A recent study conducted by the CIM and Deloitte found that about 56% of companies rated their marketing measurement capabilities as basic or non-existent. This is a staggering figure. In the economy today that is so focused on costs and budget cutting it seems that monitoring response rates should be a top priority for every marketer and marketing company. Today, implementing a measurement system for marketing efforts has never been easier or more cost effective. This article will point out some key steps when it comes to marketing measurement efforts so that you do not end up being part of the 56%.
Effective marketing measurement is pertinent for any organization because it explains the return on investment from marketing efforts. Companies should always follow the strategy of “plan-do-review”, which means they plan their efforts, do their efforts, and then review to see if it worked or not. However, most often the first two parts are done effectively but the review section is either ignored or not enough information is available to help marketers make the right decisions. If you ask any marketer manager whether or not their campaign was a success they will often struggle when attempting to provide data that backs up their conclusion. When it comes to successful review the first step is identifying the key performance indicators at the start of a campaign.
Here are a few examples:
- Inquiry levels
- Demonstrations of product
- Activity on website
- Conversion of sales
Once success factors are identified then they need to be broken down further into parts that can be reassured against a response mechanism. The list below is an example:
Inquiry levels can show existing and new consumer data capture in the form of:
- Phone Calls
- Contract Forms
- Email responses
- By mail
- Product demonstrations
From there processes need to be enacted in order to place a record when a demonstration has occurred.
Here are a few examples of how to measure activity on a website:
- Unique users
- Page impressions
- Time on site
- Most visited pages
- Bounce rate
- Sales conversions
These are some questions you should also be asking:
- What is the sales target for this activity?
- What is the increase in sales amongst existing and new customers?
You should then attribute a sale to a specific marketing activity.
Once the key marketing indicators have been decided, the next step is to implement tracking systems and processes that will be able to measure whether or not a marketing effort has performed successfully. There are multiple ways in which this tracking can be accomplished.
Phone Call Tracking
Phone tracking is very easy to start and with advanced reporting features it contains a great deal of information that can be captured quickly in order to show the success of a campaign. Not only can phone tracking determine how different medias perform, but it is also possible to link sales back to certain phone calls. By using call recording to track a team’s conversion rates they can then be monitored and allow for suitable coaching to take place in order to increase the sales rate further. Phone tracking is the basic requirement for any business that wants to get a better idea of how their marketing is doing.
When it comes to Email tracking, email response is easier to monitor. Both inbound responses and inquiries to email marketing campaigns are easily measured by hosted systems or in-house teams for CRM. It’s important to understand the speed of response for an inbound inquiry. The sooner a company is able to respond to an email inquiry the more efficient they will make themselves seem to be which can lead to a higher opportunity of converting a sale.
The problem with tracking demonstrations is that in order to know the amount of demonstrations made it actually requires a staff member or employee to enter the recorded activity. The more people that are required to record their activity the less reliable the information is. For this reason a strong process set in place to monitor demonstrations is needed.
Tracking Website Activity
As a simple basic minimum all companies should at least be using Google Analytics to monitor how their site is doing. If you have an ecommerce site then it should link sales back to the keywords and it should also identify where people leave the site. If you are performing in a market where customers are likely to use the phone to purchase services or produces then the numbers should set up in a dynamic website tracking style which will allow you to see which keywords and URLS are generating phone inquiries and sales.
When it comes down to it any and all marketing activity is set up in order to boost and support sales. This means that during and after campaigns sales date should be studied to see whether or not there is an increase in existing and new customers. Whenever possible this data needs to be linked back to the marketing activity in order to show how a sale came from a single piece of marketing. This can be done by linking consumer’s names to their phone calls, website activity, and email inquiries.
Any campaign can be changed in order to right marketing initiatives that are not generating enough or the needed kind of responses. By cleaning up the response analysis using phone call tracking and website analytics your campaign and be fixed mid-way through in order to improve response rates and save upwards of thousands of dollars on wasted campaigns.
One of the important yet overlooked key steps for any marketing is to make sure and test all measurement systems in order to ensure that the processes are being followed effectively allowing for timely data and success. A key component of successfully monitoring a campaign is ensuring that all data is collated quickly and efficiently during the campaign which allows for tactical changes and at the end to make sure that a proper review is done.
When it comes to implementing a monitoring system a top challenge is that it shows a company an all over view of how their customers are interacting with their business. Meaning that they will be able to see how effective they are when it comes to answering phone calls and responding to emails. Some of the data found can be quite depressing as companies may discover how badly they are responding to inquiries. The marketer will sometimes find out that a campaign itself was a success but that conversion rates were very poor. If this happens it means that a review as well as tightening up of the sales process needs to occur, otherwise any money that is spent on marketing is being wasted. Tracking analysis can figure out how much it costs in order to generate each lead. This should be taken into consideration when looking at the sales process as it will help hone in on how to improve the response handling.
This article demonstrated that by putting into motion some simple steps it is not all that complicated to implement monitoring systems that will enable you to control and understand your marketing effectiveness. Be prepared for shock due to the lack of process for managing inquiries via email and phone successfully. However, once the problems have been identified they can be fixed in order to ensure that you do not become part of the 56% who have no monitoring systems in place and are marketing blindly.