Marketing metrics aren’t perfect but they’re better than nothing

Anthony O'Brien

By

February 15, 2017

At my business, Corpwrite, we take the view that if a marketing activity isn’t contributing to sales revenue, then we junk it. Using a Simple ROI approach is reasonably straightforward. In other words, it works on the basis that hopefully more revenue has been generated than the funds expended on the marketing activity. But measuring marketing activity is rarely this simple, and the results of a Simple ROI will be different for all businesses. That said, I wouldn’t want to leave you with the impression measuring the success of your marketing is impossible. It’s not, and here are a few tips to make sure you’re covering the basics.

Set a target upfront

Marketing is measurable only if you have something to measure. That might sound obvious, but where many businesses fall down, especially small and medium-sized enterprises, is in setting improbable expectations. Typically, this happens when managers and owners don’t establish goals upfront. Whatever the activity, whether it’s greater market share, more revenue or launching a new service, give yourself a target. For example, if the goal is more sales leads, then set a number to target.

Find out what attracted a client to your business

Linking a sale to a marketing activity can be a complex business. It might be easy when using an EDM; it’s relatively simple to link a lead to an email, which makes it easy to measure the activity’s success. But not all sales leads come via an intimate business connection. In reality, many clients reach out to your business as a result of an assortment of marketing activities. A client might make contact after a Google search. Alternatively, they may have encountered your brand at a trade show, or have received regular content from some of your communication channels.

Once you set a target, you’ll need to sift through the myriad activities that may have brought a lead to your business. There are a number of methods for doing this, but the easiest is the ‘last touch’ method. Typically, this involves assigning the new lead or customer to the last piece of marketing they received from your business. Clearly, this method is not perfect, but it gives you a reference point to work from, and is probably the most common ROI marketers use today.

That said, if you use a consistent message and roll out a campaign across your website, social media platforms, public relations and other marketing activities, leads will prove simpler to track. As part of the campaign, use an identifier to track the lead. For example, if you’re running an EDM, put a unique code on it, to help trace the lead’s source.

Test and tweak

 Ultimately, neither marketing nor sales is an exact science and ignore anyone who tells you differently. The best campaigns have been tested and tweaked over time. Furthermore, you’ll learn something new from every piece of marketing you do, even the ones that fail.

Those businesses that try to measure their marketing know their target clients and use this knowledge to ensure their messaging resonates with them at the right time in the buying cycle. Still confused? Don’t be afraid to ask an expert for help.

 


TOPICS: 

 EDMsmarketingmarketing metricsmetrics

Anthony O'Brien

About The Author /

Anthony O'Brien is a principal of corporate marketing and communications firm Corpwrite. He is a business and personal finance writer with experience extending over 20 years in the communication industry. He is presently the small business writer for Money magazine and has contributed regularly to a range of other publications including Charter, The Australian Worker, INTHEBLACK, Rugby League Week, Jetstar Magazine, Australian Way and The Bulletin. O'Brien also worked as a reporter with NBN on its nightly television news service. O'Brien is a published author, working with leading finance commentator Paul Clitheroe AM, chairman of the Australian Government Financial Literacy Board, to co-author Make your Fortune by 40 (Viking 2001) and Road to Wealth (Viking 2000). Prior to launching into self-employment in 1999, O'Brien worked in a diverse range of corporate communication roles for IBM, Link Telecommunications, BT Australia, several NSW state politicians and a number of PR firms.