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Elements of Marketing - Back to Basics Part #4

posted 17 Aug 2015, 04:23 by Jason Purton

Well this is the part that most don't like, either because the results are not as good as what they were supposed to be, or, because they dont know exactly what they are looking for and how to get the information that they need. Either way this is an area that doesn't get as much attention as it should. Why? because how are you supposed to know what works and what does not if you don't assess what you have done?

Marketing research and analysis helps to know what generates ROI.

Marketing Reporting and Analysis

A very smart friend of mine once told me that reporting and analysis of marketing is about "Asking the RIGHT question". What this really means is that you need to know what you are looking for (Preferably before you spend any money on marketing).

Before you begin trying to look at the results of your campaigns, you need to have done something way back in the planning stage... Set your targets or goals. What ever it was, by setting a target, you must then consider how you are going to track performance against that target. This is where most stumble a little. Now if your campaign is all about $$$ then it is easy to track the results of the campaign right? Well not necessarily. 

Example: You go out and spend $1,000 on a marketing campaign. Post campaign assessment of your revenue shows you brought in $20,000 more than last month. While your patting yourself on the back, your boss asks you how that compared to last year. Further assessment shows that last year's result was the same as this years result and they didn't spend any money. 

So did the above campaign work or not? Well this depends on what your were trying to achieve. If you were trying to increase revenue, then you could be questioned that the uplift is just a trend for that month. But, if you were trying to stop a decline in revenue that you have been seeing, and you managed to maintain the level, then it could be classified as a success. 

How to...

To get meaningful results you need to start with a baseline or a benchmark. Start simple and work from there. What were the results for the last week, month, year before the campaign. Note that this means that you need to be consistently (consistently is the key word here) tracking the results over those periods. Once you have this you can then look at the difference in results. Pretty easy so far. you will have some data to show that you did something and it had a result, good or bad.

That leads us to the next bit, the analysis and interpretation. This is where you have to think (insert Gasp). Yes, you have to go back and look at the results and try and determine why the results turned out the way they did. For some this may be as mundane as we had a month of rainy weather, for other more complex situations you may look at further assessment by attribution modelling to work out what channels performed and what didn't (but that is not the basic stuff, so lets leave that alone for now). 

Here is the really good bit. After you have got your results and done your assessment you can turn around to your boss and say you did X something and got X result because of X reason, and so (here is the bit that will keep their attention) next time, to get a better result, we will do that something we did differently. 

So you see it is through your assessment of, and not just the results you achieve, that you learn what not to do, what to change and what to enhance.