Now that we're halfway into the year, marketers should not only have their annual goals set but also well on their way to accomplishing them. And if those goals were set thoughtfully, they align with the brand's initiatives and with industry trends.

But how can you be sure your efforts are worth the time and resources you've invested? Goals are a key component of your team's success, but only if you are properly measuring their effectiveness.

Developing a holistic approach to measurement is crucial for marketers, so check out these four ways to make sure you're measuring your program holistically.

1. Prioritize your programs

Forrester senior analyst Allison Snow recently discussed how marketers are flying blind when prioritizing programs and building budgets. Challenge yourself in your goal-setting, but remember that it's critical to keep up with measuring those objectives. Don't stretch your team too thin: Lofty and unattainable goals aren't going to result in increasing the bottom line.

Be realistic. Offering new services to keep up with your competitors is important, but not at the expense of the programs you're already running. Know what your team excels in and recognize your limits. Map out your budget, stick to the game plan, and remain focused on measuring what's working along the way.

2. Develop or improve the measurement of your strategies

Every marketer is at a different stage in measuring their programs—and that's understandable. Some haven't started, and others are struggling to replace outdated techniques. Wherever you might be, 2018 will demand that you dedicate more time, money, and resources to measurement. Start by finalizing your martech stack.

The following two platforms, among others, are great tools for managing CRM and influencer marketing:

  1. HubSpot. This martech tool will track your email campaigns, measure the performance of your marketing and social media content, and decipher views, conversion, and clickthrough rates. And that's just the beginning. HubSpot is designed to help you measure and stay ahead of your goals in the upcoming year.
  2. Audiense. Ever curious about the demographics of your audience? Do you have too many followers to sift through, even if doing so would help you better target your outreach? Audiense is the answer to those, and many other, dilemmas. The platform will track your campaigns, those who have engaged with them, and the focus or industry those people specialize in.

3. Break down department silos

Your marketing team cannot succeed alone; nor can the sales team. Those two departments must collaborate in goal-setting, launching campaigns, and measuring the success of your efforts. Create an environment that fosters teamwork and allows you to accomplish the one goal that everyone in your company shares: increased revenue.

Pro tip: Set up quarterly meetings between Sales and Marketing to ensure everyone is on the same page. Outline upcoming initiatives and monitor progress together. Figure out the answer to this question: How can both teams work together for the common goal?

4. Align your goals with revenue targets

Proving the ROI of your efforts is a common pain point for today's marketers, but it's helpful if your goals directly correlate to increased revenue. Focus on engagement, retention, and customer acquisition costs rather than wasting your time with vanity metrics. How do those factors relate to your brand's revenue? Your CEO is looking for the answer to that question—so let's visit the following scenario below for clarification:

Picture this. Your team publishes several pieces of high-quality content every year. The goal for that content should be to reach prospects, drive them through the funnel, and ultimately land the deal to increase your revenue. That is where your goal-setting comes into play. Your team must decide on a realistic number of leads that your content should produce. Decide what kind of resources (i.e., budget) you want to put behind your content because that directly factors into your customer acquisition costs. Re-evaluate where you can improve after every piece of content is deployed, and success is sure to follow.

Measuring those numbers, tracking where prospects are receiving your content, and using that data to better target in the future will ultimately lead to increased revenue.

* * *

With the heightened focus on proving the ROI of your efforts, measurement should be a top priority for your marketing team this year. However, developing a holistic approach to measurement is not something you can achieve overnight. Set the pace at which you measure according to your team's bandwidth.

Taking the above four steps will improve your team's measurement practices and help you accomplish your marketing goals.

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image of Mark C. Nardone

Mark C. Nardone is executive vice-president at PAN Communications, an integrated marketing and PR agency for B2B technology and healthcare brands. He oversees the firm's strategic focus across brand marketing and business development efforts.

LinkedIn: Mark Nardone

Twitter: @MarkCNardone