I believe in metrics. Not the metric system, mind you, but good measurements of where we are and what progress we are making towards achieving our goals. In marketing, that can be very difficult in some situations. However, I think that in the world we live in today, it is more important than ever to be able to measure the results of marketing campaigns and other initiatives.
Of course, the ultimate measurement in my opinion is revenue. If you can tie your marketing expenditure to a revenue figure, it is easy from there to assess the value of the marketing function and/or personnel. However, that is not always easily done.
Easiest to measure are the “activities” and “artifacts” of marketing: how many brochures did we send out? What was the response to our most recent email campaign? How many leads did we capture at that trade show? We can even get into things like measuring the quality of the leads captured. I’ll do another post on lead scoring, because I think that is of critical importance.
How about market share? How do people measure that? Easy, right? All you have to know is how many customers you have in a particular market, and the total size of that market. This is where it becomes more difficult. We don’t always know the size of the market and can therefore not put an accurate number in the denominator position.
In a recent company I worked for, we were fortunate enough to be able to define the exact size of the market. It just so happened that one of our markets was aviation regulators in every country around the world. That is a limited, and manageable number. Although you might be surprised at how difficult it is to define “country.” We did still have to make a few assumptions, but arrived at a reasonable conclusion. I created a list of what we defined as “countries” along with some details for additional grouping, like geographic region, population size, etc. This was the denominator.
We used SalesForce.com as our CRM system, and with some tweaking of what data fields were used for our contacts, leads, opportunities and customers, I could match those lists to our “total market” and get quick results on market share in total (number of customers), but also where we were at the various points of the sales funnel by looking at contacts, leads and opportunities.
I could also look at it with the additional data included and see how we were doing in any particular geographic region or by companies of particular sizes.
Using and understanding the data in this way allowed our sales team to gain additional insights on where they should be focusing and where they might not want to waste their time.