November 20, 2012 \ Geoff Birmingham
Metrics for Marketing

The Sloan School and AMA Boston recently hosted a panel discussion on the subject of metrics in marketing.  The three panelists had plenty of ideas to share, summarized below.

Branding. Metrics help you evaluate the health of your brand and identify how you should be allocating your marketing resources.

Moving the needle. You can define the key things that matter in your business, identify the metrics to measure those factors, measure those metrics every day, and see if you are moving the needle in a positive direction.

Focusing on the right things. We must, however, make sure to be focusing on the right metrics. Too often marketers focus on the wrong one, like percent of click-throughs, rather than what people are doing after the click-through.

Causation rather than correlation. And we must not be tempted to attribute a sale to one specific tactic (causation) rather than recognizing that multiple tactics probably had an influence on the decision to buy (correlation).

Sales and marketing alignment. Sales and marketing often are not on the same page within companies, and metrics can be used to align the two activities. With the help of metrics, everyone can agree upon the definition of a “good lead.”

Localized modelling. Use metrics to help you understand why people are not interested in what you have to offer. In other words, don’t spend money marketing to people who are already buying from you, but try to understand why the reasons why others are not.

If it makes sense. The panelists suggested that there seems to be something of a trend away from “hard-core ROI,” and a shift toward “if it makes sense.” We all know of certain marketing activities, based on our experience, that are valuable but can’t be measured. So don’t let metrics stifle creativity.