The ability to measure every click, tweet, and page view is both a blessing and curse. On one hand, there’s a wealth of potentially valuable information that can transform an enterprise. On the other hand, it’s incredibly easy for marketers and others to take their eye off the ball and chase the wrong metrics. Georgetown marketing professor Malaviya told that many CMOs are chasing rainbows rather than results by plugging in the wrong data. “It’s great to see a viral campaign take off and attract a lot of eyeballs, but unless it translates into actual revenues, its value may be inflated,” he said.

Worse, it may encourage marketing executives to pursue similar initiatives that, in the long run, lead to increasingly poor results. Marketers are getting better about choosing relevant metrics, Malaviya said, but there is still a ways to go. This promises to be the year CMOs re-examine metrics. “The ultimate metrics revolve around providing a high level of engagement with customers and seeing improved sales,” he said.