One of these most important topics in marketing today is the ability to measure results and show that marketing is contributing to the growth of your organization. The days of showing the number of likes, retweets and impressions as measurement are gone - marketers have to show leads, conversions and ultimately return on investment. This is not an easy problem to solve and demands looking beyond the marketing department to answer some very important questions.
The reason why the title of this post uses the word "your" is that any measurement model you have ultimately has to be the right one for your organization. It has to tie to your business goals and objectives and requires executive level conversations to make sure there is consensus about what success looks like from your marketing efforts. It even goes beyond that because to get the data you need and the broad levels of support required to make it work will need help from sales, accounting, finance and IT. You have to think about this like an engineering project - what information do you need, who has it, how do you get it, where does it go, and what do you do with it to make it usable and actionable. This can truly be a fundamental change for your marketing organization but that change does not come without discomfort and reevaluation.
Once you have a defined set of measurable objectives the next steps is setting the metrics that will used to show the progress your business demands. For example, if your marketing objective is to drive quality leads that result in incremental revenue you have to define a lead generation process - where leads come from and the best sources of them, how many are you getting right now, how many are converting and what are the reasons for conversion, and how do you track leads through the system to account for that incremental revenue. And this is just for one objective and doesn't account for all the channels you have to impact. Easy in theory but very tough in execution. Moving beyond your marketing hat is mandatory - you have to think like a business person and begin to build the marketing world in which you want to live.
So...how do you do that? Tune in for part 2!