You track your click-through rates, your SERP rankings, and your website’s daily traffic. Other departments keep you informed of close rates, average per-customer revenue, and the balance sheet.
But did you know that tracking those numbers is only part of the picture, and not even the first step? One of the most common analysis mistakes made by marketers is failing to set meaningful goals. Without goals, you have nothing against which to measure your success.
Stand-alone statistics, regardless of which metric you are measuring, are meaningless. (Click to Tweet) Current metrics can only be useful if you have something to measure them against. Prior performance is helpful, but even that isn’t the right benchmark to use.
In order to truly evaluate today’s marketing performance, your metrics need to be compared against the levels needed to meet corporate revenue goals.
The Mistakes in Failing to Set Meaningful Marketing Goals
1. Failure to set goals leaves efforts open-ended.
Goals are the targets you are shooting for; without a target, every shot is a miss. Goals provide a framework around which to build your marketing strategy.
2. Arbitrary goals don’t reflect needed improvement.
It isn’t enough to simply pull a number, or a percentage increase, out of the air and call it your goal. Goals should address the needs of the company and consider how marketing directly impacts revenues.
3. Numbers are meaningless if they aren’t tied to revenue performance.
Marketing isn’t just about getting attention or sales. It is about generating revenue. Goals should reflect what marketing needs to do to reach the company’s revenue goals.
How to Fix Your Metrics & Analysis Mistakes
1. Work backward from desired revenue.
Doing the math requires starting with desired revenues and working backward from there to determine your marketing objectives.
Establish how much revenue your marketing needs to drive to support business growth. (This is a conversation that really needs to involve more than just the marketing department. Show your boss you do understand where the C-Suite is coming from by having these 6 Marketing Metrics Your Boss Actually Cares About ready to share during your goal-setting meeting.)
From that revenue figure, and the metrics outlined in our 6 Marketing Metrics ebook, calculate how many new customers are needed to achieve revenue goals, and then keep moving backward to determine how many web visitors and leads it will take to yield those new customers.
To make these calculations, you will need to know your current conversion rate from visitors to leads, and from leads to customers, your average revenue per customer, and your current new visitor statistics.
2. Regularly compare your current metrics to those goals.
If you use a closed loop marketing system from a provider such as HubSpot, you can easily run frequent reports to monitor your current statistics. Establish a set routine for reporting both to your marketing team and to the CEO, CFO and others on the executive team. Outline in your reports how current marketing metrics compare to the goals that were set in the beginning.
Frequent reporting and analysis allows for both accountability and flexibility, as you can make changes to your marketing tactics and strategy if you see that current efforts are falling short of the goal.
3. Dig into individual metrics to determine where things are or are not working.
If you are falling short of the goals you set—whether in the individual metrics such as email open rates or lead conversions or in the major categories such as new customer acquisition or average customer revenue—dig deeper to find the problem areas.
For example, if your number of newly-generated leads is behind goal, look at each individual channel: social media, email marketing, search engines, etc. Which channels are failing to bring in enough visitors? Which ones are attracting visitors, but failing to convert them to leads? Which ones are doing well, and why?
In addition to reviewing all of your channels, consider the entire sales funnel. Where in the funnel are you losing prospects?
When you start your analysis and metrics process by doing the math to identify revenue goals and the marketing performance needed to reach those goals, your month-to-month or day-to-day marketing metrics take on new meaning. You gain the ability to use those metrics to improve your methods in order to increase company revenues.
All of this goal setting, tracking and analysis is simpler if you use a closed loop marketing system, such as HubSpot (JONES is a certified HubSpot partner). Learn more about using a closed loop system in this ebook or check out the JONES+HubSpot Analysis Solution.