Tracking Digital Marketing Spend: Do You Know Your Returns?

Updated: 30th April 2019

Do You Know Your Returns?

There’s no excuse today not to know what is working & what isn’t

“Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.”

– John Wanamaker (1838-1922)

Back in 1838 perhaps it was reasonable for John Wanamaker to say what he did. But no business owner should be saying this today. And yet from our experience far too many (most) entrepreneurs and business owners still have no idea what is working and what isn’t. Far too many simply get their web developer to add Google Analytics code to their website and then think they’ve got it sorted. Of course they haven’t and yet they could have a very good idea with the right tracking in place.

Let’s consider the facts:

• You can get free and pretty comprehensive tracking from Google with Google Tag Manager (GTM) and Google Analytics
• You can track where all your online enquiries are coming from – whether email, phone, chat or form completion
• You can assign points to different channels based on their involvement in getting a single enquiry – no longer do you or should you be using last click attribution
• You can identify to the hour (even minute) when an enquiry came in, the source of the enquiry, the enquiry type (call, form completion, etc.), the geographic location of the enquirer and more

So how come 33.7% of companies have no tracking at all on their website?


No tracking, when it is free from Google? Those with no tracking must be in the same situation as John Wanamaker back in 1838!

It is crazy to think that over one third of all websites out there have absolutely no idea how many visitors they are getting, let alone how many enquiries and sales they are getting. The more worrying part is some of these sites will be running marketing campaigns and investing in advertising without the faintest idea of whether or not their investments are working.

And then there’s the situation where companies install Google Analytics and think they’ve sorted their tracking?

Google Analytics is used by around 56.8% of all websites according to W3Techs and from experience many just add it and don’t consider setting up Goals & Events to track where enquiries are coming from and what actions are being completed. Simply adding Google Analytics isn’t enough to ensure that you are tracking digital marketing spend effectively.

There is also often the issue of incorrect installation with Google Analytics or Google Tag Manager which often leads to errors in the data and the reporting as well. From the code being installed in the wrong place to sub-domains or staging websites skewing the data within Google Analytics, there are many ways that the Google Analytics data can be incorrect so, as you cannot remove historical data from Google Analytics, it is important to get it right as early as possible.

Why get the right tracking?

Put simply, so you can make better business decisions. If you want to stay ahead of the competition, if you want to make decisions based on the facts (the data), if you want your marketing activity to be more efficient and effective, you need to have world class tracking.

Combining Google Tag Manager with Google Analytics enables you to future proof your tracking, and the tools from Google are available completely free. And what’s more you can track more than just Google related visitors. Google Tag Manager gives you the opportunity to track pretty much everything that’s happening on your website. It’s seriously cool – simply add the GTM code to your website and all your other code including Google Analytics, your Facebook pixel, Bing, etc. can be held in GTM so your website has less code and your website will load quicker (great for SEO). A Double Bonus!

At Key Principles, tracking is the first area we review when you come on board with us. We want to make a difference from day 1 and implementing world class tracking that helps you see what’s working and to invest more in, and what’s not and therefore where to reduce spend, it’s a key principle (sorry.. we had to..)

We want to show our clients the difference we are making, and most importantly we want to help you make better business decisions by having the best possible data and tracking to inform their decision making.

For intelligent digital marketing that gets results, come to Key Principles. Call us on 0115 880 0211, email We would love to hear from you and help you grow your business.

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