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If you're like most marketers, measuring marketing is among your top priorities. With little effort, you have no shortage of things you can measure: budget-to-expense ratios, on-time delivery, people-to-budget ratios, response rates, click-through rates, website traffic and activity, media mentions, article views and shares, fans, followers... The list goes on.

The purpose of measuring, however, must extend beyond just collecting metrics. Measuring for the sake of tracking activity without clarity of the expected impact and value becomes a time-consuming, meaningless exercise.

Instead of measuring for measurement's sake, best-in-class marketers tie metrics to business impact and contribution. The real focus then is to understand the role of marketing in terms of what we bring to the business.

Unfortunately, the discussion around generating revenue has muddied the water. Though every function within an organization must in some way support revenue, sales leadership serves as the chief revenue officer. Where does that leave us in marketing?

Creating Value for Our Customers, Creating Value for Ourselves

As marketers, our purpose is creating value for customers while capturing value for the organization. If we think in those terms and follow the best-in-class marketers, then we should choose to select, collect, and report on metrics that demonstrate how marketing is creating and capturing customer value.

Every marketer, regardless of company size or industry, has the opportunity to measure customer value.

We may inherently understand customer value, but to be on the safe side, let's be sure we're on the same page. 

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image of Laura Patterson

Laura Patterson is president and founder of VisionEdge Marketing. For 20+ years, she has been helping CEOs and marketing executives at companies such as Cisco, Elsevier, ING, Intel, Kennametal, and Southwest Airlines prove and improve the value of marketing. Her most recent book is Metrics in Action: Creating a Performance-Driven Marketing Organization.

Twitter: @LauraVEM