In my view measuring the Marketing function is straight forward because it’s exactly the same as measuring the Sales function. Has the company met it’s top financial and business objectives or not? Using the same measurement for both functions leads to them working closer together which leads to more success or makes it very clear where there is a problem.
Things that are easy to measure can be dangerous
At the operational level you can measure some types of marketing activities like email opens but even if someone opened the email and ultimately placed an order just how much of that was actually down to the email itself? If the prospect had never heard of your company would they have ever opened it in the first place? How much of the reason for reading it came from the product and how much from the offer or message? Things get harder the deeper that you dig.
Marketing success is giving customers what they want
In today’s faster moving and more complex world the basic principles of marketing apply more that ever. The most success comes from really understanding your target customers and ensuring that your company can supply what they want. To me that’s what Marketing must be very clear about before building and implementing marketing plans. The key is as always Positioning. It takes lots of consistent marketing activities to get the positioning that you want into the minds of prospects. Fortunately you can measure what customers and prospects think of you. Just ask them. It’s the most consistent way of measuring marketing and identifying what you do well and what needs improvement.
The most effective way to acquire leads for Sales is a series of joined up Marketing actions that support the positioning and overall company objectives. You can measure the success of individual campaigns but always bear in mind that the success was down to much more that the actual campaign itself. Joined up Marketing is vital.
Measuring marketing activities is not always straight forward but it is possible with an understanding of the bigger picture and a bit of forward planning.