The five ‘key’ measurables marketers need to ignore
Marketers, as we all know – even if you don’t really like to admit it – love to get their proverbial tape measure out.
If it moves, a marketer will measure it.
But, in a world full of things you could measure, are you really spending your time measuring the things you should?
There are some things in life we should measure.
When you’re getting a new TV set to fix to the wall of your home, you need to know it’s going to fit where you want it to, and not look stupidly big – or painfully small.
There are other things in life – many, many other things in fact – that we could measure. But probably shouldn’t, without good reason. Stop sniggering at the back. And the same applies in marketing.
So, here are five things you’re probably measuring now that you either need to stop altogether – or lace with a significant amount of context before you do anything with them …
Open and click through rates
Everyone loves a good open rate and click-through rate. Or click through open rate. And with good reason. They’re easy to get, easy to track, and – relatively – easy to impact positively.
But what do they really tell us? Our subject line worked. One of the headlines on one of our pieces of content worked. High five.
Now, if you’re a publisher selling ad spots based on traffic, great – these are the metrics for you.
If you’re a marketer, they’re not.
So, if you’re measuring opens and clicks, ask yourself the killer question. So what?
You might have built up a very engaged audience. Great. How many of them have inquired about a product? Or made a purchase? Or have advocated for you socially?
How do you know that the 25 per cent of people on your database who opened your EDM are the right customers? What is their spending power? Purchasing history? What did they go on to do with your brand?
A luxury car showroom could attract 100 fresh-out-of-college graduates to look at their six-figure cars, but would likely be better off welcoming in three multi-millionaires.
The same principle applies here.
Unless you know who clicked – and why, and what they subsequently did – open rates and click-throughs sound nice, but mean nothing.
Listen, social’s great. We get it. However, a lot of it is just not worth measuring. Your following for example … If you’re measuring or reporting your following in isolation, then please stop. Please. It’s meaningless. Instead, you need to apply some logic.
Measure the number of followers you have who are customers. The number who aren’t customers but fall into your ideal target demographic. The number of followers you’ve converted to customers. The number of people who live in a country or region that you realistically service.
So, if you’re measuring total followers as an end metric, starting looking deeper. Search through Google Analytics to discover whether your social media marketing or engagement has resulted in a sale or similar conversion to an end goal, and give that conversion a value.
Likewise, social interactions as a measurement (often plucked straight from an insights dashboard designed to show you just how valuable that platform is for you…) is hugely problematic.
Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica scandal underlined just how flawed and fraught social media is. And the number of dynamics at play – from lonely trolls after a bit of entertainment (DON’T FEED) to Russian students via a whole host of other variables, make it a pretty unreliable place.
Of course, context is everything. Recording the number of social conversations with customers that would otherwise have placed calls to a call center, for example, demonstrates value for the business. A social conversation with a potential customer that ended in a high-ticket sale, again - good.
A long conversation with a wind-up merchant – not so good.
However, depending on where the customer sits in the marketing funnel and what they know about your brand they won’t necessarily be in a position to be converted straight away. They will need nurturing on a range of channels. Engagement is a necessary metric here.
Growing a database is a relatively easy thing to do. A spot of paid social here, some Google ads there and all of a sudden you’ve increased your database by 25 per cent. Well. Done. You.
No, that’s only the start, and not something you should be paying particular attention to right now.
Instead, you need to move them into a mechanism of assessment – are they realistic short-medium term customers? Do they match an existing customer profile? Because that’s who you want, and that’s what you need to be measuring.
So instead of database growth, focus on measuring – and reporting – high quality leads instead. And use the profile information of that bunch to refine your social and Google campaigns.
Net Promoter Score
Let’s be clear, Net Promoter Score has a place – but only if that place is living on the Island of Context. Because, as we’ve explored previously NPS without context is pretty meaningless.
If you’re just measuring NPS then you’ve only taken one step on a pretty big old journey – you need to understand the what and the why. Then it becomes meaningful.
The prestigious London School Of Economics has linked an increase in NPS to growth in revenue. However, to make the good great, and turn the bad around, you need to know why customers or potential customers are giving you that score and change your business strategy accordingly.
So keep measuring away, but do so with context – only then will you get the insights you need to truly create change.
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