Tag Archives: ROI

Nicola Peaty

Understanding the Fundamentals of Marketing Analytics

By Nicola Peaty

“If you can’t measure it, don’t do it.” Words from the Marketing Director, which will stay with me forever since my days in a centralised marketing department. Gone were the times of ‘how can we spend this money on hospitality, glossy brochures and a few events?’. Now it’s all about accountability, budget justification and ROI.

Analytics have become the solution, largely thanks to online data. So every marketer should be equipped with the facts and figures, which hold the answers to all marketing activities. Every activity should be measured, monitored and assessed for its performance compared to its objective.

Before you immerse yourself in the vast world of data, take time to stop and decide what you fundamentally need for the business. What data actually matters and is meaningful to you? There is so much available you could spend a lot of wasted time tracking the number of everything, when potentially you may need to know the WHO rather than the HOW MANY. This is vital so that you can then set up exactly what you need in terms of data collation, the reporting process and the ongoing analysis to then understand implications and implement improvements.

Marketing activities: Website analytics are of course fundamental in understanding every part of activity that occurs in the main hub of your online presence. Understanding the effectiveness of your website will help feed into the all other activity you carry out online. Every company should have a definitive list of KPIs they require for their website. But when it comes to marketing analytics, the list of marketing KPIs can run on and on. See example:

web vs marketing

So it’s important to decide from the outset, which marketing analytics your company really needs. That comes down to the requirements of the marketing plan. Activities and their analytics should inevitably be chosen to meeting your company’s specific goals.

The next question is, does each activity have a target and if so how? Is this based on previous activities or are they aspirational figures. Setting realistic measures is vital for all concerned. Then you have a genuine basis to compare your data results.

Finding out as much as possible before launching into any activity will ultimately help you get the best results. Assessing all previous marketing will give you the insight to shape and determine the specifics of any campaign. For example:

* If you have set up an SEM campaign, maybe to a specific landing page, what are your aims in terms of traffic or a call to action? Who responds best in your market and what incentive or hook will trigger the required action?
* If you have an email campaign planned, do you know the optimum ways of getting the best results eg type of message to type of audience, sent at the best time of day, to get most response?
* If you are launching a competition via social media, which platforms will you include to draw the best response and interaction?
Knowing the answers to the above questions really build marketing intelligence and thereby demonstrates the importance of choosing the right analytics.

Market analytics: Understanding important data related to your market will also give you useful facts about your audience. Profiling your customers into the highest buyers and most valuable clients will allow you to focus different activities on them compared to lapsed and new customers. So looking at your data, or gaps in your data, do you know the following:

* who is visiting your site
* who is actually purchasing form your site
* who is the most interactive on your social media
* who are the advocates and share your content
* who prefers face to face meetings
* who complains to customer services
* who likes to receive emails
* who unsubscribes to promotional emails

Knowing your market also includes the competition. Research and market share can give the analysis to understand whether the market is shifting, if there are any new opportunities or potentially any loss or gain in certain products/services. Plus it’s important to gauge their marketing activity and online presence and what type of campaigns they are implementing to attract certain customers.

Put this type of data together with your customer profiles and you have yourself some powerful intelligence to keep your company, and marketing, ahead of the curve and of the competition.

The holistic review: A lot of time can be spent analysing the finer details of certain data, but it also has to be assessed as part of the bigger picture. This means pulling together the findings of everything that you have decided is important for your business and learning from the implications this includes:

* the marketing performance across all activities,
* the marketing performance across all channels,
* the response from marketing campaigns across all departments involved eg sales, customer services,
* the performance from past to present marketing,
* the response from segments in your market,
* the activity from the competition,
* the response of the market from activity from the competition.

All the above will feed into your future activities, plans and strategies. You can then test and evaluate new and existing ideas, based on solid facts and figures, and build on these as you develop more and more intelligence.

Process: The final part of the analytical equation is implementing the process within your company. Everyone involved must be briefed into their part of the process and how they feed into the overall data collation and objectives. Dedicated staff are now employed to handle data analytics, but other departments play their part such as sales, customer services, market research and even IT and accounts.

Technology is so advanced in helping with data collection, analysis and predictions, but you obviously need the experts to help manage and decipher the findings. You can use anything from Google analytics to content management scoring and predictive conversion rates to planned ROI. As long as you know the following, you can establish a basic but comprehensive marketing analytics action plan:

* exactly which data you need,
* how best to collect the required data,
* how to report on the findings of the data,
* learning and Implications of data findings for the business.

Here’s a useful infographic about the analytics based online marketing and how it works:

analyticsbased-online-marketing--how-it-works_50291ccca42e5_w587

How to grow your business with social media



Paul Streeter

Top Tips…10 Reasons Not To Stop Advertising When Times Get Tough

By Paul Streeter

Stop Advertising! Definitely the wrong strategy during a recession.What’s that old saying…fortune favours the brave? I have always understood the sentiment but have realised that our current economic situation really puts it into context. We’re in the deepest recession in living memory, yet now is the time to invest in promotional activity and not reduce or cut it from the budget. Here are 10 reasons why you should rethink your strategy:  

  1. Whether business is good or slow, you have to get your share of whatever is around. Cutting back on your advertising puts you at a disadvantage at the very time when you need an edge. Increasing your advertising gives you that edge.
  2. In times of uncertainty, buyers are careful and a little reluctant to spend. They want to be sure before they buy; they want information. One of the ways they get information about products, services, prices and value is from advertising. Yours – or somebody else’s.
  3. Perhaps you think others in your line are going to cut back their advertising so it’s safe for you to do so. Right? Wrong. You’re in competition for the buyer’s £/$ with every other company in town, no matter what he sells. People only have so much to spend and if they don’t spend it on what you sell, they’ll spend it on something else.
  4. Slow time ahead? Perhaps, but people still need and want goods and services and will spend for them. There is plenty of business to get. Your competitors will be bidding for their share – and yours.
  5. You can’t do much about most factors in the market-place – rent, labour costs, prices and what the competition will do. But one thing you do control is your own promotion. Remember that advertising is not just a cost of doing business. It is a proven sales tool that returns many times your investment in customer traffic and sales.
  6. Remember how long it took you to get started? Once you build up a business, you can keep it going with a moderate consistent advertising programme. But if you cut your advertising and lose your hold on the market’s awareness, you’ll find it’s much harder to build it up again. It’s rather like starting all over again.
  7. Your advertising is part of your sales force. Advertisements help to pre-sell the customer and help you close the sale faster. What saves you time saves you money.
  8. You say your customers know you and will wait for a while. At least they’ll keep contacting you even if you don’t promote. That’s partly true but short-sighted. Remember people are always moving in and out of the area. So there’s a steady flow of your customers going out of your market and a corresponding influx of people who don’t know you at all. Tell them about yourself.
  9. Here’s a hard fact to consider. Over any given period, a company that advertises below the industry average has sales that are below the industry average.
  10. Advertising is news – about products and services. Most customers look for news of this kind in the media, both online and print. In good times, businesses often experiment with other options (events, for example), but when the going gets tough, they concentrate their efforts in print /online because it provides an immediate pay-off at the cash register.

Paul Streeter – Associate, VG&A

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vaughan Gordon

Top Tips…7 Ways To Kick Start B2B Sales Teams

By Vaughan Gordon

A thought-provoking article from Marketo…Top tips to optimise your demand generation strategies:

B2B sales forces have multiple challenges to contend with in today’s digital marketplace. Lead generation now requires an understanding of new channels and changing buyer behaviour.

Because sales has changed so drastically – with the buyer driving the decision making process, teams have to tap into ever expanding opportunities to meet consumers in all stages of the sales process.

To invigorate your sales efforts, try these 7 ways to kick-start your sales team:

  1. Align with marketing – Get your sales department on the same page with marketing when defining what your company’s ideal leads look like. Better communication between departments, means less leads left sitting on the table because they were marked as ‘not a fit’. More collaboration also leads to improved revenue forecasting because sales can get a more complete picture of prospects yet to enter the sales funnel during forecasted periods.
  2. Use automation – Take advantage of the newest software that streamlines sales processes. Everything from instant notification when prospects are clicking on your landing page, to alerts when they open their targeted emails will keep your sales force ready for real time interaction with leads.
  3. Utilize Sales 2.0 – The dynamics of sales continue to evolve and within the Sales 2.0 arena, there are new and better ways to fine-tune the entire sales process from lead generation through sales conversion. Sales 2.0 shows when leads are ready for sales, allows sales to interact with potential customers via technology such as social media and makes it easier for sales to pass back leads to marketing for better lead nurturing and scoring.
  4. Optimize your website – Improve your website effectiveness through landing page software that creates pages with clear messages, content that motivates prospects to act, and contextual language that clearly relates to your ad copy. Tap the sales teams for prospect hot buttons or consistent questions so marketing can create landing pages that compel the prospect and provide more engaged leads.
  5. Track your efforts – Using software that helps tracks leads through the sales process and report back to both the sales and marketing team about average time-to-close and conversion rates. Doing so will help everyone understand the current situation and what part they play in adjusting for better results.
  6. Leverage Social Networks – Allow your sales team to use social networks throughout the day to connect with target audiences, answer questions popping up in conversations and ultimately understand the prospect better.According to a recent Forrester survey, 57% of shoppers use recommendations in the decision making process. By including satisfied customer comments on your various social network profiles and landing pages, you offer shoppers the number one tool they like to use right off the bat.
  7. Stay Educated – Ensure your sales team is subscribed to industry (or even company) blogs so that they understand the changing industry landscape. Having the information delivered directly via email or an RSS feed reduces the time it takes to search for valuable content. Encourage sales people to bookmark industry studies, case studies so when they are speaking to a very savvy prospect they can cite industry statistics. To stay ahead of the crowd, sales professionals have to stay engaged with company messaging, marketing initiatives and industry information.

Whether your sales force is spread over wide geographical areas or housed in one central location, knowing how to motivate and spread enthusiasm across the board is key. When you offer sales people new ways to be informed and efficient, you’ll find them more prepared to take their performance and your ROI to the next level.

To learn more about lead generation and how it impacts on your revenue cycle, subscribe to the Modern B2B marketing Blog RSS feed or follow Marketo on Twitter. Conversely, take a look at VG&A’s whitepapers on Demand Generation.

First posted: 10 Feb 2011 09:50 AM PST by Maria Pergolino