Polytab Analytics Blog

Focus on your failures in multi-channel marketing – those are the money pits squeezing the budget

recent story by Matthew Syed made me think about how we look at growth – ROI, business itself, marketing budget, etc. He talks about fantastic improvement of industry in relatively short period of time.

The airline industry has a powerful attitude towards mistakes and failures of all kinds. Instead of concealing them, or attempting to justify them, it harnesses them. Every error is seized upon as a precious learning opportunity.

It is a wise insight that is certainly not new but for some reason is not a common practice. CEOs, CMOs and other ‘C..s’ want to see positive results and outcomes, and put extra effort to analyze why did it perform and how to repeat and improve the previous performance. And that’s a good practice. But the mentioned story above really lays the clearest example of how looking at the negative results can redirect the improvements towards greater results. In the case of Abraham Wald, the eureka moment was realizing that if he looked only at the survivors in the bombing missions, his analysis was going to be skewed.

It’s the planes that never returned that should have guided the strategy for reinforcing the plane structures. In the case of business, looking into data on the flops allows to make refinements that lead to greater success.

… and that was the genesis of the Black Box Flight Recorder

The discoveries of Abraham Wald was an early manual version of contemporary black box. At first they were recording only cockpit conversations, now airplanes have one more box – the one that registers all the technical events during the flight. Instead of manually gathering physical evidence and making conclusions based on theoretical deductions, aviation industry is now able to excel at an unseen speed learning from the flights that never landed. This example can be applied in many instances of life – “If only I knew what happened to them, would have never done X…”

What about a “Black Box” recorder for multi-channel marketing?

That would equal collecting data about customer behavior, their path to purchase, where, when and how often they visit your store and what happens after the purchase. This means having detailed data on marketing channel and campaign performance, knowing landing pages that deliver best results, learning the behavior of best customer with potential to mimic it with others, etc. All that gives an opportunity to not only learn from successful transactions but also from those that never reached the purchase point.

A tool, that collects and contains all the above mentioned data is ready at your hand. We called it Polytab because of its ability to use multiple hands at the same time to pick up different things. It is focused on one thing only – getting as much information regarding process customer goes through until they convert and return as possible. So a typical example would be the output such as below.


Having this foundation gives tremendous insight to a marketer on what works, what does not, and what could be done better to get more for their budget!

Matthew Syed calls it a “black box-style behavior”.

How much does attribution add to the bottom line?

Download this calculator to see the bump your revenues see by moving budget to opportunities discovered through Polytab.

attribution benefits calculator

Photo by NTSB (http://www.ntsb.gov/aviation/CVR_FDR.htm) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons