You’re Probably Marketing Blind
This post is probably going to brush a lot of people the wrong way, but I was brought up to believe facing a harsh truth is better than glossing over it.
The simple reality is the vast majority of the marketing materials we see are a complete and utter waste of time and money.
The primary reason for this sorry state of affairs is that the creative process leading to their publication is blind insofar as it’s entirely devoid of any discussion regarding methodologies for gauging impact.
Ego is Screwing You Over
Sadly in many cases the precise opposite is true – discussions about measuring ROI are stifled and suppressed by creatives and executives fearful of what precise analysis might reveal regarding their process and “intuitions”.
I’ve witnessed this phenomenon affecting organizations of every size and in every sector. Indeed it’s a very natural inclination –
- When nothing is being measured nobody needs to worry about outcomes.
- Maintaining a status quo is safer than instigating change.
- Nobody enjoys taking responsibility for a failure.
- Executive egos are fragile things.
Think about it – When was the last time your organization conducted a data driven discussion regarding the methodologies and practices being employed to gauge the impacts of marketing?
There’s no Excuse
While a generation ago (before the web) scientific methods and tools for measuring marketing impact were accessible only to larger corporations, today tools like Google Analytics and Facebook insights are available for all to use, and what’s more, they’re F-R-E-E!!!
The only thing standing in your way to a methodical marketing improvement process are a desire and discipline to use them…
How to get started
A great first foray into the world of data driven marketing is establishing your initial performance benchmarks. If you’re going to have any chance of pushing up your performance metrics you’re first going to have to establish what those are!
Keep it Simple
Web based performance monitoring systems abound, and each offers a wealth of information …much of which isn’t really very useful for anything but wasting hours of precious time.
For your first steps (and probably for later as well) sticking to a few fundamental numbers should give you more than enough to keep busy with. Here are a few ideas:
Show Yourself The MONEY
Whatever else you do will be entirely meaningless unless you have some methodology for measuring and attributing leads and sales generated by your efforts.
If you’re unable to answer the simple question of how many transactions your business is sourcing / closing thanks to your website and other online efforts there really is no point continuing further…
Getting at this number can be as simple as keeping a record of your ecommerce sales, or asking new leads how they heard of you.
Establish Your Website Traffic Benchmark
Traffic to your website is fundamentally a count of:
- Visitors – The number of folks who came on your site
- Page views – The number of pages your visitors viewed.
- Sales – ^^^ See above ^^^
Set as your immediate goal wrapping your head around and establishing a benchmark for the number of unique visitors (individual people) and the number of pages viewed on your website each week and month.
How Are Your Email Campaigns Doing?
Email campaigns are simple to track – they’re governed by two basic stats:
- Open rates – The percent of recipients who opened your campaign
- Click through (CTR) – The percent of recipients who clicked a link in your campaign
- Sales – ^^^ See above ^^^
How’s Your Advertising Faring?
At the risk of ruining your advertising provider’s day – there are only three numbers you need to care about in this context:
- Click through – What percentage of those exposed to your ads actually click on them.
- Cost per click (CPC) / Cost per thousand impressions (CPM) – What is each of those aforementioned clicks costing you?
- SALES – ^^^ See above ^^^ – Am i getting through to you yet?
Once you have your initial benchmarks you can start a process of trying out various concepts and MEASURING how they impact your benchmarks. If your numbers go up – You’re doing well. Numbers go down – “Recalculate route…”