3 Questions to test marketing performance

Why are you still using methods from the early 2000s? Do you still use a blackberry phone as well?

Jokes aside, testing your performance in marketing or your marketing partner is really simple. Let’s upgrade your marketing performance analysis with 3 simple questions. Marketing is hard work, but like anything, it’s even harder if you are not looking at information and insights to make your decision making faster and easier.

The history of marketing is a funny one, without digital means the effectiveness of marketing was a longer attribution window (if at all). I.e, your customer saw a billboard, they liked the product, they came to the store to buy. In this example, there is no multi-touch-point analysis, no ability to understand how likely or how hot a lead is from the particular ad, or how many times an individual person has seen it.

Fast forward to now, we can get so granular with marketing it’s actually pretty frightening. The type of person, how many times they accessed your website before converting, how they found your website, and now showing content specific to that person from a particular route they came from. Think airlines being able to show multiple landing pages and dynamic content changes based on how likely someone is to convert.

So if you’re seeing a different price to your partner when searching for that city break to Barcelona, that’s the power of marketing, even if it does annoy the crap out of you.

That’s all well and good, but if you don’t have the budget of an airline or the digital insights of one either, how do you actually ensure your performance is on the right track? Especially when in reality it’s a mix of the traditional forms of marketing vs digital forms.

First, it’s probably worth remembering that just because we now have access to hundreds more data points across our marketing, not all data or insight was created equal. Marketing people love data, but perhaps too much. I fear we are now moving quite far away from the original goal and we are now starting to bamboozle those outside of the industry such as business leaders with data overload.

From our experience, business leaders get bored of these conversations quickly. Not because they don’t love data and insights, those data points allow decision makers to make, well hopefully better decisions. But because:


…tends to be the outburst after the 2nd or 3rd meeting. So if that sounds like you, here are three questions to appraise your marketing function and keep it on track.

How is marketing influencing revenue?

Take a step back, marketing professionals are employed or contracted to deliver marketing results. Marketing results means increasing awareness, consideration and conversions to our audience – correct? So why are we scared to be accountable for such numbers? Work with your marketing function or agency to understand the business objectives and how marketing plays a critical path to this journey, perhaps not end-to-end but the lion’s share at the very least.

How are we reporting on a conversion?

Especially when you start to have bigger and more complex sales cycles this is a must, such as a SaaS product (sometimes 3-6 months+). Understand from the agency what the ‘goal’ is here. Is it to generate lead form submissions? Well anyone can go on your website and generate a lead form, so is it sales qualified leads (SQL’s)? Understanding what the goal is will really help with building out effective marketing strategies specifically to that goal and create more focus not least better expectation management from all sides.

Do we have a clear activity plan that links our business targets to marketing?

We’ve all been a part of it. The agency owner comes in and talks a good game, you buy-into it and then never see them again. That disconnect between what was agreed vs what was delivered then becomes a problem and that problem stems from having a clear delivery plan of tasks that support the growth of the business. Each task should be itemised and clearly labelled so you know the activity but also you can see progress. No more smoke and mirrors.

The biggest lesson to take away here is: Don’t get stuck in the weeds, pull yourself out of day-to-day and go back to managing the contract as a whole. It will save you time, hair and money to build out your marketing activity to hit your revenue goals.

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