Less than 15% of marketers trust the data their systems report and for good reason. Each platform reports conversions slightly different, so CRM and marketing data from platforms such as Google, Facebook, Microsoft and others typically don't align.
There are almost always data discrepancies between CRM and platform data. A chart created by search agency Hanapin Marketing and published Thursday in the report "Understanding Why Your Data Has Discrepancies" shows the wacky inconsistencies when trying to match data from CRM and marketing platforms.
The report also makes recommendations, such as always using internal data for official results and never just using platform data, given the many variables that can lead to data inaccuracies.
For instance, Bing uses up to a 90-day conversion window, whereas Facebook offers 28 days, 7 days and 1 day. The variance in days makes it difficult to monitor accuracy, and it's typical for conversion tracking to be off by at least between 10% and 15%, especially when tracking across several platforms or third-party systems.
The report gives several examples. This one describes how AdWords reports each visit as a click and Analytics reports a session as a visit. If a customer visits the brand's Web site and then clicks back a second time within 30 minutes, AdWords reports that as two clicks and Analytics reports that as one session.
Don't get hung up on the discrepancies and learn to work with the mismatched data because sometimes the data will never match. Determine the data that impacts the company's bottom line and focus on it. The report suggests using the platform data as a guide and then compare it the CRM data.
In the report, Hanapin provided several real-life examples to demonstrate workarounds when data doesn't match. In this example, the search agency found Yahoo Gemini was over-reporting conversions for one of its clients. It matched up tracking conversions by analyzing the just-clicked conversion, aligned it with the attribution windows, and added third-party tracking to URLs to monitor conversions from a third party.
When comparing the two platforms, the conversions were very different, ranging anywhere from 4% up to 200% off. Hanapin even paused the Yahoo Gemini campaign to see how it affected total orders and in doing so, saw orders decline.
In this instance, the agency solved the problem by Yahoo providing more accurate and refined keyword level click, cost and conversion data compared to the client’s third-party system. The agency also continues to monitor conversions with a third-party platform to track the variance in conversions between the two platforms, while trying to keep within the average variance in which nine months of historical data was used.
Hanapin also suggests contacting the client to determine whether they see the same success or failure.