Yesterday Ros Conkie (a Marketing and PR consultant at KMS Marketing) emailed me a blog post about marketing metrics. It reminded me of how tricky it is to measure accurately the success of marketing.
Measuring some of marketing’s success over the last few years has got infinitely easier but in some ways it is still hard to pin down that one big question: how much does marketing add to my bottom line?
Some of the most repeated mistakes I’ve seen when it comes to measuring marketing are:
1. Not bothering to measure anything. At all.
If you don’t measure, how to do you know how successful it has been? How do you know what is draining your resources unnecessarily?
2. Measuring the wrong things.
There’s a lot that can be measured but are they the right things? Does it matter how many Twitter followers you have? Isn’t it better to measure the month on month growth in followers, rather than the actual number?
3. Not weighting what you measure.
Just because it’s easy to measure, doesn’t mean it’s the most important thing. Decide, in order of relevance, which is the most important measurement. That is your key measurement to focus on – and act quickly when something goes wrong.
4. Expecting results too soon.
A lot of marketing requires building up relationships and this takes time. Think about your own buyer behaviour – do you have one meeting and straightaway buy something? Unlikely. You’ll have been influenced by 100s of other things before then. Understand what each of your marketing activities is doing and give them time.
5. Not linking Marketing to business results.
Most businesses exist to have more of something; customers; profit; users. Marketing has to be linked to delivering these results.
6. Blaming marketing when everything goes wrong.
While marketing has to be linked to business results, if your sales start to decline or customer satisfaction is poor, marketing is not the only business function that affects these. Be fair and objective in dishing out the blame; ideally base it on a range of data and research.
7. Dismissing marketing when everything goes right.
It’s easy to say “Oh, well that increase in Sales is as a result of repeat business from last year’s customers” while not understanding that marketing has made sure that the customers are reminded of the business in a positive way for most of that year.
An easy (but potentially devastating) way to prove the relevance of marketing to a business and to show how much it adds value is to stop all marketing activity.
So, if you are struggling to understand the value that marketing adds to your business, imagine what would happen if it wasn’t there. Maybe even cut something out. That way you will truly find out how relevant marketing is to your business.
Written by Kara Stanford, Senior Marketing and PR Consultant, KMS Marketing
Contact us if you would like more information about how KMS Marketing can help your business successfully use marketing.