I think it’s safe to say that most marketers know how vital it is to measure the results of a marketing campaign. With so many businesses fighting for survival in today’s economy, every dollar spent must be justified. Accountability is an expectation and we must prove the return on investment for every tactic and campaign.
The bottom line is that failure to measure campaign performance leads to lost money in the form of wasted budget and unrealized revenue. Even if you have the most solid product and offers, the most elegantly designed campaign and the most bullet-proof media plan, the fact is that market conditions change, and the only way to know how you are doing is to constantly track and analyze performance.
Today, we finally have the technological ability to effectively measure our results and prove ROI. But according to MarketingProfs, one of the main reasons that the average tenure of a CMO today is less than 23 months is their inability to defend marketing decisions with proof of ROI.
So, why are we still running?
A measurement revolution
Despite the fact that measurement tools and tracking systems have existed for years, tracking every aspect of interaction between brand and customer wasn’t considered table stakes to run a marketing campaign. Marketers have been able to hide behind sometimes-valid excuses for not collecting and analyzing campaign data: lack of time, resources or budget and the complicated technical aspects of data collection. Even five years ago, some could get away with relying on sales numbers as the only indicator of marketing success.
But marketers can’t keep running.
We’re in the middle of a measurement revolution. With the exponential growth of digital marketing, including social and mobile media in recent years, two changes have occurred: We can track almost every interaction and we have to track every interaction.
New technological solutions exist today that allow you to integrate and analyze your data into a single source, and these solutions will continue to grow.
Marketers have to be willing to embrace new forms of measurement. Understanding how and why targeting, tactics or channel are performing will give you actionable data and allow you to alter and improve your campaign outcomes. Not only will embracing measurement help justify your ROI, but they will help free up your time and budgets and make you a marketing rock star.
Switch it up
Traditionally, marketers have left measurement for last when launching a campaign. All too often this practice comes at the expense of capturing the correct data to do the job right. To really benefit from metrics you must make measurement the heart of planning and decision-making. Measuring campaign performance is still difficult, but you can use some strategies to make it more manageable.
Here are some steps to follow to help set you up for success:
- Consider measurement first when planning your campaign.
- Identify your campaign objectives.
- Determine how you will measure success against your objectives and design your campaign elements around capturing and measuring this data.
- Establish a reporting system and set up a dashboard with your key progress indicators. Your dashboard should account for tracking not only the performance of your campaign elements, but also the financial results and customer impact.
Remember, setting up metrics goes deeper than just printing a tracking code on your post card; the infrastructure of your website, call center and other points of engagement must be configured to track each individual campaign element and interaction.