By Luke Cameron
Marketing: digital, social, or otherwise. Are current metrics enough to prove its value?
When we spend money on something, we want to know it works. This remains true for marketing. After all, organisations allot large sums towards it. Therefore, we need to show that it’s a practice that more than pays for itself.
Marketers have employed many metrics to show just that. Likes, comments, downloads, reviews, and polls to name a few. But these old favourites may soon fall by the wayside. A new primary performance metric is on the rise: revenue contribution. Distilling marketing efforts into this metric makes sense. By measuring every business activity by its financial return, budgeting and planning become clearer.
But in adopting this new metric, established marketing measurement strategy must change. New ways to display marketing effectiveness are paramount. However, it seems we are struggling to keep pace with this demand, despite our willingness to adapt.
Marketo’s recent report (alongside ADMA) is incisive in this regard. Spanning 444 marketers throughout Australia, it establishes how we measure and purvey performance. Further, it reveals where the gap between expectation and reality lies.
Read on to find their work distilled into five key learnings
The Five Key Learnings
#1 Market Expectations
What is expected of marketers?
Firstly, the three most common tasks expected of marketers were to:
- Grow revenue (20.75%)
- Acquire new customers (20.6%)
- Improve the customer experience (17.9%)
To achieve this, marketing leaders invested in these areas: operational efficiency, new technology, and team training.
There are several points of worry however. When questioned on measurement, Australian marketers consistently rated themselves poorly:
- 61% believed they were ‘fair’ or ‘poor’ at proving business contribution
- Only 14.8% believed they contribute to over 50% of company revenue
- Of this 14.8%, half admitted to guessing the amount they contributed
#2 Attribution Models
What systems are we using to measure success?
Now, to show revenue contribution you’ll need the proper systems and programs in place. As stands in Australia, these have lacked sophistication. We have a predilection to use clicks, downloads, and customer ratings. Though useful, they do little to prove tangible revenue generation. It is instead suggested that marketers migrate to a multi-touch method. The many contact points allow us to trace our audience’s experiences with clarity, and thus garner vital insight.
Key survey findings in this regard:
- Less than half of respondents utilised multi-touch models
- 6% of marketers make no attempt to measure their marketing’s effectiveness
- 31% don’t measure revenue contribution
Multi-touch marketing refers to campaigns that leverage several channels at once. This increases the likelihood your message reaches your audience. These are also opportunities to assess product uptake and messaging effectiveness. Thus far, it has played second fiddle to traditional metrics.
#3 Management Perceptions
How is marketing perceived by management?
Though marketing is effective, conveying this to leadership has proven difficult. Barely 15% of peers see marketing as a primary business driver. In fact, the current perception of marketers is akin to a brand manager or event organiser.
Yet, there has been a slight shift in these assertions. Almost a third of respondents are recognised as an asset in generating sales. This is thanks in part to the accountability digital marketing provides. Inherent in digital platforms, their connectivity means metrics are clear and contextualised.
#4 Technological Advancements
Which advancements yield the greatest benefits?
The ongoing technological boom has been fruitful for CMO’s. To ensure this continues, investment is being placed in software from five areas:
- Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
- Social Media Engagement
- Email Marketing Platforms
- Marketing Automation
- Data Management
At present, marketing automation is in its adolescence. However, this has not stopped marketers from pining for the technology. Though investment has been low, expect huge growth over the coming years as it reaches maturity.
#5 Personal Goals
What goals drive the modern marketer?
But what do marketers crave? Drawing from Marketo, there is a universal drive to grow their personal profiles. This is in part to demonstrate the value of marketing to thought leaders and peers. Further, training and learning geared toward business strategy is a common desire. This promises two things:
- The capacity to contribute outside of their department
- Marketing ventures that better address business challenges and goals
Evidently, there is a gap between where Australian marketing is, and where it needs to be. But bridge the gap, and you can expect to reap the rewards. If you can prove the positive impact of marketing on company revenue you’ll never be without work.
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