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Get Out of Measurement Silos to Understand Your Marketing Performance

Marketing Analytics Dashboard on Laptop v2


You know the departments within your company need to work together for your business to function. It doesn’t matter how successful your sales team is if your production team can’t keep up with the orders, and operational wins haven’t really helped you if their overall impact is a reduction in revenues.

In the same way you need your different business functions to work together to succeed, your marketing activities need to work together for the overall success of your marketing strategy. Looking at your social media performance, or your website performance, or your email marketing performance on its own doesn’t give you a full picture of how your marketing is going and if it’s delivering against your business goals.

So, how do you understand the combined performance of your different marketing activities and how they work together to deliver business results?

Focus on KPIs, not metrics

It’s important to measure many aspects of your marketing activities to understand user behaviour and improve performance. However, while many metrics are useful to manage and run your campaigns, not all tactical metrics are business metrics. 

Key performance indicators (KPIs) are those metrics that connect to your higher-level business objectives. These let you know if your marketing activities are delivering the results you want.

So, how do you decide what’s a metric and what you should focus on as a KPI?

Metrics vs KPIs

Metrics measure the progress, quality, or individual performance of specific marketing actions. These can be qualitative or quantitative and include comparative metrics like which blog post is performing best, quality metrics like ad viewability rates, or performance metrics like website load times. They can help you improve your individual marketing tactics but in and of themselves are not indicators of your overall marketing performance.

KPIs are quantitative and connect directly to your business goals. In marketing communications they’re typically user behaviours that show your audience is moving along your marketing funnel, such as clicks, engagements, signups, contacts, and sales. 

They can also be financial metrics like cost per click, cost per lead, total marketing cost and ROMI that help you understand how your marketing activities contribute to your bottom line, and that you might try to improve over time.

Pay attention to these key metrics when considering your marketing performance and making decisions about where to focus your efforts, and avoid getting caught up in other measures that aren’t important to your overall business goals.

Understand the data story

It’s possible for your marketing activities to deliver against their individual KPIs, but still your marketing program might not deliver the results you want.

You need to think about your complete marketing funnel and how your different marketing activities work together to be able to pinpoint where issues might be occurring or what you can do to improve your marketing results.

As an example, a paid media campaign might deliver lots of new visitors to your website. But if those visitors don't stay and engage with the page, it might indicate a disconnect between the ad messaging and the website content, or that your ad targeting needs to be refined. Or, your lead magnet might get lots of signups on your site, but if those same users aren't interacting with your emails, again there might be a disconnect. 

When developing your marketing plan, think about how each of the different pieces fits together to form the entire audience journey. Then, continue that thinking into the measurement of your marketing activities. Pay attention to how each interacts with the other and how they move your customer along the funnel, rather than considering their performance individually.

By understanding what you want each to achieve and thinking of them holistically, you can make sure that each individual marketing activity is doing its part to meet your business goals.

Connect your KPIs to your business goals

We mentioned before that not all tactical metrics are important to you as KPIs. Similarly, some marketing KPIs might not be important to your individual business.

Make sure that your marketing funnel and the KPIs you’re trying to achieve are aligned with what your business needs.

An example of this is sales leads. A common marketing funnel consists of building audience awareness, driving them to engage with content about your business, and then capturing their contact information so you can communicate with them further. This process is designed to provide qualified leads to your sales team.

Basic Lead Funnel

But what if you don’t have a sales team? If you have an ecommerce site, your main goal is probably to drive sales online. Or maybe you sell through third party retailers, and what you need to do is get customers to ask for your product in-store. 

In these cases, sales leads are not what you want. Even if your marketing program is successful in delivering them, they’re not going to help you with your business goals.

When designing your marketing program, make sure that the outcomes of your funnel and the marketing activities that you choose will help you achieve your business goals. Understanding what KPIs matter to your business helps you understand what success looks like, and where to focus your dollars and time.


How a fractional CMO can help

Need more support to figure out how to measure your marketing programs? A fractional chief marketing officer and marketing strategist like me can help. 

I’ve designed dozens of results-based marketing campaigns and managed cross-functional teams of marketing, finance, and data professionals to develop marketing measurement programs for my clients. I can help you implement marketing tracking that gives you clarity on your marketing performance and aligns it to your business outcomes.

If you need help building or managing your marketing programs and teams, I also offer marketing strategy, planning, and management services on a project or fractional basis. Get in touch if you’d like to learn more!


Make sure your marketing is working for your business

Your marketing activities need to work together for the overall success of your marketing strategy.

When developing your marketing plan, think about what you're trying to achieve and how your different marketing activities move your audience towards your goal. 

When measuring, take the time to understand what metrics actually matter to the success of your marketing strategy, and how you will measure the audience's journey all the way along. Avoid looking at the performance of each tactic in it's own silo, and instead consider them together to make sure each piece is delivering the results you need. And finally, make sure that the marketing funnel you're building is going to provide the results your business needs.

By evaluating your marketing performance data holistically, you can make informed decisions about where to allocate your resources and understand whether your marketing efforts are driving the outcomes that matter for your business.