March 20, 2018
In the wise words of Gene Simmons: “You have to understand that nothing appeals to everybody.” With that in mind, traditional, ad-centric marketing efforts have been replaced with a variety of consumer-focused strategies that all aim to achieve one thing: to listen. Through observing, listening and most importantly, measuring your customers’ behavior, complaints, requests, suggestions, praises and their digital body language, you can learn how your product or service fits into their lives, and how you can offer more value.
Before Nick Marshall (aka Mel Gibson) could hear women’s thoughts, his advertising efforts were subpar, to put it mildly. This makes him the personification of an entire class of agencies that focus on their own perspective instead of listening in on the consumer’s train of thought. Shifting the focus from the brand and the business to those for whom the brand or business were created, you can gain invaluable insight into how you can improve over time.
This is where various useful marketing tools step in to save the day – helping you get a clear picture of numbers and data that matter – allowing you to have an unbiased view of your current success rate, measure your progress and make changes where necessary to advance even further.
Having a marketing mission
Before you even start to measure your progress and collect information on your customers’ behavior, you need to have a clear overview of your desired business direction. How else would you know that you’re hitting the right milestones and reaching the right levels of engagement if there’s no overall plan to guide you?
Considering the fact that we live in a highly digitalized era, with so many means to this particular end (measuring your business progress, that is), it’s incredible that almost 60% of B2B Marketers in this particular study either have no clue or aren’t certain what a successful content marketing strategy should look like in their companies.
At the same time, only 6% find their business to be sophisticated enough to provide accurate marketing measurement, which means that, out of more than one thousand study respondents, only a handful are currently satisfied with their marketing measuring strategies, while a vast majority cannot identify a solid content strategy to begin with.
In simple terms, your business needs to identify suitable marketing steps depending on your target audience’s preferred ways of communication, as well as their online and offline presence, and only then establish the compatible means to measure those steps as you implement your strategy.
Keeping an eye on your data
Businesses of all sizes and levels of complexity rely on the constant influx of data to tailor and tweak their marketing campaigns. Is your Facebook page flooded with likes, comments and shares? Are your emails ending up in spam or are they getting opened, and having the links they contain clicked on, leading to a conversion? How often do you post your blog posts and how many people visit your site to read them? Are they alerted about it via social posts, email or do they have to find them by directly visiting your website? These are just some among a slew of beloved marketing conundrums that need to be analyzed.
Tracking customer behavior and their preferred lines of communication, all the while adapting your strategy according to the compiled data, especially over a variety of channels can be very challenging. To that end, using a single marketing reporting tool to collect, cross-reference, filter and combine all of your data is the best way to maintain a clear overview of your marketing efforts and get actionable insights.
Using various tracking tools separately such as Google Analytics, Google AdWords, Ahrefs and many others across your marketing campaigns only to gain insight retrospectively and backtrack your efforts into numbers that are rapidly changing as we speak; is time-consuming and not as precise and concise as it should be to deliver results. Hence the need to have a real-time tracking system that allows you the flexibility to weed out the unneeded information, and understand and utilize the data you actually need.
Customer acquisition, retention and engagement
In order to be a business at all, you need to have customers – and so you begin your efforts by acquiring customers, tracking the investment it takes to convert those who browse into those who shop, as well as which strategies your target audience is responding to. That way, you can cut costs in the future by focusing on the most effective methods and investing more in customer retention. The ultimate marketing goal is to minimize the costs of both acquisition and retention while growing revenue.
In fact, since it costs five times more to acquire a customer than to retain a current one.Inspiring brand loyalty becomes the primary focus of many businesses, old and new alike, as the commerce climate gets more competitive by the day.
However, you need to keep a close eye on what methods your current customers respond to, what makes them go back to your service or product, and how often you can afford to have competitions, giveaways, discounts and promotions to spur your existing clientele to shop now instead of later when they’d expect the prices to rise. These metrics regarding new and existing customers are a reflection of the impact your brand is making, as well as the speed and scale of your growth.
When it comes to measuring engagement, you can start by monitoring how effective your content is in attracting customers – from number of page visits, organic search and referrals, time on site, unique visitors, and email campaigns click-through rate, to new subscribers or unsubscribing occurrences. Social media also plays an important role in digital marketing, so monitoring social engagement through comments, shares and likes, as well as messaging instances and numbers of followers, tags and the like will give you a valuable insight into where you can gain the most traction with existing and potential customers.
Marketing effectiveness is a volatile creature, with a tendency to fluctuate, and if not monitored and measured properly, it can plummet together with your business success. It boils down to defining your strategies and finding the most cost-effective, time-saving methods to track and measure your marketing efforts in order to discover what will launch your reputation as well as your revenue.
Dan Radak is a marketing professional with 11 years of experience. He is currently working with a number of companies in the field of digital marketing, closely collaborating with a couple of eCommerce companies. He is also a co-author on several technology websites and regular contributor to Technivorz.