How (and Why) to Start Measuring Your Marketing
I recently read a startling statistic: 60 percent of marketers still don’t measure their marketing in any meaningful way. This comes from a Small Business Trends interview with Sam Mallikarjunan, principal marketing strategist of HubSpot.
To his point, I know of one business that measures the effectiveness of its PR by whether or not the phone rings after a story appears in the media.
While I understand why this might be the case for some small business owners, let’s take a moment for a reality check—this isn’t an effective strategy.
So, why is measurement important?
- Without it, how will you know if your efforts were worth it? Having some parameters in place to measure your initiatives will show whether you should continue with what you’re doing—or if you should change the strategy.
- The same goes for what isn’t working. If you know what didn’t work, you can change gears to move in a more effective direction. And, the parameters don’t have to be complicated.
How do I get started on measurement?
It starts with goals, says Jim Joseph, chief integrated marketing officer and president of the Americas for communications agency Cohn & Wolfe. Then you need to look at the elements that make up those goals, which can include anything that tracks your progress. For example, it could be the number of social media followers, the number of shares, or the rate of coupon redemption.
You also need to decide how often you’ll collect data to measure. Measuring on a monthly basis can be a good place to start. And, think about how you’ll measure. Using a dashboard or spreadsheet that allows you to easily capture your results works well and enables you to tweak your marketing plan accordingly.
When it comes to PR specifically, what’s a good way to measure? Say you want to attract visitors from a new vertical industry to your site or you want to increase the number of downloads of a published white paper or article. Results here can be tied directly to your bottom line.
If you’re able to earn media coverage through PR, you’ll want to be sure the piece includes a backlink to your site. What will this do? It will help increase your domain authority. Using a tool like MozRank, you can see your current domain authority score. If your PR efforts are successful in earning backlinks to your site, you may notice an increase in domain authority, which is another way to measure the effectiveness of your efforts.
If you work to align your overall business goals with your marketing and PR goals—then measure and track against those to see where you’re making progress—that can be the start of effective measurement.
Once you know what works, do more of that. Plan. Implement. Measure. Repeat what works. Don’t continue with something that isn’t working.
While measuring needn’t be overly complicated, considering it from the outset is a step you don’t want to miss.
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