Our mantra as a business is simple – MEASURE, MEASURE, MEASURE. What you don’t measure you can’t understand, control or improve. But what does that mean? It certainly doesn’t mean measure everything but instead measure the right things so you can combine relevant data and insight to understand and if required amend your marketing activity.
However, before you consider measurement, you must be clear as to what your business goal is and how your marketing efforts will help achieve it. Depending on whether that is an increase in sales, lead generation or simply driving brand awareness, the marketing strategy and thus the approach you take to data capture, monitoring and measurement could differ enormously.
The revolution in digital marketing has meant that we as marketers now have access to more data and insight than ever. We however still meet companies that tell us they have no data but that is rarely the case. For many we go on a journey of discovery, helping them to think about and identify what data they have, how it is captured and where it’s stored – and yes at times that includes uncovering all the data and insight stored in numerous note books, diaries, excel spreadsheets, business card holders and even their own heads.
For some others they find themselves overwhelmed by the volume of data they have to hand. From website performance via Google Analytics, effectiveness of emails and digital advertising campaigns through to data and insight captured in CRM systems and market research. The focus here is to think about and map relevant data and insights to business goal so you can spend your time and efforts on monitoring the correct metrics whilst discarding the rest.
For example do you know what you spend on gaining new customers compared to keeping the customers that you already have? How effective are you at keeping your current customers? With all of the time, resources, and money put into acquiring customers it is important to know that your efforts aren’t wasted when customers don’t remain loyal.
Customer retention rate is a great way to measure how successfully you are maintaining customer relationships. On a more granular level, you also need to know which types of customer you are remaining loyal and at which point in the relationship a customer leaves, so that you can make the necessary adjustments.
According to a study by social media marketing software provider, Flowtown, they found that maintaining existing customers costs six to seven times less than acquiring new customers. A further study by Bain and Company reported that increasing your customer retention rates by just five percent led to an increase in profits between 25 and 95 percent.
Don’t forget to monitor the performance of other organisations be they competitors or great businesses you are aware of. For example social media engagement that your competitors are gaining can provide a useful benchmark over your social posts performance. Don’t just look at the posts but aim to delve deeper by for example splitting the monitoring of both organic and paid posts. If your competitors out perform you on their organic posts then it would suggest that their content resonates better with their audiences thus boosts their reach for ‘free’ and how a modification in your approach could provide real benefits.
Senior Managers don’t want numbers thrown in their faces, so marketers need to use data to tell a story. An endless stream of data, numbers and metrics are tough to digest and carries less meaning than visual methods of presenting data.
When telling your story, make clear, data-grounded recommendations. For example you may say “You’ve noticed that your business spends 20% of the marketing budget on social media, but you’re not seeing great results. I recommend cutting back and allocating money elsewhere.”
Efficient marketing requires data, but senior managers aren’t concerned with every scrap of it. They want a clear view of how your customers behave and how marketing projects impact the business. To keep your senior managers in the loop without wasting his time, present them with these metrics.