Welcome to the 3rd post in this short series on Marketing Automation where I am discussing a number of the major challenges for sales and marketing in businesses today.
I spent 14 years working in integrated agencies and had to ask my self quite often – how effective I was being. It’s tough because marketing is such a subjective area to start with. There is such a huge amount of human interaction involved. I’ve covered previously how we as marketers need to think about “Time” – how much time we spend on what.
Today I’m really thinking more about our actual marketing activities and campaigns.
I do a lot of marketing training and quite early on in digital training I am usually told by a marketing manager that they don’t do as much social media marketing because they can’t measure it. At this point I usually put them on the spot and ask them to explain how they measure their current marketing. The silence is often deafening. And I don’t blame them for the pause. Marketers are notoriously good at repeating what they did the year before with a couple of tweaks and hoping for a different/better result. I did it myself. I promoted Costa Coffee 7 times a year for 4 years. That’s a lot of different coffee campaigns to come up with!
But with the emergence of a plethora of new tools in our marketing tool kit we have the opportunity to do much better, more engaging marketing. The challenge is measuring all these tools and sharpening our marketing sword over time.
Here are a few tips
1. Set objectives that you can measure. Seems simple but quite often
people forget about the objectives and without them – how do you know if you are successful.
2. Benchmark where you are now. Again – easy – but do you really know
exactly what your performance is today and what is driving it?
3. Be clever with your measurement tactics. If you think first – what
do I need to measure? Ask then – how do I do it? And don’t commit to the activity until you have worked it out. For example – use a convenience URL in a press ad so that you can monitor the impact of that ad.
4. Use hypothesis when you see interesting things happening. What do
I mean? Well if you see that 50% of your lead traffic appears to be completely wrong – ask your self what could possibly be driving that.
A scenario I remember was a lead generation for a cleaning company.
Half the leads didn’t seem like customers. So we posed the question – who else could it be? – Cleaners who just happened to use the call to action for cleaning contract needs? So we set out to prove it. We looked at the time of the traffic – seemed to be out of working hours and weekends – very interesting. And they picked the “call me back”
option – possibly because they didn’t feel comfortable calling the company. So we put a job page tab on the landing page and watched what happened. Almost all of the non-leads clicked the job page. So now we knew.
5. Don’t test more than one thing at a time – I know you’ll be in a
hurry but if you try and do 2 things at once you are less likely to be able to work out what drove the response – so be patient.
6. Deploy tools and employ bandwidth – getting your analysis tools and
CRM are critical. But with weak skills at the helm you can’t make the most of them. So spent time and effort making sure that the people who are using the tools really understand marketing measurement and can make the most of the tools. At the end of the day it is a lot of common sense.
7. Try hard and fail fast. Trying new channels and new combinations
of channels is exciting and when well thought though can really reap rewards. Don’t be afraid of trying new things – backed up with a good methodology – and be prepared to see failure as a great way of learning.
8. ROI everything you do. Ultimately you want to know the return on
investment of your marketing channels and activities. So spend the time planning how you will measure that. Look at the cost of the media, the conversion rate of that media and the quality of the sale.
9. If in doubt – use primary research like surveys to validate your
assumptions and measure ROI at a customer level. Why? Because above all you need to inform your marketing communication strategy and if you are using multiple channels you need confidence that it’s the right thing to do.
More from me on the Sales journey later