Check out our second Guide in this essential series!
It’s (Almost) All About Results
Marketing departments are now under more pressure than ever to deliver results that can be tangibly measured. Although creative, or “brand,” marketing still exists as a subset of the marketing profession, today’s marketers are expected to fill the sales pipeline and demonstrate that outbound marketing efforts are having a clear impact on deals won and revenue generated.
What to Measure When You Measure
Now, it’s true that different companies may consider marketing programs successful for different reasons. But there are a few core metrics that most organizations assess and value when it comes to determining the impact of their online and content marketing programs.
Most organizations today measure:
- Email opens: How many recipients of an email campaign actually opened the email?
- Click-through rate: What percentage of those who opened the email actually clicked a link or button within the email to take advantage of the offer?
- Form conversion rate: What percentage of those who clicked through actually finished the process by completing a form?
Tracking marketing effectiveness by these measures helps marketing departments determine whether their campaigns have been successful in compelling prospects to take a desired action. Marketers can then fine-tune their strategies in the midst of a campaign while keeping executive management posted on how Marketing is helping to fill the sales pipeline.
But only form conversions provide any insight into how many leads are actually being generated. And none of these metrics offer a view of how marketing campaigns impact revenue. That’s why marketers need an even higher level of analysis.
Taking the Next Step with “Closed Loop Marketing”
As the practice of online marketing continues to evolve, marketers need more sophisticated ways of measuring the effectiveness of their programs. To truly understand the effectiveness of any marketing campaign, you must be able to track everything that happened after Marketing touched the leads generated by a campaign. "Closed loop marketing" is the practice of analyzing the entire chain of events that influenced a prospect to purchase a product. It involves examining the impact a specific campaign (or many campaigns) may have on the sales funnel, and ultimately, on revenue.
By tracking all the campaigns that influenced a successful deal, Marketing can take credit for its share of the revenue generated, and can even determine the marketing ROI of specific programs. To do so, Marketing must have visibility into where their leads end up in the sales funnel, and must be able to tie their campaigns to specific individuals or companies so they’ll know when a deal has been completed. By “closing the loop” between a prospect filling out a form associated with a marketing campaign and that prospect becoming a customer, Marketing can report with confidence on the ROI of marketing campaigns – and demonstrate with confidence their impact on revenue.