You wouldn’t believe how many businesses do not properly measure their marketing progress in today’s market. Often I still read articles insisting that marketing’s key measurement of progress should be the quantity of leads generated or community growth. This in my opinion is short-sighted. The true success of marketing is measured on multiple levels that align them closer to the sales teams they support and the ultimate goals of the business itself.
Businesses struggle with how to properly measure marketing activity because so many marketing activities have indirect results. Consider: how does one properly quantify the end results of a social media campaign or magazine, newspaper, or TV ads? Before a marketing department can set proper goals, it needs a starting point. In order to do that, you need analytics and measurement tools that provide a baseline of activity over a period of time. Few organizations know what they should be tracking before they start. In my opinion, that means you should start with everything you could possibly track, including but not limited to: website traffic, page visits, traffic sources, social traffic and community growth, downloads, and leads. These metrics all give a sense of the momentum that results from your marketing efforts. From here, you can start to add tangible goals to marketing activity. However you cannot stop there because that only solves for marketing quantity. What about quality?
A common myth is that marketing is responsible for leads and sales is responsible for closed revenue. The reality in today’s market, marketing is responsible for closed revenue more than you think. A strong marketing team can revolutionize a sales cycle, enabling an extremely effective and efficient sales team. As a result, marketing shouldn’t be solely measured by traffic, community, or leads generated. Its performance must also be measured by: opportunities, demos, and (most importantly) closed revenue generated. Measured in this way, a strong marketing team can then find ways to increase the quality of leads and help focus the sales team on highly qualified buyers and closing revenue. This all leading to faster overall sales cycles and increased sales team revenue.
Agree / Disagree? I’d love to hear your thoughts below… In future articles I’ll dive in to more details around individual stages of above and how to actually track the lifecycle of a lead and customer.