Futility and other feelings:
a marketing analytics study


What is this? Why am I here? The team at Grasp Metrics set out to understand the daily realities of marketing teams outside of our own boutique tiny agency, and we uncovered some stuff — especially as it pertains to data monitoring and reporting — that you might find interesting.

What did we learn? A lot. But primarily, marketers are frustrated. Monitoring metrics and reporting on those metrics is hard. Making data-driven decisions is hard. The hard reporting would be worth it if it helped simplify making data-driven decisions, but it doesn’t. And isn’t that the point of reporting? To showcase results, mine it for meaning and then optimize for the future? If that’s not happening, the work feels futile and the futility is what’s making everything hard. It’s not just your boss.

Hand-drawn illustration of hands raising up  a notebook, a magnifying glass, a calculator, and a pie chart

What does that mean for you and your organization? Well, it’s probably time to check in with your marketing team, take a look at the state of reporting for your organization, and shake things up a bit. Here are some ideas that we have to help you reduce friction when creating and reading reports.

Ask your team

  • What tasks are important and what are difficult?
  • What skills do we have and what do we lack?
  • Are there apps that can help us?
  • What tasks are relevant and what are time-consuming habits?
  • Ask them to read this report and brainstorm afterward.

Reduce the reporting scope

  • Simplify data analysis to a few crucial elements
  • Have as few KPIs as possible
  • All data points need a takeaway
  • Avoid adding fluff; it’s just noise
  • Use an app for that. *cough* Grasp *cough*

Reduce futility

  • Data always needs meaning
  • Lead with insights, not data
  • Limit to three insights
  • Deliver when it’s likely to be read
  • There’s an app for that too. *wink*

We also have additional insights and data about how marketers do their work, what tools they use, what frustrates them, and how they see their day-to-day tasks. If you’d like to know more, read on.


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