The Importance of Measuring & Assessing Your Marketing Initiatives

February 17, 2017 | 5 min read
Source of information: Linkedin

etienne-delacroix
Étienne De Lacroix
Director, Consulting Services

Thought Leadership

Context

What are the benefits? What’s the overall impact on sales? How much additional revenue is generated? On what should efforts be focused?

In a context where marketing initiatives and budgets are put to the task, the need to assess outcomes has never been greater. If the performance of an initiative can’t be quantified, it’s unlikely to be repeated or enhanced. Performance assessment is more than a necessity, it’s an opportunity generator. By continuously measuring ongoing initiatives, an organization can focus on what is working well and set aside less profitable initiatives to increase overall performance.

"Of course, intuition is still a factor in the decision process. However, the ability to measure and assess performance are key factors to be able to deliver the perfect experience."

Methodology-Based Assessment

The multitude of communication channels and technological advancements have had an impact on the quality of available data. Whether it comes in the form of a page seen on a website, a product abandoned in a cart, a click on a newsletter link or a social media “like,” a huge amount of information is generated, often on different applications and platforms. It’s important to avoid two major pitfalls at this point:

  • Analysis paralysis: Given the amount of data available, if a guided assessment approach isn’t used, the risk of getting lost in analysis mode is high. In this scenario, assessment trumps action, nothing is actionable and paralysis ensues.
  • Laborious and complex manual tabulation: Often, data is stored in silos, so trying to assess data that’s been merged manually can be particularly complicated and lead to errors.

To perform a successful assessment and avoid these pitfalls, it’s important to follow a methodology.

1. What question(s) do you want answered?

Establish a link with strategic goals to determine what you want to assess (e.g., impact on customer retention, purchase frequency, the average basket amount and size).

2. Define the scope of the data to be analyzed.

Based on the answers you need, identify the required transactional data from online/store sales as well as behavioural data (e.g., website visits, behavioural email, mobile application).

3. Consolidate, clean up and work with the data.

Validate that data is in fact accessible per segment or customer attribute, so the assessment is customer- centric rather than focused on the organization’s products or services.

4. Interpret and challenge the results.

Interpret the quantitative indicators to better understand customer segments and the business opportunities and issues to be addressed.

Make sure that results make sense and match those of past or concurrent analyses.

5. Document results

Ask questions about form and content, i.e. the number of indicators to be presented and the structure of the dashboard.

Make sure that the assessments presented are actionable (e.g., identification of high-value customer segments/customer at risk to be able to reach out to them personally).

Draw up a hierarchy of assessment indicators and use them to communicate what you want (a budget increase for a high-performing initiative or providing a team with reinforcements as part of a corrective action when something isn’t working).

A Few Examples of Analyses (Relation1 Client)

Newsletter mailings:

Newsletter mailings: Engagement & Conversion Rates per Client Segment

Value generated by a newsletter program:

Comparative Value Analysis Subscriber vs Non-Subscriber

Asses the Impact of Actions Taken

Setting up a control group is the best way to assess the impact of a marketing campaign.

To avoid bias, it’s important to follow these two guidelines:

  • Use an “all things being equal” approach (the only difference between the target group and the control group is exposure/non-exposure to the marketing campaign).
  • Determine that the control group is statistically representative of the target group regarding the relative variables (customer value, engagement, segment distribution).
Impact on Sales Targeted Loyalty Marketing Campaign

Benefits

In brief, the benefits of assessing ongoing marketing initiatives continuously and systematically are as follows:

  • Pragmatic and rational approach: Because it’s based on numbers, a performance assessment reduces subjectivity and intuition.
  • Decision-making and action tool: By concentrating on key indicators, it’s possible to avoid overly granular analyses and instead focus on understanding customers, especially those of high value. This way, the organization can make choices inspired by its best customers.
  • Agility and continuous improvement: By opting for a systematic assessment, it’s easier to learn and, thus feed off what works and fix what isn’t.
  • Customer experience optimization: A systematic assessment makes friction points easy to detect. Since customer experience is a key differentiating factor, the organization can set itself apart and optimize its performance.
  • Better internal alignment and combination of efforts: By combining data sources from different systems and teams, information cross-sharing is fostered.
  • ROI optimization: The combination of the above points has a concrete impact on the organization’s ROI.

Conclusion

  • In many industries (retail, finance, tourism, telecommunications), customer experience has become the new battlefield. Stakeholders battle to create the optimal customer experience to become or remain a leader in their field.
  • Of course, intuition is still a factor in the decision process. However, the ability to measure and assess are key factors to be able to deliver the perfect experience.
  • By understanding customers better, learning from results, discovering what needs to be optimized quicker and tapping into what works, leaders in various areas of activity are making performance assessment an essential ingredient for success.
  • No industry is unscathed. The last few years have demonstrated that those who feel these issues didn’t concern them haven’t survived.
  • The methods are there, the tools exist. What are you waiting for?

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