To the untrained eye, marketing is all about fads, buzzwords, gimmicks and schemes. It’s all about making things flashy, sexy and lifting a product/ service from ordinary to extra ordinary. Right?
This is one of the main misconceptions we have to battle with as marketers. We are often not credited for the precision, science and attention to detail behind marketing campaigns. There is no perfect way to predict how well a rebrand, product launch or campaign will do. You can take an educated guess, but there is no fool proof way of predicting exactly how your audience will take to a new product they’ve never seen before, a new colour scheme, a new tone of voice or a new aesthetic. You can of course, use pre-existing data to guide and help get an indication of your new experiment. And like any experiment, you need to be able to measure the results. There needs to be a before and after, a delta change, a measurable impact of every single marketing effort you do, otherwise you’ve wasted your money, efforts, resources and most importantly, your time.
So how do you measure your outputs? That’s easy, you go back to what you were trying to achieve. So, if you planned a new collaboration campaign with a certain group of influencers because you wanted to raise awareness of your brand, you can measure how many website hits or conversions you had before, compared to how many you have after the campaign. It’s really that simple. On that note, if you have a website/blog/online store and you are not producing monthly reports of your statistics, do yourself a favour and just throw the whole site away. Google analytics is free- hello????
Another example is if you want to run a campaign to increase the amount of subscribers on your blog/vlog/podcast. The obvious method, would be to note how many subscribers you had beforehand and to see the difference in subscribers after your marketing efforts. I know, you’re probably reading this thinking yeah, duh Francesca, this is obvious- but you’ll be surprised to see how many brands or businesses are not making proper use of their own statistics. Having said that, it’s always important to look at long term statistics and to look at results in context. After a certain campaign, you may have gained 1000 followers to your business page in a month, however, during the past 6 months, your follower count could have been increasing by around that figure anyway. You may have run a massive Valentine’s Day campaign, which increased sales and cost you a significant amount of money, time and resources, but looking back at your sales over the last 3 years, there has always been an increase in sales in February anyway, without running a campaign. How do you measure standalone impact? How do you measure ROI? Good question.
If we want to Let’s forget vanity metrics. Things that make your brand ‘look good’, or that often make us look successful, or that show off our hard work, get us ratings from our friends, family peers and other brands, but in the end have no measurable impact- i.e. you don’t even know if it’s added 1p to your bank account. Let me give you an example. I was once working with a men’s fashion brand on a launch of their new sub-brand. They are very well connected within the fashion industry and one of the team were able to obtain a billboard space to advertise their new line. They went ahead and purchased the space (at a subsidised cost, though I have to add) and put up their poster. Now, to the lay man, a non-marketer, this is super cool. They must be extremely successful, making big moves, moving up in the world. I’m not saying they weren’t, they definitely were doing well for themselves at the time. My problem was- how would they measure the impact this billboard had had on their business? It’s all well and good accepting the ratings and congratulations, but how much extra sales did you make specifically from this? Before you spend X thousands of pounds on an advert, you need to be sure that you can measure how much of that (if any) you got back and whether it generated any more business. A simple example is when you see adverts on the train and they say ‘enter TRAIN10’ for your discount code. The reason advertisers do this is so that the company can measure how many sales it has received directly as a result of that train ad. Some companies even add whole pages to their site and promote it on their adverts, for example www.XYZcompany.com/London or /Manchester so they can measure how many hits that come to that page as a direct result of somebody seeing their ad at that particular location.
I can’t stress enough, how absolutely vital it is to measure your . It can tell you if you’re doing something right, how right you’re doing it, or even sometimes can be an indication that you need to switch up Metrics, your whole strategy completely. It also makes you look like you’re on top of what you’re doing and are switched on regarding your business. As a blogger, saying ‘I have a following of 10k, with a monthly increase in following at a rate of 12%’, looks far better than just saying ‘I have a following of 10k’.
If I were to sum this whole blog post into three key points, this is what I’d want you to takeaway:
- If you’re going to do it, measure it or don’t do it at all
- Always look at stats in context
- Numbers don’t lie. Use statistics to your strength
For more friendly advice on how to plan marketing campaigns, measure impact or ROI, comment below or shoot me an email via firstname.lastname@example.org