“Measure what matters and not what’s easy!” A lot of marketing bloggers have been talking about it and well, it has some weight to it. With incredibly measurable ROI metrics like Email Marketing, Pay-per-click marketing and measuring and tracking user activity on your website, that policy should be ingrained in your marketing team and should be refreshed every now and then so that it stays on the top of the team’s mind and they take on the challenging metrics to measure the ROI of your marketing efforts. Here, in this post we shall take a look at how marketing professionals have, over decades, suffered the dilemma of whether their strategy and marketing activities are helping the company’s reports and if the figures are looking good? After all, it’s all about the big bucks, right? Well, the CMOs don’t quite agree and the growing trends strongly suggest that stories which connect with the company’s identity and make that visible and tangible to employees, customers, stakeholders and the outside world have the power to appeal to a responsive side to the audiences rather than just serving “a requirement” in the form of its products or services.
Content Marketing has become the obvious marketing tool but it does not, in the least, mean that it is everyone’s cup of tea. Be it a blog, social media posts to connect with your audiences, applications to engage with them or just funny how-tos if it is not in line with your brand DNA communication, it will cause confusion and dissonance. Apart from constantly striving to strike the right chord with your audiences at the right time, we, as marketing professionals and especially the CMOs are always struggling to derive tangible numbers out of what we do. We are story-tellers and story-telling evokes emotions and emotions are illogical, irrational and uncontrollable. Numbers, well, they are NOT! Let us look at a basic equation that kind of looks something like this:
Storytelling = Fun + engaging + creative || Numbers = Realistic + certain + aggressive
But the moment we try to put these two together in the same equation,
Storytelling + Numbers = COMPLEXITY PERSONIFIED (!!)
We all agree that you just cannot use a mathematical equation to create a good story! Story-telling is such a natural human activity that we do it even while we are talking to ourselves. It appeals our cognitive functions and has proven to be the biggest business skill! A good story will go a long way in helping your audience grasp, think and hold on to whatever it is that you are trying to promote. And we all already know that, don’t we? The burning question is, how – just how – do we make our CEOs and CFOs and the sales team realize the intangible value that the art of marketing brings? And that right there keeps the floating, day-dreaming, distracted and random story-tellers like us grounded. It makes us also face the hard fact that our marketing efforts need to be continually steered in the direction where it can, at some point be able to rope in some tangible asset for our company, and it could be in the form of merely getting people to talk about your company/brand/product.
It is a known fact that companies with stronger marketing have a higher market share. CMOs are constantly under the gun to deliver measurable results and that hasn’t proven to be easy with the increasingly fragmented media spending and the shift in the marketing strategies pertaining to the major change in how customers research and buy products and services. Marketing has seen a major shift owing to the use of Internet as the primary medium to research and affect the buying decision along with strong influence of the social media on the customers’ perception of your brand. To stay ahead in the game, the marketing departments have been increasing the concentration on digital marketing, growing their teams and their budgets. Hence, it has become absolutely important to measure the ROI of digital marketing and with the proliferation of channels, it has also become quite challenging. We marketers have universally accepted the fact that measuring the social media ROI is difficult since a lot of it is abstract but is extremely important too in order allocate resources and determine an optimal budget for same so as to improve campaign performance across channels that shall drive results.
Having talked about measuring the ROI of digital media, we need to remind ourselves that CEOs today, expect the CMOs to take on a wider array of responsibilities than just concentrate on managing digital media and marketing. Like we have already established previously, consumer habits have been increasingly fickle and owing to that, the CMOs are expected to get on board with multiple functions as the “voice of the consumers” within the organization and ensure that the insights he has on the market is optimally integrated with these functions along with managing complexities like the brand identity, customer services and participation in events/activities that are in line with the brand image. These will enable the CMOs to derive various metrics and give them an insight into how to be an influencer within the firm and maybe even pass on the same to other departments so as to inculcate a homogeneous outlook and approach towards all operational activities carried out by them. Hence, we need to bridge this gap between the marketers feeling the urge to create something extremely unique, creative and unexpected but also see the growth and results numerically.
An approach that blends the art and science, the story and technology of marketing that enables us all, to holistically look at not only the numbers and the statistics of what we do but also value the experience of what it brings to our users is exactly what we need. To simplify this and derive a set method against a benchmark to be able to measure success or failure of any campaign or digital marketing activities, set up a list of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that are in line with your marketing campaign or that specific project.
Watch this space as we bring to you another side of the same problem with an attempt to put a rest to this Art vs. Science of Marketing forever with a solution that shall simplify all our lives and give our little story a “Happily Ever After”