Connect with us

MARKETING

How marketers can measure success

Published

on

How marketers can measure success

Marketing can show the relationship between a definite input and output, provided marketers are willing to measure their work. That is the case being made by Michael Brenner, CEO and founder of the Marketing Insider Group, an agency that specializes in content marketing. 

Just remember that what you are measuring is not how often you repeat a static message. That might tell you how many eyeballs saw the message, but not how many people were converted from prospects to customers. If marketing is going to demonstrably contribute to the bottom line, it must show how its work connects clicks with dollars.

Which bottom line matters?

Business measures its life by quarterly returns, preferably higher than the same quarter a year ago. How can marketing align with that?

Brenner touches on that topic in his blog post “How to Solve the Challenge of Marketing ROI.” Marketers cannot hide behind the excuse that only half their budgetary spend is effective without knowing which half. “Solving the challenge of Marketing ROI does not have to be rocket science. The first step is simply committing to measuring it,” Brenner wrote.

The most basic measure is what Brenner calls “simple ROI”: Measure the revenue generated from marketing activities, minus the investment made to generate that revenue, and divide by the investment. “[W]hat’s interesting about this simple calculation, is that investment shows up twice. This means that for most organizations, all you have to do is get more results from the same budget. Or get the same results with less budget,” he wrote.

“This involves making trade-off calculations. And it means canceling programs that don’t produce a measurable return,” Brenner wrote. “If you can’t measure the return on marketing activities, simply stop investing in them. This is why content marketing is so effective. With a relatively low cost (compared to advertising) and a high measurability factor, showing the ROI of content marketing is just simple math.” 

“The digital platform that every company sits on with its web site is generating traffic, leads or revenue,” Brenner said. “If you’re a B2B company, it’s going to be leads for sales. If you are an e-commerce company, it’s going to be revenue,” Brenner said. The traffic coming to those web sites is organic, not paid. “The leads that come in through organic traffic convert at a higher rate. The e-commerce traffic that comes in through organic traffic converts at a higher rate,” he said. If your search result takes you to a company web site, you are more likely to buy that item than you would if you simply got a search result, he added. 

“Start with the simple measures. What was my inbound organic web site traffic, leads and e-commerce revenue last year and is it better this year?  What was it last quarter and is it better this quarter? We measure it every single month for our clients. I am shocked by how many CMOs we surprised with the insight that their traffic is down, their rankings on Google are down or their visibility in search is down relative to their competition,” Brenner said.  “It directly correlates to financial value. It’s something the CFO could understand, and yet too few marketers are measuring it and implementing programs that drive it.”  

Action vs. presence

In short, the promotion is about action, while content marketing is about  presence. That is something that can be measured and built to grow over time. 

“The campaign mentality is that you spend 75% of your budget on a big idea and the remaining 25% to get it out into the world, and then you say ‘Hmmm, did it work?’  You just spent all your budget. The campaign mentality, the one-off big idea, if it works, you got lucky, because you didn’t have any time to measure it,” Brenner explained. 

“When you are always on…creating content, or engaging with your customers or building audience on your web site and maximizing the conversion of your leads, you are learning what is working and what is not working,” Brenner said. This can be measured, which aids in CMO accountability, and the discernment to stop doing what does not work. “This is not rocket science.”

Brenner spoke of several clients whose campaigns he audited. He found that 56% of their marketing campaigns they created to generate leads or revenue produced zero value. “My call to action for CMOs and marketers is to relentlessly cut the things that didn’t work or don’t work and learn from those mistakes, so that at least you are improving off a relatively low base.”

He continued: “You don’t need more budget. You just take budget away from underperforming programs and campaigns and reallocate to the thing that works. If it works, why would a company stop doing it?” 

So, create those simple measures. Show the increase in value. Show the decrease in costs. “That’s what CEOs do. That’s what CFOs do. CMOs think they should not, hiding behind the guise of creativity or lack of measurability, and it is not true in the digital world we live in,” he said.

Tactics and strategy

One of the sad truths of business is that responsibility without authority will yield failure. For the accountable CMO to succeed, he must have the authority to craft and execute his plan.

 “The analogy is ‘you can’t tell me to bake a cake, then also tell me how to bake it.’…Or you can’t say you want  a chocolate cake, then make the ingredients I can use  applesauce and peanut butter.” Brenner said. The baker, once tasked with baking the cake, will bake the best cake he can.

This illustrates the relationship between strategy and tactics. “Strategy is alignment to the business goal. Tactics is the way that you get there.” Brenner said. 

“The CEO and CMO must measure things the same way, or at least define the proxies to the same thing. CEOs are accountable for revenue and profit and shareholder value. They understand they need happy customers and happy employees to get there. The CMO should be aligned on those exact same things.”

What marketers can do

Brenner breaks it down to four things a marketer can do: Show ROI, define what is measurable, cut waste, and tell the story.

Measurability need not be as direct as click-to-cash. “Marketers may not be able to show all the revenue they brought in, but they can show the revenue they touched and influenced,” Brenner said. “It’s not a revenue number, but it’s getting closer.” Here marketers can use multi-touch attribution modeling. It does not matter which type one selects, so long as it provides measurement over time. “Measuring relative value over time shows ROI.” he said.

“Marketers have to cut waste,” Brenner continued. “The budgets marketers get can’t be seen as a blank check or a testing ground of creative ideas…There has to be a reckoning, a death of the things that did not work.” 

“Marketing leaders need to learn how to be storytellers, to demonstrate and present the business value of marketing. It’s a skill too few marketers take on, practice and implement,” Brenner added. If the marketer has ROI to show but fails to tell the other units of the company, his budget will be cut and he will be reduced to being an order taker.

“Marketers should create a business plan for their budget, create market outlooks and SWOT analysis (strength, weakness, opportunity, threat), the P&L, the reason for the budget ask, the tactics they will employ and the measures they will use to show the results,” Brenner said. “That’s a simple business plan outline.”


About The Author

Getting back to basics Marketing ROI
William Terdoslavich is a freelance writer with a long background covering information technology. Prior to writing for Martech, he also covered digital marketing for DMN. A seasoned generalist, William covered employment in the IT industry for Insights.Dice.com, big data for Information Week, and software-as-a-service for SaaSintheEnterprise.com. He also worked as a features editor for Mobile Computing and Communication, as well as feature section editor for CRN, where he had to deal with 20 to 30 different tech topics over the course of an editorial year. Ironically, it is the human factor that draws William into writing about technology. No matter how much people try to organize and control information, it never quite works out the way they want to.


Source link

Keep an eye on what we are doing
Be the first to get latest updates and exclusive content straight to your email inbox.
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Invalid email address

MARKETING

Marketing Team Reorgs: Why So Many and How To Survive

Published

on

Marketing Team Reorgs: Why So Many and How To Survive

How long has it been since your marketing team got restructured? 

Wearing our magic mind-reading hat, we’d guess it was within the last two years. 

Impressed by the guess? Don’t be.  

Research from Marketing Week’s 2024 Career and Salary Survey finds that almost half of marketing teams restructured in the last 12 months. (And the other half probably did it the previous year.) 

Why do marketing teams restructure so often? Is this a new thing? Is it just something that comes with marketing? What does it all mean for now and the future? 

CMI chief strategy advisor Robert Rose offers his take in this video and the summary below. 

Marketing means frequent change 

Marketing Week’s 2024 Career and Salary Survey finds 46.5% of marketing teams restructured in the last year — a 5-percentage point increase over 2023 when 41.4% of teams changed their structure. 

But that’s markedly less than the 56.5% of marketing teams that restructured in 2022, which most likely reflected the impact of remote work, the fallout of the pandemic, and other digital marketing trends. 

Maybe the real story isn’t, “Holy smokes, 46% of businesses restructured their marketing last year.” The real story may be, “Holy smokes, only 46% of businesses restructured their marketing.” 

Put simply, marketing teams are now in the business of changing frequently. 

It raises two questions.  

First, why does marketing experience this change? You don’t see this happening in other parts of the business. Accounting teams rarely get restructured (usually only if something dramatic happens in the organization). The same goes for legal or operations. Does marketing change too frequently? Or do other functions in business not change enough? 

Second, you may ask, “Wait a minute, we haven’t reorganized our marketing teams in some time. Are we behind? Are we missing out? What are they organizing into? Or you may fall at the other end of the spectrum and ask, “Are we changing too fast? Do companies that don’t change so often do better? 

OK, that’s more than one question, but the second question boils down to this: Should you restructure your marketing organization? 

Reorganizing marketing 

Centralization emerged as the theme coming out of the pandemic. Gartner reports (registration required) a distinct move to a fully centralized model for marketing over the last few years: “(R)esponsibilities across the marketing organization have shifted. Marketing’s sole responsibilities for marketing operations, marketing strategy, and marketing-led innovation have increased.”  

According to a Gartner study, marketing assuming sole responsibility for marketing operations, marketing innovation, brand management, and digital rose by double-digit percentage points in 2022 compared to the previous year.  

What does all that mean for today in plainer language? 

Because teams are siloed, it’s increasingly tougher to create a collaborative environment. And marketing and content creation processes are complex (there are lots of people doing more small parts to creative, content, channel management, and measurement). So it’s a lot harder these days to get stuff done if you’re not working as one big, joined-up team. 

Honestly, it comes down to this question: How do you better communicate and coordinate your content? That’s innovation in modern marketing — an idea and content factory operating in a coordinated, consistent, and collaborative way. 

Let me give you an example. All 25 companies we worked with last year experienced restructuring fatigue. They were not eager creative, operations, analytics, media, and digital tech teams champing at the bit for more new roles, responsibilities, and operational changes. They were still trying to settle into the last restructuring.  

What worked was fine-tuning a mostly centralized model into a fully centralized operational model. It wasn’t a full restructuring, just a nudge to keep going. 

In most of those situations, the Gartner data rang true. Marketing has shifted to get a tighter and closer set of disparate teams working together to collaborate, produce, and measure more efficiently and effectively.  

As Gartner said in true Gartner-speak fashion: “Marginal losses of sole responsibility (in favor of shared and collaborative) were also reported across capabilities essential for digitally oriented growth, including digital media, digital commerce, and CX.” 

Companies gave up the idea of marketing owning one part of the customer experience, content type, or channel. Instead, they moved into more collaborative sharing of the customer experience, content type, or channel.  

Rethinking the marketing reorg 

This evolution can be productive. 

Almost 10 years ago, Carla Johnson and I wrote about this in our book Experiences: The 7th Era of Marketing. We talked about the idea of building to change: 

“Tomorrow’s marketing and communications teams succeed by learning to adapt — and by deploying systems of engagement that facilitate adaptation. By constantly building to change, the marketing department builds to succeed.” 

We surmised the marketing team of the future wouldn’t be asking what it was changing into but why it was changing. Marketing today is at the tipping point of that. 

The fact that half of all marketing teams restructure and change every two years might not be a reaction to shifting markets. It may just be how you should think of marketingas something fluid that you build and change into whatever it needs to be tomorrow, not something you must tear down and restructure every few years.  

The strength in that view comes not in knowing you need to change or what you will change into. The strength comes from the ability and capacity to do whatever marketing should. 

HANDPICKED RELATED CONTENT:  

Want more content marketing tips, insights, and examples? Subscribe to workday or weekly emails from CMI.

Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute 

Source link

Keep an eye on what we are doing
Be the first to get latest updates and exclusive content straight to your email inbox.
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Invalid email address
Continue Reading

MARKETING

Boost Your Traffic in Google Discover

Published

on

Boost Your Traffic in Google Discover

2. Understand topical authority: Keywords vs. entities

Google has been talking about topical authority for a long time, and in Discover, it is completely relevant. Traditional SEO includes the use of keywords to position your web pages for a specific search, but the content strategy in Discover should be based on entities, i.e., concepts, characters, places, topics… everything that a Knowledge Panel can have. It is necessary to know in which topics Google considers we have more authority and relevance in order to talk about them.

3. Avoid clickbait in titles

“Use page titles that capture the essence of the content, but in a non-clickbait fashion.” This is the opening sentence that describes how headlines should be in Google’s documentation. I always say that it is not about using clickbait but a bit of creativity from the journalist. Generating a good H1 is also part of the job of content creation.

Google also adds:

“Avoid tactics to artificially inflate engagement by using misleading or exaggerated details in preview content (title, snippets, or images) to increase appeal, or by withholding crucial information required to understand what the content is about.”

“Avoid tactics that manipulate appeal by catering to morbid curiosity, titillation, or outrage.

Provide content that’s timely for current interests, tells a story well, or provides unique insights.”

Do you think this information fits with what you see every day on Google Discover? I would reckon there were many sites that did not comply with this and received a lot of traffic from Discover.

With the last core updates in 2023, Google was extremely hard on news sites and some niches with content focused on Discover, directly affecting E-E-A-T. The impact was so severe that many publishers shared drastic drops in Search Console with expert Lily Ray, who wrote an article with data from more than 150 publishers.

4. Images are important

They say that a picture is worth a thousand words. If you look at your Discover feed, you’ll see most of the images catch your attention. They are detailed shots of delicious food, close-ups of a person’s face showing emotions, or even images where the character in question does not appear, such as “the new manicure that will be a trend in 2024,” persuading you to click.

Google’s documentation recommends adding “high-quality images in your content, especially large images that are more likely to generate visits from Discover” and notes important technical requirements such as images needing to be “at least 1200 px wide and enabled by the max-image-preview:large setting.” You may also have found that media outlets create their own collages in order to have images that stand out from competitors.

Source link

Keep an eye on what we are doing
Be the first to get latest updates and exclusive content straight to your email inbox.
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Invalid email address
Continue Reading

MARKETING

Everything You Need to Know About Google Search Essentials (formerly Google Webmaster Guidelines)

Published

on

Everything You Need to Know About Google Search Essentials (formerly Google Webmaster Guidelines)

One of the most important parts of having a website is making sure your audience can find your site (and find what they’re looking for).

The good news is that Google Search Essentials, formerly called Google Webmaster Guidelines, simplifies the process of optimizing your site for search performance.

(more…)

Keep an eye on what we are doing
Be the first to get latest updates and exclusive content straight to your email inbox.
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Invalid email address
Continue Reading

Trending

Follow by Email
RSS