Are You Measuring Marketing Performance or Activity Output?

Posted by Johnny Anderson on 1/20/16 5:00 PM

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In business, we crave metrics. We need something tangible we can look at to determine whether or not people are doing their jobs well and our efforts are paying off. For marketers, metrics are the go-to tool for justifying budget spend. When executives ask to see evidence that marketing is paying off, most marketing managers turn to spreadsheets filled with data.

While the scenario is similar for marketing organizations across the board – you produce an array of marketing analytics to show the bosses that you’re getting something done – the level of actual, useful marketing intelligence contained in the metrics produced varies widely.

The problem is that we’re not always great at figuring out how to measure success. The easiest measure to fall back on is output. Is your content marketing team producing enough content? Has your SEO team built enough links? This is the data that lets you know your team is getting their work done. These are measures of productivity.

In today’s world of media saturation, producing enough marketing to be seen often feels like the biggest challenge. 64% of marketers admit it’s a challenge, and 21% even say it’s their biggest challenge.

Does Your Marketing Measurement Emphasize Output?

You wouldn’t be alone. Certainly it’s an important part of the equation, especially now that content marketing has become such a big line item in marketing budgets. One Forbes writer calculated that even based on especially conservative estimates, businesses are trying to create about 720 pieces of original content each year. No wonder productivity is getting such a big share of our attention.

Yet another harder-to-face truth behind why marketing output is one of the most popular measurements to consider is that it’s simply easier. Seeing the results of the output you produce takes time. Recognizing how much your team produces is a metric you can check on at any given moment, and it’s objective. If your goal was to publish 30 blog posts this month and your team produced 30 blog posts, you can check that box and move on. That is, unless you care about results.

How to Shift Emphasis to Marketing Performance

Measuring marketing performance is harder, but the businesses that pull it off can make a more convincing case to the c-suite about the value of their marketing activities and be on a constant path to improvement. It goes beyond tracking the immediate measurements of marketing performance – clicks, views, opens, and likes are just the beginning. Numbers in a spreadsheet don’t tell you everything you need to know; they’re just the first chapter in the story.

Measuring true campaign performance, all the way to the point where you see how specific marketing activities contribute to revenue, requires sophisticated technology, good data, and skilled analysis.

You probably already have the skilled marketing team and all the data you need. Adding the right marketing performance management technology to the mix makes it possible to:

  • More clearly see how the marketing data you’ve collected across teams relate to each other
  • Follow the interactions of a lead through the entire buyer’s journey ­so you can track how different marketing activities support each other
  • Connect a lead’s relationship to specific marketing activities to their eventual purchase
  • Gain a clearer picture of your marketing ROI through accurate revenue attribution.
  • Improve your marketing plan based on clear data on what’s worked before.
  • Predict the likely success of future campaigns based on the data you already have.

Measurements of marketing output can let you know your team’s getting their work done, sure. But that’s not really what you want to know. You want to know how well that work’s paying off.  Hive9 can help.

Icon made by Freepik from www.flaticon.com is licensed under CC BY 3.0

Topics: Marketing Maturity, Hive9

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