Pay attention: The importance of tracking marketing results
Paying attention is important. In many ways. Identity security, for instance.
Identify theft affects a staggering 7 percent of the population annually, according to the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics, and totals more than $25 billion annually in financial losses to the U.S. economy. Due to its emotional impact and resulting behavior changes, identity fraud can have an influence upon the overall health and economy. Many victims report a general loss of trust, and a lack of confidence in a “system” that had been unable to help them recover after the crime. Their future decisions, including decisions on what to buy, from whom, and how much, are influenced by being a victim of identity theft.
Most of us have left ourselves vulnerable in many ways, but the biggest problem is, we are not aware of the extent of the problem or how to protect ourselves.
The need for vigilance can apply to many disciplines, including corporate expenditures on sales and marketing. Even here we can find similar vulnerabilities caused by not paying attention to potential loss and waste. The intents are not nefarious, but millions of dollars are wasted because we’re not taking time to determine if our marketing is making a difference.
Avoid the drain on your revenues. #28 of Valcort’s 35 Keys to Business Growth reads:
Understand the impact of your advertising, marketing and sales efforts on your company’s revenues, profit, and customer loyalty.
The best way to do this is to relentlessly track results, and then make the changes necessary to improve performance. We’ve gathered some tips, with thanks to the Young Entrepreneur Council: Check them out.
- Low hanging fruit. There are a lot of easy ways to monitor effectiveness of your efforts: How many leads generated? Twitter followers, or webinar attendees. How many page views did your latest white paper garner? How many sign-ups resulted from your latest Twitter contest? How ‘engaging’ was last week’s webinar?
- Content tracking: Now that high-quality content has so many benefits in the marketing world, it's important to track all its different uses. For example, when you share specific pieces of content, use Buffer to track it. Or, when you send someone an email that includes a specific type of content, use HubSpot or Infusionsoft to track the results. It can be as simple as tracking the clicks on your recent post.
- Acquisition channels: Track every acquisition channel through which users register. This includes blog posts, press, organic search, paid ads, and partnerships. Review the data weekly. It shows which channels convert the highest, generate the most loyal users, and more. This data signals on which channels to "double down" efforts, and which to let die.
- Google analytics: Use Google Analytics to focus on the ROI of Adwords marketing campaigns. Constantly optimize spending based on customer acquisition cost.
- Check the rates: Think about the goals of your marketing and analyze data like open rates, click-throughs and social performance of content and formatting. Use this to shape email marketing strategy.
- Track stack: Use a stack of marketing trackers such as Segment.io, Marketo and Salesforce.com. You can use Geckoboard to make the data available to anyone iny our company and display it on screens around the office.
- Salesforce: Use Salesforce.com to track productivity of marketing efforts, which are segmented into a variety of categories like campaigns, lead types, company types and more. Marketing really is the top of the sales funnel, and with Salesforce.com, you can create and share several dashboards and reports to use across the team.
- Customer lifetime value: Customer lifetime value (LTV) is a great way to reveal the quality of customer segments. Segment customers by referral source (ad campaign, social network, etc.) and look at their LTV. Just because an ad is converting doesn't mean it will bring in high-LTV customers. Word of mouth and social network referrals lead to customer LTVs that are often worth several times more than the ones that come from ad campaigns. Conversion rate can easily become a vanity metric, but focusing on LTV will help build a long-term business.
- Data collection: In marketing, the most important data are those that show if creativity is delivering. These numbers are called dollar productive activity (DPA) metrics, such as how many calls/emails/meetings occurred and how many of those activities converted into a closed deal. There's a distinct difference between being busy and being effective. From these metrics, you can see if your activity is effective. If calls are working better than emails, adjust. How many calls does it take to close deals?
Read more of Valcort's 35 Keys to Business Growth