Okay, I confess: I was a bad dog. Recently, I was off exploring while my human was calling me repeatedly, and I didn’t come. Even when he raised his voice, I ignored him. In my defense, I was completely enthralled with a couple of tantalizing ducks waddling just out of my reach, practically begging to be chased. This caused me to temporarily forget my name. Nonetheless, when my frustrated human finally caught up with me, I felt bad. Noticing his muddy shoes made me feel worse. My guilty face says it all.
As it turns out, guilt is good. It makes us realize that we did something wrong and encourages us to change our behavior. In other words, it makes us accountable for our actions. Of course, too much guilt is unhealthy – it reminds me of those poor little dogs who walk around with their tail between their legs all the time. Not good.
Now, you might be asking, what does this have to do with marketing? Well, most marketers are under a lot of pressure to demonstrate ROI. Apparently, humans are inundated with loads of data these days, which means you can track results (I love tracking). It also means you can be held accountable for those results. If your campaigns don’t measure up, you might feel bad, and since your face is probably not as cute as mine (no offense) you can’t simply give your boss a sad look and be forgiven. (Seriously, who could stay mad me?)
Your only option to avoid guilt and its repercussions is to design marketing campaigns with specific goals and metrics in mind. I did a little digging (one of my best skills) and found some tips to help in this endeavor:
- Understand what you (or your boss) want. It’s hard to be “a good dog” unless someone defines what that means. If I don’t know what my humans want, how can I try to please them? Likewise, how can you determine if a campaign is successful if you don’t define the goals beforehand? The first step in any campaign is to outline exactly what you hope to accomplish and make sure those goals align with your overall strategy.
- Determine which stage of the sales and marketing funnel you are targeting. Goals at the top of the funnel usually involve increasing awareness and building brand image. Metrics at this stage include more people sniffing out your website, increased followers and new subscribers to your blog. Moving farther down the funnel, you’re looking for engagement, which can be measured by open rates, re-shares, increased traffic, more pages per visit, longer time spent viewing pages, decreased bounce rates and opt-ins for gated content. Near the bottom of the funnel, marketing efforts are more closely tied to revenues. You can gauge success by how well you’re maintaining interest and leading prospects toward a purchase (like using a leash, which I personally find unnecessary, or a trail of treats). Measurements at this stage might include how many visitors return to your site, the number of qualified leads you’re obtaining, lower costs per lead, and of course, conversions or increased sales.
- Don’t abandon customers after the sale. Once a marketer hands off a lead to the sales team, they might think their job is over, but it shouldn’t be. I learned in my puppy training class that follow-through is important – it’s not enough to fetch the ball, you must also drop it (even though it’s more fun to play keep away). Similarly, a good marketing campaign will nurture the relationship after the sale, like a good scratch behind the ears. If you’re doing this right, you can expect shorter sales cycles, increased retention rates, more up-selling or cross-selling of products and services, and customer loyalty.
Even with today’s sophisticated marketing tools and analytics, it can still be challenging for marketers to demonstrate ROI. However, that doesn’t mean you should stop trying. (Rolling over is very difficult, but I haven’t given up!) Knowing your campaign didn’t achieve the defined goals may cause you to feel guilty, but it also gives you an opportunity to make changes for future success. Whatever you do, don’t tuck your tail between your legs and give up!
(My humans can help you design awesome marketing campaigns and measure success with marketing automation. Give my friend Jeremy Sterling a call at 734-546-5434 to get the scoop.)