Don’t confuse activity with results: measuring the right stuff
It cannot be stressed enough how important analysing data is for today’s marketing campaigns. Your firm needs to be constantly checking to see if your strategies are paying off and, if they aren’t, where did you go wrong and how can you adjust your plan? Marketing campaigns are costly and take time, so it is essential to follow them closely to ensure your company isn’t merely taking shots in the dark. However, many companies get stuck in a trap of focusing on the wrong type of metrics. Not all marketing metrics are created equal, and what is the most helpful to you will depend on the goals you have set.
It is first important to grasp the concept of what exactly marketing metrics are. Simply put, marketing metrics are KPIs, or key performance indicators, that are used as a way for your firm to measure the effectiveness of different marketing campaigns, much like financial indicators do for your finance team. These KPIs will vary; the first step to analysing your marketing metrics is to decide what your firm-goals are. For some firms, marketing campaigns are a way to boost revenue. For others, they are looking for a stronger social media presence to increase their profile (as a step towards boosting their revenues). Some campaigns are designed to attract new clients or even new talent to your firm. Once you have identified your goals with your marketing strategist, be sure you have clear parameters around what it would look like to be successful on this particular avenue.
You are going to want to consider how you track progress around these goals. Firms should look for the ROI or rate of investment for their marketing campaigns. If a firm’s goal is to attract more social media followers, their ROI will be centered around the amount of new followers or activity on their social media platform. For many firms, a common goal is to generate more revenue. If this is the case, a company’s ROI will be based on whether or not a particular marketing campaign was able to increase sales over time. Ideally, you will be able to track incoming enquiries and conversion rates (noting that marketing’s job was the new enquiries, and your practitioner, or business development representative is the one who closes the sale).
Regardless of your goals, one common pitfall when measuring success is not being patient enough when it comes to analysing the data. Marketing campaigns take time to build and show the maximum ROI. It is imperative that firms consider marketing campaigns and the metrics used to judge their success or failure in terms of quarters, not weeks or months. Often, firms will halt a marketing campaign because the marketing metrics are not showing the ROI that they would like to see, but if companies prematurely pull the plug on, they may not reap the long-term rewards. For digital marketing, it may be slightly different, as your marketing professional can split test and actively update and change the campaign on the fly, to direct towards what is proving successful.
The bottom line when analysing data is to develop a plan, map out the definition of success based on the goal, be patient, and then analyse the right KPIs to judge effectiveness.