In any good manufacturing or software business, there will be rigorous quality assurance processes to make sure every product is up to standard. The quickest way to lose a customer is to fail to deliver on your promises. But if you measured every single thing, you'd never get your product out of the door. You couldn't test every keyboard that comes off the manufacturing line.
Instead you need to take meaningful measurements at regular intervals. You need to decide:
Just like you would check the quality of a product's components and subassemblies as well as the product as a whole, so too should you measure different elements of your marketing.
But marketing measurement doesn't have to be complex, especially if you know your way around an Excel spreadsheet.
Here's how to do it.
When do I test?
Firstly, you need to be checking the quality of each individual activity. These are your indicators.
Secondly, you need to be measuring the success of your marketing as a whole in terms of top-line sales. These are your outcomes.
As I've said before, your aim is to support prospects to become loyal customers. Therefore, you need to measure across the entire buying process.
How often do I test?
Next you need to work out how often to pull off your sample from the production line – or, in our case, some data from your marketing metrics.
If you measure too often you'll end up with far too much data to be useful. However, you want to measure frequently enough so that an issue doesn't go unnoticed for too long and cause major issues downstream.
For example, if your customers typically take 3 months to decide whether to buy from you then there is no point taking measures every day. The fluctuating numbers will be misleading, In this case, taking a measurement once a fortnight or once a month will provide a much clearer picture of whether your numbers are increasing or decreasing overall.
The question to ask is: how soon after a campaign can you judge its success? To answer this question, there are two numbers you need to know about your business:
Buying process timespan
This is the period from when a person first comes across your business to when they buy from you for the first time.
For my business, this can sometimes be a year or more. People need to be in the right position to want marketing consultancy and sometimes they meet me when the timing isn't right. For many other businesses, it isn't so long. And I've worked with clients that have longer buying process timespans than me.
This is the amount of time that a customer needs to spend actively considering their decision before they buy. "Attention timespan" might include time spent in the following ways...
Once you're in a routine of testing and measuring your marketing, you can use all this wonderful data to improve your processes. Feed it back into your assumptions, your strategy, your customer persona, and all the other elements of your marketing. By doing this you'll end up with a finely-tuned, efefctive marketing machine that will drive robust, sustainable sales for your business.
If you want to start implementing this process in your business to see robust, sustainable sales results, I'd love to help you. I usually start with a free 30-minute consulting call, so we can get to know each other and you can see what I'm like to work with. Then we'd talk about what you want to achieve in your business and see if I'm the right person to help you.
If this sounds interesting, please drop me a line. I'd love to see if I can help.
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