“Everything can be measured.” Or so says Suzanne Fanning, president of the Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA).
And she’s right; everything can be measured, but does that mean everything should be, or that everything that can be measured offers any true insight into your business?
The Metric Stew Recipe
Your company’s determination of success may depend on widely divergent views within the business about which metrics should be used to calculate ROI.
Some marketers may rely on more qualitative metrics like brand awareness, while the c-suite may increasingly look to more quantitative financial metrics when evaluating current marketing efforts and determining future budgets. Should ROI apply to traditional media only, or should social media be factored in? Should all metrics be given equivalent weight?
If your ROI formula is plugging in any available measurement (while possibly missing relevant performance indicators) without regard to the relative value to your specific goals, you may be caught in the metrics trap – instead of measuring effectiveness with the metrics most pertinent to your objectives, your business instead cooks up a random metric stew and is subsequently saddled with an ROI calculation that fails to accurately assess your success, and may indeed cost you precious resources in support of that success in the future.
As any revenue generation agency worth its salt can attest, not all data is created equal. Partnering with a marketing firm which respects both the qualitatives and the quantitatives, appreciates the relative significance of each measurement, possesses the expertise to help determine the most important metrics for your business, and can then help you drive towards those metrics is key.
So, where to find expert guidance? It’s definitely available, but identifying the right engagement marketing partner in an overwhelmingly complex landscape can be easier said than done.
Finding the Best Partner
• Look for an agency that develops and executes integrated marketing across traditional and newer media
Measuring marketing impact today means taking into account conventional and emerging media, so your partner should have experience creating and measuring a broad range of tactics – not just standard print fare but also integrated digital marketing programs that include online advertising, email marketing and social media.
• Look for an agency that seeks to understand your goals
The right agency will ask you to be clear on your campaign goals and objectives from the onset; an agency which is less interested in hearing you and more interested in being heard is not the right agency.
• Look for an agency committed to demonstrating results
Freedom from false ROI requires a deep understanding of how to most effectively and accurately measure outcomes. Ideally, your partner agency will work with you to arrive at a baseline agreement, then measure against it regularly – throughout, as well as following the completion of, all work. And those results, by the way, should be compelling.
Ultimately, escaping the metrics trap requires a collaborative partnership with a group that can see and hear your business’s goals, work with you to predefine the most valuable metrics and is dedicated to achieving those metrics for you.