Marketing results matter and the same is true for life. Because nowadays results matter more than effort.
I sent my teenager to her room last week…
I don’t really do that a lot. But the more I think about what happened, the more I realize what a favor I was doing her in preparing her for today’s world.
Trying Really, Really Hard Doesn’t Cut It
If you’re like me, you probably ask your kids to do a lot less than you had to do growing up.
One of the few responsibilities she has is cleaning up the kitchen after meals. And just to be clear, she normally gets multiple members to pitch in clearing and putting things away. In the end, though she’s the one that loads the dishwasher and wipes down all the counter space.
So, here we are on a night like most others. And she’s “done.”
You know, teenager-done.
And she’s ready to do something else. So, trying to have one of those super Dad moments, I put on my “coach” voice and say that I need her to finish her job… That I need her to put away all her supplies.
And then, because she’s looking at me like I’ve lost my mind, I show her how the sink she had recently walked away from as done had been left with food all over it.
And that’s when it happened.
She grew upset, and with an outburst that got her sent away from me, she says, “I tried really hard.”
Those four words were so telling.
“I Tried Really Hard” Doesn’t Work in Marketing
You see, I was supposed to be okay with how things were because she tried. Because she put forth some effort.
And that’s when it really happened. I realized how the clients we serve feel. Because as business people and marketers it’s easy to do something very similar when we report on marketing results.
The client’s not happy so our M.O. is to present them with documentation of all the time and effort that was put into things.
They didn’t receive all they hoped, so now there’s an explanation of how the team went through a checklist of things they said they would do. There’s a recitation of how they met the T’s and C’s of their statement of work as if that itself was proof of marketing results.
So sorry it didn’t turn out as you hoped… Actually, I’m not sure that anyone says sorry, truly.
Measuring Time and Effort: A Misguided Marketing Strategy
Once upon a time, not so long ago, time and effort were what was measured. But not anymore.
And truth be told, the struggle is real. For nearly a decade I’ve fought tooth and nail to not be an organization that focused on time or a checklist of things. Rogue would focus on an outcome and care far less about the time the team might overserve to get there.
My experience was that when you asked people to report on time, that’s what you got… a watched clock and an emphasis on proving that a person was busy and valuable.
I didn’t want to be like the lawyer that gets paid for time spent rather than winning the case… or the therapist who charges by the session, not whether you come out of your depression or whether the marriage you want to piece together survives.
It’s purely an equation of time, not outcomes. And when that’s the case, what’s the true incentive?
The Kind of Time that DOES Matter to Marketing Results
At Rogue, I’ve seen that while the trajectory of marketing results is nearly always positive for the clients we serve, outcome achievement may take longer than originally thought.
And that’s where I’ve found trouble may begin to brew.
Suddenly there’s a doubt as to whether the client got what they paid for.
An accounting of hours ensues. And then comes the questioning of how long an action should take… and who deems what’s reasonable?
Time for Marketing Results to Simmer
Like the snowball that gets bigger as it continues to roll on itself down the hill, that’s what optimized and strategic marketing efforts can produce with the passing of time.
AND that kind of time DOES matter.
Just like sales, marketers have to build a relationship too and that can happen quickly, but it’s not overnight and it may take longer than three months. If you see trajectory and engagement trending in the right way, now you need to give it time to simmer.
This kind of time indicates progress and produces outcomes.
Marketing Today: Obsession with Time and Effort
But that’s not the kind of time most of the industry focuses on. And to be fair, it’s not completely our fault.
It requires patience and vision from business leaders to look further down the road with their marketing strategies and not have the dollar-in, two-dollars-out mentality right from the start. And so what we’re left with is an industry that still behaves as though value is best depicted in time and effort.
Perhaps you’re promoting it and don’t even realize it.
Communicating Value Using Results-Based Language
I see it all the time as I review resumes.
And if you’re brave enough, I challenge you to pull out your resume and notice just how much space is given to words like focused on, led, employed, responsible for, managed, oversaw, and supported.
This is a value depiction based on effort and time. And occupying a chair doesn’t mean anything anymore, especially in results marketing.
What we should be doing is communicating from a higher value point with terms like delivered, created, built, invented, sold, made, authored… you get the idea. And so will your client.
Simply trying, and dedicating time, is no longer enough. Outcomes matter. Those that embrace that reality will be better set up to win today.
Tracking Marketing Results for Your Marketing Strategies
In order to report on marketing results, your marketing team has to know your results. Makes sense?
Tracking results, from marketing sales to further up-funnel metrics, can take many forms. There are a zillion metrics you could choose from, and every client needs a custom set of metrics to view. But still, something has to be tracked.
Let’s take a look at the importance of tracking marketing metrics and the broader categories of metric types.
Tracking Marketing KPIs
Results marketing requires a specific, real number to be measured and reported. Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are a way to monitor the performance of marketing efforts against a defined marketing strategy.
While marketing can be unpredictable at times, and people respond to brands in inherently subjective ways, KPIs give a tangible understanding of marketing results.
Determining what KPIs to focus on and then tracking them closely will help measure success.
Content Marketing Statistics
Even content marketing, which is not always tied to lead generation, can be measured and tracked.
Determining key content marketing statistics can support and explain marketing campaigns. Marketers may have fancy funnels and diagrams explaining how much every stage of the journey has its place, but some hard data is necessary to show marketing results, no matter what the metric is.
In turn, this can lead to sales and lead generation success.
Video Marketing Statistics
Video Marketing has a powerful marketing technique of appealing towards and converting your target audience to a video audience.
The figures shown below will help you understand how consumers see ad campaigns.
Email marketing statistics
Email marketing remains one method best in your business to maintain relationships with customers.
Search Engine Traffic
Search engine traffic is one type of attention a company is getting by producing marketing campaigns inspired by Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Ranking high up in Google search results for valuable keywords can mean a lot of traffic, and if your strategy is on point, a lot of the right traffic.
Marketing KPIs: The Best Metrics to Track for Marketing Results
Marketing Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) help marketing teams and clients align on what data points are is most important to marketing results and business success. Let’s take a look at both the most popular and most useful KPIs to track.
Bounce rates are calculated by dividing that number by the number of bounces on a site. Good customer service can make a customer more loyal to you.
Your conversion rate is the percentage of visitors to your site that complete a specific goal. The higher your conversion rate, the more efficient your converting apparatus.
It’s difficult to know how much marketing you need. Other companies require more of their capital while others must allocate only a fraction of their budget. Your expenses should include advertising marketing materials (this includes your website), your sales staff, etc.
This is a more detailed measure of page view if viewed page-by-page on site.
Unique visitors are the total number of people who visit your website to date. It is not the same as visits because this data includes first-time visitors and returning visitors.
Cost Per Lead
You will need to estimate the amount you spent acquiring customers for CRM advertising. Divide the amount that you use on your ads by the amount of new lead you obtained.
This assessment can increase revenue when evaluated closely by marketers. You have to know that people will buy your products. You measure pipeline growth from recently closed transactions, the reason for loss of contract, the average cycle of a sale, and how soon leads are circulating in the sales pipeline.
Conclusion: Marketing Results vs Marketing Efforts
I’d love to hear what you’ve seen.
How are you bridging the gap between effort and results? I know that we’ve found that we have a tendency to overserve and not have a client value that results do take time.
Personally, my marketing team is in the midst of a time recording exercise to better understand ourselves and uncover what it takes to achieve certain outcomes… But it’s a genuine struggle to remind ourselves to stay above the time fray and to not do it like every other marketing agency or consultancy.
After all, it’s a whole lot easier to grow upset knowing we are genuinely trying… forgetting that the real world increasingly seeks results, not effort.