The old adage “a watched pot never boils” doesn’t apply to marketing; you need to actively monitor what you’re doing, and adjust your strategy accordingly. It seems obvious typed out, but the frequency with which companies will throw significant amounts of budget at marketing, sit around waiting for something to happen, then say “it’s not working” is startling. Listed below are some of the more tangible metrics to keep an eye on:
- Key Performance Indicators (KPIs): Identify specific KPIs that align with your marketing goals. These could include website traffic, conversion rates, click-through rates, lead generation, social media engagement, and sales revenue. Bear in mind that what may be a KPI for a different company, may not be one for yours. Understand what data corresponds to closing deals (a million page views looks great on paper, but doesn’t matter if nobody’s buying).
- Marketing Analytics Tools: Utilize marketing analytics tools like Google Analytics, social media insights, email marketing analytics, and customer relationship management (CRM) software to track and analyze data. These tools are great for finding out how prospects are finding you, and how they’re interacting with your web presence.
- ROI Calculation: Calculate the return on investment by comparing the cost of marketing campaigns to the revenue generated as a direct result of those campaigns. This is a fundamental metric for assessing marketing effectiveness. This also ties in extremely closely with point 7.
- Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC): Calculate the cost to acquire a new customer by dividing the total marketing and sales expenses by the number of new customers acquired. A lower CAC is a positive sign that your marketing is working efficiently.
- Customer Lifetime Value (CLV): Determine the CLV by estimating the total revenue a customer is expected to generate over their relationship with your business. Higher CLV indicates the long-term effectiveness of marketing strategies.
- A/B Testing: Conduct A/B tests to compare different marketing strategies, such as ad copy, landing page design, or email subject lines. This helps you identify which variations perform better and make data-driven improvements.
- Marketing Attribution: Use marketing attribution models to understand how different channels contribute to conversions. Multi-touch attribution models can provide insights into the customer journey and which touchpoints are most influential. This ties back to ROI calculation; you need to be able to point out exactly which campaigns, or parts of your campaign, are working in order to track what’s bringing in more money, and what isn’t.
- Competitor Analysis: Monitor the marketing efforts of your competitors to see how you stack up. Analyze their strategies, online presence, and customer engagement to gain insights into your own performance.
- Social Media Metrics: For social media marketing, track metrics like likes, shares, comments, and follower growth. Engagement and reach data can indicate the effectiveness of your social media content.
- Email Marketing Metrics: For email campaigns, monitor open rates, click-through rates, conversion rates, and unsubscribe rates. These metrics provide insights into the effectiveness of your email marketing efforts.
Keep in mind that marketing success is often a long-term endeavor, and the impact of some efforts may not be immediately apparent. Don’t toss out a plan immediately if you’re not seeing perfect results, make changes to your approach incrementally. Over time, you should see trends and patterns that indicate whether your marketing is working effectively and where improvements can be made.
Intangible Marketing Factors to Consider
There’s some things you can’t just assign a number to. At least, not in a way that makes immediate sense. Below are some factors that aren’t quantifiable, but still important to track for assessing the overall impact of marketing on your organization. Broadly speaking: How do prospects feel about your company/offerings? Do they leave positive reviews/buzz on social media? Do customers seem loyal to your brand? These are a bit more difficult to measure, as you can’t put a number on “brand perception”.
That said, these intangible measures often have a relationship with more tangible metrics. For example, positive brand perception and customer loyalty can lead to increased sales and customer referrals, which can be quantified. Combining both tangible and intangible measures provides a more comprehensive view of your marketing’s effectiveness.
Combining both quantifiable, and more intangible factors allows you to build a holistic image of how your marketing is performing, and plan according to your goals.