3 Essential Marketing Measurements for Every Fast-Growth Business
According to Gordon Bethune, the CEO who took Continental Airlines ‘from worst to first’, it’s impossible to achieve success in business if you don’t measure your performance. His mantra, “What gets measured, gets managed” is now regularly pronounced by consultants and the C-Suite alike when growth ambitions are on the agenda.
However, measuring performance is not likely to give us the results we are seeking if we don’t first consider the more important question : ‘What do we measure?’
Up until relatively recently, I would have put ‘Customer Engagement’ at the top of my own list of essential Marketing Measurements. However, my thinking completely changed after reading about Professor Byron Sharp’s book ‘How Brands Grow’.
This book is an absolute game changer as it uses hard data to smash many of the myths modern marketers hold dear to. He takes a rapier to the idea that we need to implement Loyalty Programs and go all out to win engagement from our customers via Facebook, Twitter et al. The professor uses hard research to conclude that brands are far more likely to grow when they focus on developing customer reach and brand awareness. It’s those customers who buy occasionally or who dine with us once or twice a year who are the most important ones to focus on. If you focus too much on your core of highly engaged customers, you’ll certainly win this group’s love and devotion but you’ll lose the opportunity to grow sales across the board. So below, I’ve now listed Brand Awareness as one of my top metrics to keep an eagle eye on.
According to Bethune, it’s also essential that we focus on measuring no more than three factors. If we spend time trying to gather too much information, we often end up slaves to, rather than masters of the measurement discipline.
So here we go. To follow are my top three marketing measurements for businesses who want to grow successfully and at speed.
#1 Brand Awareness
How many people are aware of your brand or business and by what number are you increasing your brand reach on a month-by-month basis? A quick fire way to establish reach on the web for medium to larger size businesses is to measure mentions of your brand name on Google using the free Google Trends tool. Simply add your brand name and perhaps compare it to your close competitors brand name to see how you’re faring. (see an example below comparing mentions over the past 5 years for some of London's craft breweries) If you work with a PR company, they can also provide more sophisticated brand awareness measurement scores by monitoring mentions in the press, media and online. Any small business can measure the size of its brand communication or advertising reach across email marketing and social media. Tools like www.Klear.com make it easy to measure your reach across Social Media channels for example. Twitter Analytics (a free service provided to anyone who signs up for advertising on the channel, whether you actually run an ad or not) show you how many people your tweets reached on a month-by-month basis. Facebook also provides these stats in their Insight panel for both organic and paid for posts. Reach or view measurements will be sourced from different places dependent on your marketing tactics. The main thing is work out which sources are most important for you and then to track them regularly.
If you offer a service or product of any kind, the level of complaints or returns will always give you a solid measure of your performance. Restaurants, for example, can measure complaints on social media, TripAdvisor and in venue. An e-commerce marketing team could measure delivery and product complaints that have been aired online.
Complaints rather than compliments can prove a very powerful measurement, as an unhappy customer is far more likely to spread the word about their dissatisfaction than a happy one. So measuring and managing out these issues is absolutely essential to business growth and improved performance.
Combining key measurements from marketing and operations will also increase the insights gained. Businesses ultimately fare best when they setup cross departmental review and information sharing.
Dependent on your size, you can look at a range of measures to track how well customers rate your business. Larger businesses can use the Net Promoter Score which tracks customers willingness to recommend a brand to their friends and family. Smaller businesses need to make sure they are listed on rating websites where customers can score the quality of their service. Again you’re looking at TripAdvisor or other dining recommendation sites for restaurants. Ratings offer the double advantage of both providing insights to the business that can be actioned and acting as a flag of quality to potential customers.
So, what do you currently measure within your business? And are those measurements giving you the best view of your business performance? If you would like support setting up a better marketing measurement systems within your business then why not give me a call to talk it through further.