Measuring your marketing efforts is vital, so you know whether you’re doing the right thing and, importantly, how you can improve to get even better results.
Many of our clients are manufacturers, and so embrace the concept of ‘continuous improvement’. We believe marketing should do the same – which is why putting objectives and measurements in place is always part of our marketing planning process.
But just recently I was asked: “What exactly should be measured?”
The answer is that ‘what gets measured gets done’ – therefore you ‘measure what matters’. In marketing this has to happen at different tiers with each supporting the one above. Here’s what I mean:
Activity metrics are there to check that planned marketing tasks happen on time, on budget and in the right way. For example, if you’ve decided you will post daily on social media – did you actually do it? If the emailer was supposed to be sent on the 15th – was it? This is marketing operations management, the day-to-day stuff, down at the bottom of the triangle – but don’t underestimate its importance, either in terms of how you plan or how closely you adhere to that plan. If you don’t see the successes you’re looking for higher up the triangle, explore lapses in this tier and you might find an answer. Make sure that the activities you put in this level are worthwhile. And be honest: measure what actually happens, rather than what you wish had happened.
Communication metrics measure the effectiveness of the individual communication tools you use – e.g. emailers, website, AdWords, content marketing etc. You should try and find a separate set of measurements for each of these tools. With digital marketing tools, that’s not hard. You can measure open rates, click-through rates, cost per click, website visitors, website goals achieved, increase in search engine rankings etc. Sometimes it can be trickier to measure offline marketing, particularly as online and offline marketing both become part of the customer journey – but it’s certainly not impossible. Measuring at this level can help you assess the effectiveness of different marketing tools for your particular product and customers (which won’t be the same as someone else’s). But don’t forget to look at the bigger picture too – which is where the level above helps.
Campaign metrics. If you want to promote a particular theme, product, limited edition offer etc. – you need to measure the campaign success as a whole. At this level you are less worried about the performance of individual communications and more concerned with their cumulative effect. Overall, how many enquiries did the campaign generate? How many take-ups did you get for the offer? Were people commenting or asking questions about the campaign? Did the campaign work better in some geographic areas than others, or with certain types of customer? Looking back down the triangle, did you find that one particular communications tool stood out as successful for the campaign? What can you learn to help you improve your next campaign?
Commercial metrics relate to the successes of the business as a whole. Overall, are sales going up or down? Are you winning new customers? What’s the value of those customers? Are they the right kinds of customers? Are your prices being pushed down in the face of commercial pressure or holding their own? Where does your brand sit in the market – do customers perceive your worth?
To get the right outcomes at the higher levels, you need to ensure you’re doing the right things at the lower levels, and measuring them well.
This structure reinforces how important it is to plan carefully and measure intelligently at every level and at all levels. Because together, these measurements all contribute to your overall success.