- Category: July 2014 - Marketing Analytics
For management and business plans, parameters are widely used to permanently control the business success based on its compliance. So, if there are any deviations, it’s possible to implement countermeasures quickly. Do you apply this to your marketing plans as well?
Data tracking - a part of our daily lives
We know about the healthy values for blood pressure, body weight, etc. in order to avoid major health risks, but what about our business? Do you deploy monitoring procedures here as well to test the effectiveness and efficiency?
If a company does not determine key performance indicators, it inevitably gets caught in a danger zone. Same as the way the performance of the company or management plan should constantly be measured, there can’t be successful marketing without an ongoing review of defined parameters.
Higher satisfaction with the marketing investment
Besides helping the corporate performance, continuously keeping an eye on marketing metrics brings the recognition of marketing an essential step forward and assures more influence in the company’s decision making process.
Unfortunately, most marketing departments still didn’t realize that -as many surveys prove – many not even see the advantage of marketing measurements and their significant impact on the satisfaction of their CEOs regarding marketing investment.
It is the task of marketing to define a strategy and make use of data analytics to achieve the sales targets: It may be medium-term (e.g. higher awareness) or short-term measures (e.g. promotion, exhibition participation). However, in order to measure the success of the investment made, the key performance indicators (KPI) for the systematic and continuous identification (tracking) must be specified: It can be about brand or company awareness, purchase and willingness to pay, market share of the products or customer penetration.
Particularly, a brand’s strategic decisions, that must be defined in the medium- and long-term, require a financial accountability. But for all short-term measures, such as promotion and direct marketing, the objectives of course need to be defined in advance, as well.
Examples would be:
- Response rate of the targeted customers and non-customers/target groups;
- Number of new customers;
- Sales by target groups and product segments;
- Satisfaction of the sales agents/customers with the marketing campaign (B2C);
- Customer Loyalty Index.
The rendering of marketing metrics allows a trade-off between rival marketing campaigns based on the return on marketing investments. Regardless of the scope of the measurement process, a continuous monitoring process is necessary to profit most of it, which includes the information gathering, analysis and the reporting.
Internal communication of the marketing performance as a success factor
It sounds so obvious, but in reality it is not so common that the performance data (desired and actual values of the indicators) are communicated to the entire marketing organization and the management. However, this should be done in a concise, easy to understand and visual manner, so that all parties can then quickly realize what approach works and what improvements need to be implemented. And if the marketing efforts were successful, the communication serves both the motivation of the employees and confirms to the management the competence of the marketing organization.
In addition, a not to be underestimated advantage of the marketing performance tracking is the higher quality of cooperation with the sales organization. Especially the tactical marketing actions (price, promotion) require a close cooperation with the sales teams and their results and therefore assessment should be based on "hard" facts. Thus, it can be stated clearly what successes or failures the sales of products are based on and any unjustified accusations of the marketing organization should therefore be a thing of the past.
Systematic tracking of valuable information over a time period improves the effectiveness of tactical marketing activities. In fact, it creates the possibility to identify and measure the key drivers of the marketing and sales success, determines the strategic advantages of the company, and predicts the financial impact of a marketing investment.
Not taking up any measurements in marketing means to work blindly, which is simply irresponsible, especially since the times when marketing budgets have been determined solely by cost factors and not by sales success and efficiency are long, long over.
By Daniela La Marca