Setting Your Measurement Model Up For Success

One of these most important topics in marketing today is the ability to measure results and show that marketing is contributing to the growth of your organization. Showing the number of likes, retweets and impressions just isn’t enough anymore. Marketers have to show leads, conversions and ultimately return on investment.  This is not an easy problem to solve and demands looking beyond the marketing department to answer some very important questions. Without that comprehensive view, marketing’s ability to understand and influence is limited.

In order for a marketing program to succeed in the mind of an organization, it has to first tie to business goals and requires executive-level discussions to make sure there is consensus about what success looks like. It even goes beyond that because to get the data you need and the broad levels of support. To make it work, marketing will need help from sales, accounting, finance and IT.  You have to think about this like an engineering project – what information do you need, who has it, how do you get it, where does it go, and what do you do with it to make it usable and actionable.  The closer marketing is to the core of the business the better its strategies and tactics will tie to the success of the enterprise.

Once you have a defined set of measurable objectives and baseline support the other main step is setting the metrics that will show performance against business goals.  For example, if your marketing objective is to drive quality leads that result in incremental revenue you have to define a lead generation process – where leads come from and the best sources of them, how many are you getting right now, how many are converting and what are the reasons for conversion, and how do you track leads through the system to account for that incremental revenue.  And this is just for one objective and doesn’t account for all the channels you have to impact.  Easy in theory but very tough in execution.  Marketers have to think like more like business leaders and determine the best paths for growth and how marketing supports those efforts first.

Doing these two things first will not only show marketing’s ability to impact the organization at the most important levels but it will set the stage for marketing to be a truly transformative mechanism.