Sometimes brands embrace new marketing campaigns as a Hail Mary effort to increase revenues. While new campaigns are always exciting, a lack of measurement and accountability means your marketing efforts can actually hurt you — and you probably won’t realize it until it’s too late.
As a growing business, you have to see revenues increase, or you’ll perish. So you have to ask yourself whether your marketing, in its current state, is helping you grow.
The only way to know for sure is to track your metrics. Key performance indicators, or KPIs, are essential metrics that help you understand where your budget and resources are best spent.
But not just any data points will do. Ninety-five percent of marketing professionals agree that KPIs need to tie into your broad business goals. By zeroing in on a brand’s vision to understand the target market, product positioning and more, you’ll arrive at a structured approach to marketing with built-in accountability.
While many brands track KPIs themselves, roadblocks often get in the way of real improvements. If you’re tracking your data, you have the power to overcome these obstacles. Understand how your brand can reverse these three marketing missteps to finally understand marketing success.
1. You don’t measure meaningful data
Seventy-six percent of marketers make decisions based on analytics. But what if your data is flawed? What if it isn’t telling the whole story?
For example, high acquisition costs and low client lifetime value are critical to your brand’s success. However, most marketing departments focus on KPIs that are easy to track but don’t affect the bottom line, like social media engagement or email open rates.
Marketers have to attribute their efforts directly to the bottom line with data that matters — otherwise, you can’t prove what’s moving the needle.
For proper marketing attribution, you need to track metrics that drive sales. This data is a better predictor of your marketing efforts than other KPIs. Instead of social media likes or website traffic, track metrics such as:
- Marketing leads
- Customer acquisition cost (CAC)
- Return on Advertising Spend (ROAS)
- Return on Marketing Investment (ROMI)
- Percentage WIG (Widely Important Goal) achieved
Keep in mind that metrics aren’t one size fits all. Your tactical metrics and lead generation metrics will differ significantly from other businesses. That’s especially true if you have a brand with multiple locations, like a restaurant or medical practice, and you want to compare performance between locations.
In addition to customized metrics specific to your business, a fractional chief marketing officer (CMO) will also help you optimize revenue growth, ROAS and more.
2. Your product or service doesn’t stand out
Sometimes the issue isn’t with your marketing. Brands sometimes have deeper problems with:
- Product-market fit
- The competitive landscape
- Audience expectations
It’s difficult to measure marketing success if there’s a mismatch between your solution and the market. If your product doesn’t stand out, you’re facing an uphill battle that will put your marketing resources to the test.
Your business is complex. That’s why a fractional CMO is the best solution for marketing woes: they address your problems holistically to get results across the business, not just in marketing.
yorCMO identifies inefficiencies with a proven process that includes:
- Analyzing your current metrics
- Studying your competitors
- Analyzing how your product is positioned to customers
- An audit of current marketing spend, tactics, and results
- Interviewing buyers and channel partners
You may need to fix underlying business issues before measuring your true marketing success. See more results from your marketing campaign with an expert CMO who identifies more opportunities for business-wide improvements.
3. You’re valuing vanity metrics
Are you focusing too much on vanity metrics? These fluffy KPIs are easier to track, but when it comes to ROI, they’re DOA — dead on arrival.
It’s difficult to attribute revenue to marketing efforts, so many marketing teams track vanity metrics to demonstrate their progress. This includes metrics like:
- Email open rates
- Video views
- Website traffic
- Bounce rates
- Time on site
These data points have some value, but they don’t give you a solid understanding of how marketing affects your earnings.
We recently optimized Google Ads for a client and dramatically increased their quality and number of leads. However, the client was hung up on their decreasing website traffic numbers. They were too focused on vanity metrics: these numbers made the client feel like they were making progress, but the KPIs actually did little for the business. By investing in a fractional CMO, the client moved past vanity metrics with unbiased, professional support that focused their efforts for success.
The solution to vanity metrics is shifting your attention to KPIs that matter. Growth-focused companies should focus on revenue-centric metrics to understand the actual value of their marketing. This includes metrics like:
- Percentage WIG
- Customer lifetime value
- Items per order
- Renewal rate
- Trial conversion rates
- Sentiment analysis
- Referral program growth
These actionable metrics show the productivity of your marketing team and the profitability of your investment in marketing. When in doubt, a fractional CMO can offer an expert outside opinion of which metrics would be most effective for your business.
The bottom line
ROI is a critical but elusive piece of the puzzle for marketers. The truth is that the right KPIs and metrics will make it easier to measure your marketing success so you invest your resources in what matters most. Find what works for your brand. Start by avoiding these three common missteps and optimizing your marketing efforts to drive real growth.
Fractional support is the best way to tap into the expertise of a CMO while optimizing your marketing resources. Thanks to their varied experience and proven processes, fractional CMOs deliver more for less. Get unbiased, professional help from C-suite marketers who are invested in your success: try yorCMO now.
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About the Authors:
CEO & Co-Founder of yorCMO
Jay Gordman is a successful 20+ year marketing professional helping companies across multiple industries grow revenue and profits using a broad range of marketing and sales strategies.
CMO and Co-Founder
Joseph is CMO and co-founder of yorCMO. In his role as CMO, he focuses his efforts on finding new CMOs to add to the yorCMO team, and developing their client marketing efforts. Prior to founding yorCMO in 2017, he began pioneering video for new media in 2007, writing the book, New Media Habits, and launching the first company to focus exclusively on new media video production in Omaha, NE.