Apr 24, 2017
I recall sitting in a rather tense meeting with a “management” team, discussing where things had gone wrong (read: who’s to blame). We had some metrics of varying degrees of believability in front of us (leads who we think had taken “the next step,” people on the precipice of purchase, people who had maybe actually purchased). But there was no data on incoming leads, which just happened to be strong for some programs.
When I pointed out that we were missing some important information, the immediate response (from a marketing consultant, no less) was, “We are not here to celebrate ‘false victories.’ “Marketing owns the customer goal, and that’s what we are trying to address here.”
He sure won points with the CEO, but missed my point in a big way.
Measuring effectiveness and diagnosing lead lifecycle issues depend on a full spectrum of data. That does not mean you have to log every piece of data available (I once suffered through a leadership team convinced the next measurement was wind speed/direction and how it affected hourly sales), but staring at a single bad number won’t give you the information needed to fix it.
You certainly need to know:
- What and how many are going in “the box”;
- What is happening inside the box;
- How many come out of the box the “right way”; and
- How many run out the side door.
Five to seven data points that fall into all these categories should give you the ability to start a diagnosis. Pinpointing (and solving) those issues will almost certainly require a deeper data dive, but that dive must be focused and strategic – not haphazard or based only on the data that is easiest to access (or the least political).
The other obvious reality in my example above is that the “leadership” team was more focused on the blame game than diagnosis and recovery. No matter how pristine and prolific your data may be, it will never survive THAT environment. Data should not be used as a weapon. But that’s a topic for another post.
In short: Don’t overcomplicate measurement. Well-placed data across the spectrum will give you the guidance you need to dive in and solve problems, whether they are confined to a single marketing campaign, or are affecting the customer lifecycle of your organization.
Dave Freeman is a marketing communications professional with more than twenty years of leadership experience in companies of all sizes, with particular expertise in lead generation and management, marketing operations management, turnaround management, marketing/advertising, brand research and management, public relations, and communications metrics and analytics.