How does your business measure success?
At the highest possible level, somewhere along the line, I bet that revenue or profit come into the conversation. In business, money is (more often than not) the number one goal.
Digital marketing often creates long tail leads.
You don’t see the return on your investment straight away.
And as much as there are hundreds of awesome ways to track customer behaviour and attribute returns across your marketing and sales funnel, it’s just not that straightforward.
Even though we’re ‘the experts’, we’re not immune to the challenge.
Last week, we shared Brendon’s post ‘Why I’m (re)investing in marketing
’. It’s a great read. But before you dive in, here are the Cliff Notes.
We didn’t see an immediate return on our marketing work
We were really busy
We thought we could take a break, and not lose out
This was a mistake.
If we had been better at demonstrating how
all the work that we had been doing would attribute to our bottom line in the future
maybe we wouldn’t have taken a little marketing break.
But of course, when you’re really busy, you get much better at doing these things for clients than for yourself.
If you struggle to know exactly what to look at in terms of your marketing numbers -
You don’t know what to ask your marketing team for
You don’t have confidence that all this ‘stuff’ is helping the longevity of your business
You don’t know how to prove the value of what you’re doing internally
- this will help you. I’ll cover,
You need a measurement strategy
Whether you’re only doing sporadic marketing activities or have a fully fledged and automated plan, you need a measurement strategy.
If your marketing strategy outlines,
Then your measurement strategy extends on these with the addition of measures (how will we know if the tactic is working) and targets (what number do we want to reach).
We want to retain 100% of our contracted clients (goal)
We want to communicate with them regularly (objective)
We’re going to send them our monthly email broadcast (one of many tactics)
We’ll know that it’s working when they open the email and click through to more information (measure)
Because these are clients and not a cold list, we think 50% of our contacts should open the emails and 5% should click through (target)
I generally present it within the marketing strategy itself.
It’s much easier to understand the value of an activity when you can see how the activity relates to goal.
Depending on your role, this approach can help you,
know how to talk about the value of the marketing work done by your business or,
get buy-in on the marketing work done by your business.
Your measurement strategy should also help you define how often you should measure the results of your digital marketing?
It depends on how often you’re doing the activities.
In our marketing plan, we commit to showing up for our audience and clients through,
Daily social media
Weekly high quality blog posts
Monthly resources and longer form content and
Monthly email broadcasts.
So we moderate our social channels daily, do a dive into our traffic and content performance weekly, and do a deep dive into how our emails, resources and other longer form content (like landing pages or case studies) are faring once a month.
The example provided above was pretty simple. It only showed one tactic and related measures. But you could have hundreds.
So start with a good old mind map.
With your goal in the middle, expand out all of your objectives and from there, your tactics and measures (you might need a few mind maps!).
At all stages think, ‘What do I want my customer to do next?’. Actively consider what steps you need your customer to take as they move down the sales funnel.
Consider statements like,
I know my customer is engaged with my brand when… (they look at my website, they view multiple pages in one visit, they follow us on instagram)
I know my customer is about to purchase from me when…(they complete a contact form, they have viewed all of our services, they have downloaded our corporate profile)
I know my current clients are happy with us when…(they’re reading our emails,
they’re leaving reviews)
Not only will this help you build a better marketing strategy - as you’ll always be thinking about how to get the customer to move to the next stage - but you’ll be in a better position to measure meaningfully.
There are a lot of numbers out there.
Don’t go down the rabbit hole.
Your digital measurement strategy (or what we call the Digital Analytics Model) will keep you on track.
Note: This post does not go into any detail on how to technically track your metrics or how to present your numbers. These two factors are incredibly depending on the size of your digital ecosystem, scope of your marketing plan, budget and the tools available to you. We regularly assist clients to not only develop their analytics models, but manage the technical implementation of goals tracking, events tracking and dashboard and report creation.