When I began my career in marketing more than 20 years ago, measurement was straightforward. We simply monitored revenue growth and our marketing expense, making assumptions about how the two might be correlated. Sure, there was a bit of basic offer tracking and we certainly looked at total impressions, but for the lion's share of marketing activities, meaningful data just wasn't available.
In contrast, today's marketer is profoundly data-driven. In fact, there is so much potential data to monitor that the task can be arduous. Avoid getting overwhelmed by focusing on these specific marketing measurement priorities, from DOMO's "7 Secrets of the Data-Driven CMO."
Manage by exception. It is impossible to stay abreast of and act on every bit of data available to you. Instead, manage by exception by focusing on data that differs significantly from what you planned -- either above or below the projection. Take a deep dive to figure out why.
Measure the "unmeasurables." It's easy to say that branding and buyer attitudes about your brand aren't measurable, but the truth is that they just aren't easily measurable. It can be done. If surveying the market isn't a practical measurement technique, look instead at growth in social media brand mentions, growth in direct visits to your website -- where your URL was intentionally keyed, as well as growth in the number of brand-related search terms used.
Test everything. Every conceivable strategy possible should be tested, if you have the resources to do so. If it performs well in tests, keep it and continue to test it to fine tune the strategy. If it doesn't test well, kill it. Move on to another strategy.
A/B testing, also called split testing, is where you compare two versions of a web page with only one variable that's different -- such as a headline -- to see which one performs better. It works equally well with email campaigns (subject line testing) and social media content (two versions of a Facebook ad featuring different designs).
Benchmark conversion rates. A conversion is defined as the number of site visitors or email recipients, for example, that end up becoming paying customers. Knowing your past conversion rates allows you to identify upticks that can later be repeated. It's also essential to know standard industry benchmarks so that you have an external form of comparison, versus just likening to your own past performance.
With a bevy of marketing metrics at your disposable, staying focused on what matters most will ensure you have the capacity to actually take action on what is most likely to impact the overall performance of your marketing strategy, instead of getting buried in the weeds.
Lori Turner-Wilson can be reached at www.redrovercompany.com.