Marketing Activity Metrics: I wish I would have known
What if you realized it too late, that your marketing program was not working? It had been working great for some time - you were generating leads and sales had continued to increase. You believed all the right tools were in place and you were doing the right things. Then, slowly behind the scenes things began to fall apart and now you have to answer to management why sales are down, leads have dropped and overall awareness of your product/service is practically none existent.
Ok, so this is worst case scenario and a bit dramatic but it raises a good question. Are you monitoring your marketing activities and are you using the right metrics? Marketing programs are more robust than ever and include various elements such as advertising, email marketing campaigns, websites, blogs, social media and more. With all of these marketing channels interacting with one another, it can be easy to get lost in the data or even distracted. How do you know what to monitor, what is important and what it means for future efforts moving forward?
What if you realized it too late, that your marketing program was not working?
Here are some tips to consider for monitoring marketing metrics:
- Determine Key Performance Indicators
Determine what elements are important to your organization’s marketing program and how you will be able to identify success. Most marketing programs are created to drive sales and increase revenue so what elements of your marketing program will directly affect sales. Maybe it is the number of leads generated, number of inquiries, or number of proposals written; establishing the key performance indicators that directly influence your goals will help you identify the specific metrics to monitor.
- Data to Monitor
There are several elements of your marketing program to consider for monitoring and various data points to possibly evaluate such as website analytics including number of visits and unique visitors, the source in which they found your site including organically or through advertisement, blog visits, social media interaction, number of contacts and conversions, website pages indexed, number of opened emails, inbound links, number of clicked links and many many more. Typically a combination of these metrics results in directly impacting the results and indication of overall performance. Make sure to evaluate if the data points being used can be directly tied to your identified key performance indicators.
- How to Measure and How Frequently
There are several ways to monitor marketing efforts however, typically information is captured and stored in various programs resulting in several data sets to review. In order to help make sense of all the data it helps to download all the information from the various channels into one “dashboard”. You can do this for free by creating an excel file which you input the data on a regular basis. Examples of free excel templates can be found here http://www.skilledup.com/learn/business-entrepreneurship/best-free-excel-templates-dashboards/. The other option is to invest in a paid program such as Hubspot which allows you to connect all your interactive efforts into one central location and monitor your efforts in one program. More information about HubSpot can be found here http://www.hubspot.com/.
- Continuous Improvement
One of the most important elements to monitoring metrics is consistently reviewing what metrics are being used and identify if there are possible neglected metrics or distractions. As mentioned previously there are several opportunities to become distracted and even more frustrating than having so much information and data to sort through and make sense is including irrelevant data. Irrelevant or insignificant data can also lead to further distraction and poor decisions.
- Interaction and Engagement
There is a growing need to go beyond just measuring the number of fans or followers through your social media sites or how many people visit your website. Focus on understanding what is going on within your community and the persona of your target audience and what they would find relevant. This approach will help with targeting the right audience through the right tools and engage with your audience. If you are providing your target audience with useful information that will help them they are more apt to reach out and learn more about your product and service and ultimately make a purchase. With the right interaction and engagement your efforts will be more successful which in turn will provide improved and successful metrics and results.
- Establishing Goals for Online Marketing: A Lean Approachhttp://inbound.business.wayne.edu/blog/establishing-goals-for-online-marketing-a-lean-approach
- Data Analytics: Understanding the Volume of Available Information - http://inbound.business.wayne.edu/blog/bid/251636/Data-Analytics-Understanding-the-Volume-of-Available-Information
(All accolades and credit for this tremendous blog post are for Brooke who is the author and content creator.)