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February 5, 2014

Marketing’s Dirty Little Secret… It’s Not an Exact Science!

345935446_It_Depends_answer_3_xlargeHere are the kinds of questions I regularly hear from my clients…

  • “What email open rate should I expect?”
  • “How many downloads will my new white paper get?”
  • “What’s the average bid conversion rate?”
  • “What are the ‘right’ steps for the lead nurturing process?”

The correct answer for all of the above is… “It depends!”  Sorry… wish I had a better answer.

The fact is, there are no standard answers.  For example, a 20% email open rate might be what I get… but is nowhere near what you get – and each may be very good for our particular situations.

So, what’s a marketer to do?

  1. Accept the uncertainty.  It is what it is and there’s not a thing you can do about it.  Results will be different for every firm based on their messaging, their infrastructure, their brand, the industries they serve, their target clients and a thousand other variables.
  2. Set up measurements systems.  Track & monitor what you do… measure as many marketing & sales activities and the results as you can.  Start with just a few and add more as you get more comfortable doing it.
  3. Learn.  Use the data you consistently gather to learn what works (and what doesn’t), to test new ideas and iterations and to continuously improve your results.  Without these metrics in place… you’re just guessin’.

The bottom line is this… the only way to begin to develop an understanding of what to expect from your marketing & sales efforts is to establish your own benchmarks with a thorough program of measurement and reporting.  Do that and you’ll not only be able to answer the kinds of questions listed above, you’ll give your firm a competitive advantage that very few others can match.

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