You have a firm grip on sales and measure your marketing campaigns when you can, but you lack overall goals for your company’s marketing. You’re not the only one.
Almost 100 years ago, department store owner and marketing pioneer John Wanamaker passed away, known among other things for the quote “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half”.
Fast forward 100 years ahead and there you and many other business leaders are, just like John, scratching your head over how you should invest in and measure your marketing. It’s not easy, but it doesn’t have to be difficult either.
In a small or medium-sized company, it is often enough that you lift your eyes from marketing budgets, marketing plans and campaign ROI to a larger perspective – what your marketing should contribute with to the company;
- build and strengthen your brand
- attract new customers
- increase sales
These are good overall and measurable goals that last over time, although the ways to reach them should be constantly changing and improving. Do not fall into the trap of setting too many goals or measuring your marketing on the outcome of general business goals that can also counteract each other, such as increased growth and profitability at the same time.
Building and strengthening your brand
In the end, it’s about as many people as possible in your target group knowing that you exist, what you do and how to find you. The easiest goals are the number of new visitors each month to your websites, e-commerce platforms, events, webinars or social media, depending on what you focus on. The results show how effectively your marketing reaches the target audience and captures their attention – and which initiatives produce the best results.
Attract new customers
A very good and relatively simple goal to measure is the number of qualified leads that your marketing delivers to sales each month. It works best if you have a marketing automation system integrated with your CRM but it can also be managed by manual methods in small companies, provided you have agreed on what a qualified lead looks like and how it should be managed.
If you also follow the leads’ path to becoming orders, you can work out the value of each qualifying lead and how much it should reasonably cost you to generate. Also compare with the cost of leads that are not generated from your own marketing, such as telemarketing or external meeting booking.
This can get a bit trickier because you need to earmark the sales generated by marketing to be able to set goals and measure it. On the other hand, if you have a well-performing marketing function, it is easier to identify sales that were not generated by marketing.
If you work with marketing automation and CRM, you can create simple reports that generate the information you need with a combination of data from different sources. If not, then an easy option is to mandatory specify the origin of each new opportunity in your CRM system to see the value of all orders coming from your marketing.
You can set goals for your marketing in many different ways and I have mentioned the simplest ones that often give the best results. There are also ready-made tools to measure marketing in different ways, but all companies have different needs and prerequisites so there is no simple answer to what works best for you.
You need a good plan to be able to produce facts and continuously present how your marketing performs within the company. The simpler, the better. None of your colleagues want to spend time creating seemingly unnecessary reports right?
With few and overarching goals, you can start measuring and sharing how marketing contributes to the performance of your business – and unlike John Wanamaker, you’ll know which half of your marketing budget that needs to be invested differently next time.