numbers we can track which measure impact, no more soft fuzzy feelings or proxies. But frequently, we are so overwhelmed with cold hard data, the sea of numbers is so vast, that we start to drown in it, and the truly meaningful data is diluted, or even lost.

Meta’s Ads Manager offers you 528 different metrics to choose from its reporting columns. And that’s before you split those metrics by day, age or gender, platform or placement, and more. With literally thousands of KPIs you could choose to report on, all with their own special acronyms and jargon, how do you ensure your measurement is meaningful? 

The only answer is to map your metrics back to your organisational goals. If your digital KPIs help measure attainment of higher level goals, fantastic. If they don’t directly impact your ambitions – kill them. Stephen King levels of horror not required.

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