Today, Marketing Directors should be expected to provide quantifiable evidence that their marketing efforts are contributing to real business outcomes. And, as agency partners, we need to be tracking our work so we can wisely advise you, our clients, where to invest in order to be successful.
First though, it’s necessary to define what success means at the start of each marketing initiative by setting a measureable objective. From there, it becomes easier to back into key performance indicators (KPIs) that tell you how you’re tracking against the objective. It’s important to note that not one single KPI alone will tell you how you’re performing — it’s the aggregate result of those indicators that reveal how successful your marketing initiative is.
For example, say your objective is to sell $20 million worth of services, and KPIs include number of website visitors, number of leads, cost per lead (CPL) and cost per acquisition (CPA). You could have a high number of website visitors, low number of leads, low CPL and a high CPA. If you look at number of website visitors and CPL, you’d think the campaign was doing well and drawing traffic to the website. However, looking at it next to the number of leads actually garnered, and the cost to turn them into actual closed deals, you might think there's a disconnect between the message driving users to the site, and the site experience itself. The truth? There are a number of ways to measure success, depending on the data you have access to. The important thing is to always be optimizing throughout the campaign based on the metrics you outlined from the beginning.
Even when looking at the ROI of specific initiatives, you must also keep in mind the strategic benefits of each type of marketing initiative. While brand-building initiatives do not yield a high ROI on their own, for example, those initiatives do help amplify the efforts of an acquisition campaign. Done right, measuring ROI, or success of marketing initiatives, will empower you and your agency to more intelligently invest time and money.
(To learn more about VI's Data-Driven Marketing Services, click here)