Image Cover for Article Rise Above ‘Pretty’ Metrics: Measure What Counts

I started measuring my marketing activities (metrics) 1995 at MTV Networks 📺. If I didn’t, as the Junior member of our $300 million team, my projects would not get funded. 

I pretty quickly learned that “Measuring Maketh the Marketer…” 

Measuring Maketh the MarketerWHAT Are You Measuring?

😌The EASY metric. ‘It’s what we have historically used.’

🫡The POLITICAL metric. ‘My CEO loves it.’ 

😶‍🌫️The COMPANY-DRIVEN metric. ‘We are a Net Promoter Score company.’ 

🤔The COMPETITION-BASED comparison. ‘They use it. So should we…’

🫣Fear of failure, so you don’t measure anything. ‘We SAY we measure, but all we do is send emails around that look pretty.’ 

😵‍💫Whatever Google or Facebook says to do. ‘Well, I talked to my Google or Meta representative and they said we should spend more because of some metric.’ 

This Week’s Free Resource: Your Own Measurement Framework 📏

⚖️ The Hard Truth: No Metric is Perfect

PSA: No measurement is perfect. Despite the ‘marketing funnel’ analogy, your customers won’t neatly travel down your well-thought-out funnel and gleefully or immediately convert. 

It’s okay to fail. It’s how you learn. Over the last twenty-eight years in business, I have screwed up more media, email, e-commerce, TV, and social measurement than I can remember. And I built a system for Nielsen. 😂 It’s simply the nature of running campaigns at scale. 

The hard truth is that top spending marketers care less than us about getting marketing measurements correct, because they have billions of dollars to spend. You don’t. In fact, more prominent US and European companies spend 9.1% of their revenue on advertising, while most small businesses spend just 1%.

A $500,000 gross revenue business, as an example, might spend $5,000 on advertising annually! This leaves no room for mistakes. 🤦 

In my fifteen years of teaching and advising companies, poor marketing is one of the most common reasons I see businesses fail, and the US Chamber of Commerce lists it as the #1 reason. 

Businesses, especially in their infancy, have a set of assumptions that by telling their friends and family about the brand and simply opening the doors, they will be flooded with customers.. 🌊

In a perfect world.

BUT…It doesn’t work that way. A great offering is the minimum bar in a world where the first page of Google is filled with online reviews. 

So, what’s your move? ♟️

📈Marketing Success is Intertwined with What We Measure

Measure. Test. Measure. 👏

Measure Test Measure

I’d rather you pick ONE fad-driven metric, such as Net Promoter Score (it is unclear if it has any statistical impact on sales growth) as your North Star, than have a dashboard of 100 metrics you can’t actually action.

We measure marketing to drive ACTION  🔥If your CEO and Executive team are in love with Bain’s NPS. Love NPS, too. Use it to tell your data-driven marketing stories regarding Promoters, Passives, and Detractors. 

Google updated its algorithm 4,000+ times last year as it battles Meta, TikTok, and Amazon. 4,000 times. That’s 10.9x EVERY DAY. The digital marketing world is speeding up exponentially. 

Marketing is about taking action

⏰ Act Now 

Don’t wait for ‘perfect’. Christmas comes once a year, if you are in e-commerce, take your imperfect data… and set the best course you can, TODAY! 

🤔 Where Do I Start Measuring?

Here are the three metrics I love to drive action that work for 90% of businesses:

  1. ⌚TimeSpent – No customer, in fact, no person, has enough of it. So what they give you is precious.
    1. On your website
    2. In-app
    3. Viewing your content or ad
  2. 🖱️Click Through Rate – Yep, It’s a crappy metric, for a host of reasons, but Google Paid & Organic, Facebook, Bing, and Amazon all use it so it has value across platforms to tell you how your Ad / Content is doing. 
  3. 💸eCPM – Effective Cost Per Thousand
    1. CPM is useful for comparing your costs across platforms, but the effective cost per thousand is more useful. You paid for 100,000 ad impressions, but 20% were outside of the US where you sell, so you actually received 80,000 impressions.

Effective cost per thousand is better as it compares the cost of what you have. If, for example, you paid $500 for 100,000 impressions ($5 CPM) but only got 80,000 impressions ($6.25 eCPM) is a big difference for those of us with limited budgets.

For more detailed information on marketing terminology, check out our blog Your No BS 2023 Guide to Digital Marketing Terminology

CPM Formula

✔️Key Takeaways:

  1. 🚫No metric is perfect.
  2. 🫂EVERYONE makes mistakes. The difference is for small businesses, the mistakes hurt more.
  3. 🏎️The digital marketing world is moving quickly. It’s not about getting it perfect (you won’t), it’s about taking action.
  4. ⚖️Measure. Test. Measure. Repeat.

Hit reply with your thoughts in this week’s email.  

Alec

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