Whilst training recently (on zoom of course – a whole new skill in itself so many of us have had to learn) I was challenged that there are many elements of marketing that cannot be measured.
Certainly there used to be a belief that ‘ethereal’ tasks such as improving and enhancing brand awareness, educating customers and prospects about product benefits and strengthening stakeholder relationships make measuring its financial impact a perplexing and challenging process…..or does it?
We set ourselves the challenge of being committed to finding suitable and relevant measures of any marketing activity and the group rose brilliantly to the challenge.
Online of course was easy: google analytics and keyword tool combine to give you endless insights into not only how your website performs but the route and page preferences of visitors. Software packages analysising your site’s online strength vs your competitors are commonplace so closing the gap and preference metrics abound. All areas of SEO and PPC ate data-focused in their entirety.
Each social platform has a plethora of data for you to analyse and interpret, so each post or campaign’s performance can be accurately tested and measured. Many offer plugins for additional automation and engagement so again yet more layers of accurate measurement are available.
Client satisfaction and brand strength again was felt to be ‘easy’ with a fabulous mix of the very simple such as client review meetings, surveys and polls up to more sophisticated NPS systems and online reviews.
Events – easy peasy! Straight forward tracking of costs (including time worked) vs results achieved.
Direct marketing, which in this discussion included direct mail, email marketing, webinars, blogs, podcasts, training, demonstrations and subscriptions, (to name but a a few) again very easy to identify clear performance measures.
The hardest were without doubt the more traditional forms of advertising, in publications, especially if they were not online, forms of outdoor advertising and signage for example. Adding a Linkedin QR code which goes direct to a nominated member, or bespoke contact numbers and emails can easily strengthen measurement metrics. The safety net was the most forgotten question for an inbound enquiry of ‘how did you hear of us’. However, the group agreed that at the heart of this type of measurement, was the need for everyone in the organisation to be aware of campaigns, aware of the importance of capturing information and data and having a robust feedback circle between all departments involved but particularly marketing, sales, customer service and customer-facing teams such as engineers and delivery fleets as they hold valuable customer insights.
And at the heart of any accurate measurement had to sit a CRM system, even a simple spreadsheet if needs be, but ideally a fit-for- sales and marketing-purpose data tracking, conversion tracking and order tracking database, which will give you all the performance measurement of every marketing pound spent you will ever need so you know exactly whats working, and what is not.
Ideally, marketing performance measurement should be a logical extension of the planning and budgeting exercise that happens before a company’s fiscal year.
The goals that are set should be both measurable and applicable to every marketing, sales and customer facing role within an organization.
The conclusion, after much lively and at times mercurial debate, was that do not even start a campaign without having agreed how you were going to measure its success in the first place and whether it aligns with your business objectives!
Music to my marketing ears.