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Guest blogger - Richard Hatheway, Director, Product Marketing at Itron
Marketing is a challenging and interesting profession. There are numerous areas of marketing specialization, hundreds of marketing technologies and thousands, if not millions of people identifying themselves as professional marketers around the globe. However, the number of those who deliver effective marketing activities, programs and campaigns are significantly less.
Why is that? Because too many marketers do not know how to track or measure the programs they have developed and delivered, so are unable to prove the value of marketing to the business. Instead of tracking, measuring, analyzing and reporting on metrics that indeed matter, such as the number of new contacts in the database or new requests for product samples, they rely on vanity or activity metrics, such as the number of page visits or clicks on a link.
Sadly, this is also the reason so many marketers are hired and fired each and every business day.
If this is true, then what needs to change? What can marketers do to perform the function of marketing more effectively? Simple. Follow the four steps outlined below.
Step 1: Track
You’ve successfully developed a marketing activity, program, campaign, or event, so now you need to know how you’re doing. The only way to do that is to track it. This means determining what the critical factors are that need to be tracked. These factors are known as metrics. You also need to be aware that these metrics are not constant, they are different for each and every marketing activity. You also need to determine the specific key performance indicators (KPIs) these metrics support.
For more on this topic, see my article (‘The Real Difference Between Metrics and KPIs’).
Step 2: Measure
Once you’ve determined what the relevant metrics for your marketing activity are, then you need to measure them. You must determine how often you measure them (frequency) and in what increments you measure them (are they time-based, number-based, etc.). You must also determine how you are going to capture these measurements for analysis (chart, graph, plot, etc.).
Step 3: Change
Once the steps above are completed, you are ready to analyze and evaluate the data to determine whether your marketing was successful or not. While all steps in TMCI are critical, this is possibly the most critical, as this is where you have an opportunity actually to make changes that will affect your marketing.
By evaluating the measurements you’ve taken versus the targets you’ve set, you gain insight into what is and is not working and can see what and where needs to be changed to make your marketing more effective.
Step 4: Improve
The last step is to use the information you’ve gathered and analyzed to make the necessary change(s) to improve your marketing.
That’s it. It’s not complicated or confusing.
While these steps should be obvious, especially to marketing professionals, unfortunately, they often are not. That’s why I developed the acronym TMCI, to help you remember the steps to take.
TMCI: Track, Measure, Change, Improve
If you don’t track it, you can’t measure it
If you don’t measure it, you can’t change it
If you don’t change it, you can’t improve it
By following these simple steps, you will improve your marketing, be able to demonstrate the value of marketing to the business, and become a more accomplished marketing professional.