Measuring your marketing effectiveness

The Thinker by Auguste Rodin

The Thinker by Auguste Rodin

“I know half of my advertising budget is wasted, I just don’t know which half.” A famous marketing quote most widely attributed to John Wanamaker, 1838-1922

Technology may have moved on in ways John could never envisage but the thorny issue of measuring marketing activity remains.

Measuring the right thing is more important than ever before in today’s budget conscious world yet the temptation to measure everthing – and therefore monitor nothing – is alive and well.

It is very easy to get distracted and get sucked in to navel gazing without realising it.  Maybe that’s what happened to The Thinker.

The skill is in identifying the few key things that you really need to measure and then focusing on these metrics over time to see how you’re doing.

Each of your marketing objectives will have a strategy and some activities and should also have a corresponding measurement.

Some things are easy enough to measure: 

  1. Email marketing sites like Mail Chimp or Constant Contact have great reporting functionality built in to let you monitor the open rates, bounce backs and click through rates from your campaigns.  Use the given industry standard metrics with a pinch of salt – they are useful as a passing interest – set your own. 
  2. Websites traffic, both visitors getting to your site and then moving around within your site, can be analsyed with Google Analytics which is free and hard to beat.  
  3. Events can be measured by the number and quality* of sales leads generated and ultimately converted. 

*At Learning Pool we use a simple % system to qualify our sales leads:

  • 100% qualified (payment received)
  • 80% qualified (processing purchase order)
  • 60% qualified (verbal confirmation of order)
  • 40% qualified (favoured solution)
  • 20% qualified (qualified prospect and we are being considered)
  • 10% qualified (suspect)

Some things are harder to measure:

  1. PR – do you measure column inches, comments or coverage?  How do you quantify the influence of the coverage you get?
  2. Sponsorship – how do you quantify the eyeballs?  And how likely is it that those who do see your sponsorship will buy your product?
  3. Promotional spend – which of your pens, balloons or mugs will be the biggest influencer (in a favourable way) and which will go straight in the bin?

I think that there are so many vagaries involved in trying to measure the hard things that this is where you easily get into the navel gazing. 

Instead you could measure your reach to quantify and track how many people you’re interacting with. 

Your reach could be quantified as the number of :

  1. Twitter followers
  2. Facebook fans
  3. Linked in connections
  4. YouTube subscribers
  5. YouTube views
  6. Flickr views
  7. Mailing lists sign ups

And you should aim to grow your reach on a monthly basis.

Once you have people interacting with you, ie you’ve got them into your funnel, that’s when you start to have a conversation with them to qualify them.  However, more on this in another post.

Thanks for reading.  What do you think should be measured and how do you do it?

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About Janet Harkin

A freelance marketing consultant currently working on some interesting projects. From Cumbria but live in Donegal, NW Ireland - both equally beautiful parts of the world. I love being busy, my boys, fresh air and Led Zeppelin. I also like marketing - the strategic challenges as well as the of-the-moment campaigns.
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2 Responses to Measuring your marketing effectiveness

  1. Mary McKenna says:

    Great post Janet.

    One of my quirkier ways of measuring Learning Pool’s success & reach is by making a mental note of the number of people that ask me for jobs every month (although regrettably not in sales – as anyone that’s read my recent blog on this will know).

    It makes me happy that we are the sort of organisation that other people want to be part of.

    • Janet Harkin says:

      Thanks Mary.

      I heard that another good way you measure the success of your week is by the number of hugs you’ve received from customers 😉

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