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June 25, 2014

Great business quotes #4 – on measurement.

measure1If you’ve read any of our previous content, then you know we believe that marketing is a process… and part of that process is the commitment to measure each step along the way.

It’s this philosophy that leads to the 4th great business saying in our series…

What gets measured gets done.

In the past articles and blog posts, we’ve focused on what to measure. In this post, I want to spend a little time on why we measure.

Fundamentally, why do we measure? Simple, to see if what we’re measuring is working or not. If it’s working… keep doing it! If it’s not working… stop doing it or find a way to tweak it and improve the results.

A century ago, retailing pioneer John Wanamaker was credited with saying, “50% of my advertising dollars are wasted; the trouble is… I don’t know which 50%!”

But it’s more than that.

‘What gets measured gets done’ means that monitoring and measuring something forces you to pay attention to it… to focus on it… to keep it top of mind. When you do that, it gets done… and it gets done well.

Imagine you’re the marketing manager and your CEO says to you that he wants to see a weekly Google Analytics report. How do you react? First, you build into your weekly routine a few minutes to run the report. Second, you really start paying attention to the numbers. Finally, you start tweaking your marketing activities so that the numbers in the report keep improving – you sure don’t want to show declining numbers to your boss!

There are two other reasons why we measure…

‘You can’t manage what you can’t measure.’ Let’s say that your firm’s revenue is not where you expected it to be… so your boss says to you, “What do we need to do to fix it?” If measurement of your marketing & sales efforts is not part of your responsibilities, all you can do is shrug your shoulders. Not really something you want to do when responding to your boss.

Without measurement, you won’t know where the issues might lie, exactly what’s going on and by how much. It’s no different than if your management team tried running your business without income statements and balance sheets… they couldn’t do it. And that same thinking applies to marketing & sales.

‘Measurement eliminates argument.’ What this really means is… don’t make decisions on ‘gut feel,’ use data to inform your choices. Think of all the places where data is needed:

  • You tell everyone you “do great work” – but do you really? Ask your clients in post-project surveys.
  • Are your sales reps making enough calls and delivering enough presentations? Track them in your CRM.
  • Is your pay-per-click ad getting enough click-thrus? Test different headlines to see what works best.
  • Was exhibiting at a conference worthwhile? Find out by tracking the sales leads over time.
  • Are you emails effective? Track the number of ‘opens’ and ‘click-thrus.’

Interestingly, for every one of these examples, that kind of data is very easy to gather.

The bottom line is this… if you want to continually and consistently improve the results of your marketing & sales, then measurement must be an integral part of your program. Without it, you’re just guessin’!

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