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Topic: Strategy

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Help! How Effective Is Your Marketing Department?

Posted by tac5829 on 500 Points
How do you measure the effectiveness of your marketing department? <br /><br />Our marketing department has been primarily tactical in nature - somewhat of a fedex kinkos of sorts. This year, we have been changing things up a bit and focusing more on new strategic approaches and measuring some of our campaigns, but this is a new frontier for us. <br /><br />Please let me know what your marketing department is doing to measure value and effectiveness. Is the best way to measure every campaign using web anayltics? Do you use a good CRM system, and how are you using it <br />for marketing efforts? Are you using unique URLS? <br /><br />How are you determining the marketing touches to sales conversion? <br /><br />In summary, if you were to present to someone the effectiveness of your marketing efforts over the course of the year, what tools/metrics do you use?<br /><br />Thank you! Your experience is greatly appreciated.<br /><br />~First-year manager <br /><br />

  • Posted by Moriarty on Accepted

    [Disclaimer] Now I am what they call a direct marketer - and my thoughts come from the small enterprise. Nevertheless, the things we do at the bottom are equally valid at the top. If not more so. [/Disclaimer]

    I will take your last paragraph first as it is the most poignant. Effectiveness: to whom are you addressing this, and what do they want to see? Because this is one of the Achilles' heels of the Marketing Department. They have to give results to someone who has very fixed ideas about the subject. Not all of which are necessarily in order.

    What have you done in your department that has materially benefited the department? My thoughts are that you need evidence. That the department is humming quietly and happily doesn't always score on a piece of paper. Does the material benefit that you have provided have any meaning to the people who are in charge? If not, then you have a problem. The tools and metrics follow this.

    Because as a direct marketer, there is one metric: ROI. How you achieve this is up to you, how you discover it is up to you. What is more, it is changeable. To a department chief, ROI might not mean as much because half of it is Sales' anyway. The direct marketer doesn't have this problem of course, thank goodness!

    As to measurements, let us put the horse before the cart. You need to be clear about what you are measuring. The analytics comes after that. For some things the analytics are way harder (print media, TV and Radio advertising etc.). You can imply analytics using a few cunning strategies - Howie Jacobson is a past master at this (

    The issue of unique URLs can be tackled in many ways. Analytics tools (not my strong point) can differentiate using tagging technologies. Google Analytics allows you to see where the most activity is happening on a page, let alone the more standard outgoing paths.

    I presume you have an autoresponder series for your marketing campaigns? A decent funnel?

    I hope I am not intruding too much on the preserve of those higher than me. M xx

  • Posted by Jay Hamilton-Roth on Accepted
    You might be interested in Agile Marketing ( to see what specific metrics & tactics organizations are doing to achieve measurable results. It's a way to apply some best practices methodologies to the (corporate) marketing department.
  • Posted by Gary Bloomer on Accepted
    Forget measuring the effectiveness of your marketing department—ALL your marketing needs to be effective, not the department as a whole.

    As for tools, although you can have all the whistles and bells in the world, those toys won't mean squat if the messages you're sending out are ... er ... crap.

    The easiest way to measure the effect of a piece of marketing is to count the numbers of actions taken as a result of that piece of marketing and to then count the numbers of conversions to sales.

    Marketing fails when its message isn't clear, when its message isn't compelling, urgent, and emotional; when its recipient and their problem are not clearly aligned with the solution being offered, and when its call to action isn't strong enough or when it doesn't exist.

    Marketing also fails because of ill-informed tinkering on the part of managerial half-wits, morons, and know-nothings who affect a knowledge of marketing but haven't any.

  • Posted by mgoodman on Accepted
    OK. So measuring marketing effectiveness isn't a simple, straightforward thing. Many times there are so many factors interacting that it's all but impossible to untangle them and measure just one or two of them. But over time if you can show consistent growth, or share gain, or achievement of whatever other objectives you've established, you are probably doing enough things right that measuring each one of them is less important.

    Certainly search advertising (a/k/a pay-per-click ads) has given many marketers a great way to measure results at a granular level. And it has forced other marketing approaches to take a hard look at the returns they generate. After all, if you know you can get a ROMI of 150% on search advertising, it probably doesn't make much sense to spend the majority of your budget on something that you know is returning less than 100%.

    Marketing has always been a science based on strong analytics. It's now the discipline of analytics is becoming so accessible that we're forced to think of ROMI as a fundamental metric. The days of relying on an intriguing promotion, or a deeper discount, or flashy ad, are fading. They may be good, but they may not be as good as we need them to be.

    The one thing that hasn't changed is the importance of positioning and strategy. Those are still the things that require human processing. The numbers can help, but they can't run the show. And a great strategy can have more impact on "success" in marketing than all the technical improvements combined.

    So, yes, we need to measure everything and make sure we're spending our money in the right places and generating the returns we need. But the real deliverable for a top-flight marketing department is a killer strategy that moves the needle by an order of magnitude.
  • Posted by stlubahn on Accepted
    tracy.cass, I have had responsibility for marketing, as well as a number of positions where I had responsibility for both. First, make sure your marketing objectives support the focus and goals of teh business. I found that that if you start to record all sales / marketing opportunities, and measure the close ratio, you will start to uncover ways to be more effective in both your marketing and your sales efforts.'

    You can do this with a spreadsheet, but nothing beats a good CRM system. Make sure the system is implement to make it easier to record information about leads and activities. Do not make it a management reporting tool. A good CRM will allow you to get the management and ROI tool, but make it easy to use first or your sales and marketing staff will not use it properly, and will start to find ways to cheat the system.

    Make sure you marketing strategy make strong use of digital marketing media. This will allow you to track and measure results. Come up with ways to provide management level reporting that shows how the marketing projects are contributing to the bottom line, and you will find you have fewer issues getting marketing initiatives funded.

    Note sure I totally answered your question of how to measure the marketing department effectiveness, but work on the items noted you will find ways to resource your marketing staff and align it with business objectives.
  • Posted by dbeasley on Accepted
    We measure the sales revenue we generate, that's what is important to us.
    Each person has areas of expertise/task within and we measure their efforts by the sales they generate. The person responsible for direct mail has targets and goals, and is measured against the person handling the PPC. Since the goals are set individually, the comparisons are % increase period over period.

    We track each media effort with more than one "bell", so that we can confirm and track. We use GoldMine as a CRM and find it works well for our needs.

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