I consider myself to be a competitive person. Perhaps too competitive in some instances. As a kid, I couldn’t practice free-throws without tracking what percent I hit. As a waiter, I always knew my per-check average. As a runner, I timed every session with the objective of beating my previous time at that distance. I’ve never been a ‘do the best I can’ type of guy because that’s subjective. You can’t measure it.
That’s the way that too many marketing objectives are written: Increase awareness. Improve floor traffic. Create conversions. Those are pretty easy objectives to hit aren’t they? If you’re just average at what marketing, you can generate some sort of lift. But, that doesn’t make a campaign successful. You can show marketing results and still have a negative ROI.
That means that we need marketing objectives that are quantifiable. We should always be able to measure the effectiveness of our efforts. Too many advertising agencies shirk this responsibility claiming that they can only execute what the client agreed to. Too many things out of their control they say. On the other hand, those of us in full-service marketing firms accept the challenge. We know that we can only get better if we can measure the results of our activities. We want a goal to hit. Really, we want a goal to surpass. It’s a competition. Our client’s brand versus all of the rest.
What’s a quantifiable marketing objective? Let’s take the vague examples from above and make them measurable:
- "Increase awareness" becomes "Increase aided recall of our brand (offering) to 25% by December 31"
- "Improve floor traffic" becomes "Increase floor traffic by an average of 10% per day and 20% on weekends"
- "Create conversions" becomes "Convert 25% of inquiries to face-to-face meetings"
Now, we have something to measure marketing against. And we can develop strategies to hit these specific objectives. Obviously, we need to track and share data so that we can quantify the success of our marketing, so get that in place too. The bottom line is that marketing should have a positive effect on the bottom line.