marketing efficiency

No matter the size of your marketing team, you want your time, energy, and resources to be spent as wisely as possible. That’s why more organizations are focused on improving their marketing efficiency.

Marketing efficiency is all about minimizing the amount of work and resources spent while increasing output. It’s how companies can achieve maximum effectiveness without overworking employees or overblowing their budgets.

To measure efficiency, companies use what’s called a marketing efficiency ratio (MER), which, in the simplest terms, is the total amount of revenue divided by the total marketing spend.

Let’s cover several additional ways to actually calculate marketing efficiency, and then we’ll share five methods to improve your marketing efficiency.

Measurements for Capturing Marketing Efficiency

Before you take the steps to improve your marketing efficiency, you need to assess the data that shows where you are now—and then look at those same measurements again once you’ve adopted new strategies.

Cost per action or cost per acquisition are two similar rates that can help your marketing team determine how much their efforts are actually costing. Look at which marketing campaigns are yielding more favorable ratios, and work together to find out what’s causing the differences.

Click-through rates are another quick way to understand if your marketing efforts are truly landing with your audience. See what could be contributing to different rates, and focus efforts on projects and best practices that give you better numbers.

Conversion rates are a fast, simple way of figuring out which marketing actions are creating more sales. Compare these numbers with other marketing campaigns to see what’s driving the results you’re looking for.

Finally, your return on investment (ROI) will tell you how your marketing investments are affecting your overall revenue. 

Let’s talk about ways to improve each of these rates.

Related: From Impressions To Conversions: How To Track Your Marketing Effectiveness and ROI

Know What Your Audience Really Needs

Efficiency in marketing goes beyond numbers; it’s about creating meaningful connections with your audience and providing them with the products or solutions they’re looking for.

Take the time to map out your buyer personas and conduct customer surveys to figure out what challenges your customers are facing, what their needs are, what obstacles you’ll have to address to get them to make a purchase, and what’s appealing to them about similar offerings in the market. These surveys should be quick, easy, and, ideally, incentivized, so you get as many answers as possible. 

Another way to better know your audience is by conducting buyer interviews. Unlike surveys, which require a large sample size, buyer interviews focus on asking a smaller number of the right customers more targeted answers, such as: “What triggers you to buy something?” or “What keeps you from completing a purchase?”

The results of your buyer interviews will tell you if your product is appealing, how effective your messaging is, and what you can do to remove hurdles between your customer and your next closed sale. 

yorCMO can conduct buyer interviews for you and give you the information you need to make more strategic marketing decisions. Click here to learn more.

Related: Don’t Guess How Customers Decide: Do Buyer Interviews

Try A/B Testing in More Places

Generally, companies know the value of A/B testing in ad campaigns. But this proven tactic is great to use in subject lines, images, calls to action, and other areas of your marketing campaign. By hitting the same audience with different content “tests,” you’ll get a better read on what’s more effective.

Make sure to practice continuous A/B testing to drive the best results possible, and keep track of best practices that regularly result in the best outcomes. Inform your team of messaging that works and what to avoid, so your efforts are spent in the best possible ways.

Automate When You Can

Your team’s creativity can be spent when they’re focused too much on laborious, time-consuming projects. AI and automation can empower your team with more time to do what matters, while software programs take care of common marketing tasks.

AI and automation tools can help you do things like lead scoring, or assign a value to each lead that tells you whether or not it’s worth pursuing. 

You can also use automation to send cart abandonment emails incentivizing or reminding customers to return to your eCommerce site and complete their purchase. 

Similarly, retargeting email campaigns can automatically help you reach out to customers who have been inactive for a while and give them a new, enticing reason to reconnect with your brand. You can even use

You can even automate many of your cold outreach efforts to reach more prospects with less effort, giving you a bigger pool of leads to convert.

Related: The Symbiotic Relationship Between AI and CMOs

Experiment with Form Factors and New Channels

If you repeatedly use the same marketing channels and push out the same content, you’re unlikely to see major changes in your marketing efficiency. 

“Death by PDF” is a phrase many of us have heard in reference to lengthy, unappealing papers, but the same principle applies to any overused, underperforming content medium. Try new form factors, such as shortened one- or two-pagers, infographics, interactive slideshows, webinars, or blogs—all of which could include the same kind of information but deliver that information in interesting, digestible ways.

Another thing to experiment with is where your content will be seen. If you’ve used the same channels repeatedly, broaden your horizons and test which kinds of form factors perform best on different channels. 

Related: Optimizing D2C Growth: Experimentation & Learning Essentials

Stay Efficient with the Right Leadership

Making sure your marketing efforts are as efficient as possible often comes down to having strong marketing leadership that can guide your strategy and help you identify not just what is and isn’t working—but why.

A fractional CMO can be especially useful if you’re trying to optimize your marketing budget. Through the shared cost model, you only pay part of what you would spend on a full-time CMO while reaping all the benefits of a seasoned expert.

As your fiduciary partner, a fractional CMO works alongside your company, performs a marketing audit, creates a tailored marketing strategy to address your unique goals, and stays around to make sure the strategy is carried out.

Need Help Building and Executing Your Strategy?

Knowing what to prioritize in your marketing efficiency strategy can be tough.

You need to make each move you make is calculated and successful, but you also have to balance experimentation with proven tactics.

Fractional CMO with over 26 years of experience in marketing, I’ve helped organizations like yours build and execute marketing strategies from scratch. I can help you determine areas of inefficiency in your current approach and carve out new, high-yield campaigns that will have you operating at your full potential.

Set up time with me to talk through your current approach and any challenges you’re facing in more detail. We’ll create a roadmap for success together.

Dave Blanchard



Dave has contributed leadership in a broad variety of roles and business units over a 26 year marketing career with a Fortune 50 Technology Market Maker.