Image of highway signpost "performance metrics"

           Guest Post by Katleen Richardson 

Given the effort that most people put into their marketing strategy, it’s surprising how few people know how to correctly assess how well that strategy is performing.  So many people just stab in the dark, trying one marketing ploy after another in seemingly random fashion, hoping that something will eventually work.  This is a huge waste of time and money, and underlines exactly why having an effective measurement system is so important!

The first thing you want to do is create a situation where your efforts reflect back to your wider company objectives.  What are your marketing goals, or, more fundamentally, your overall business goals?  You want to look at the desired arc of the company and determine exactly what needs to be done for your marketing efforts to get you there.

When you’ve figured out what you’re going to be measuring, it’s time to choose the system that will work best for your needs.  Resist the temptation to throw a lot of money at snazzy-looking analytics tools that may turn out not to be right for you.  First you should determine whether the tools you’re considering will even give you the data you’re looking for to assess your progress.  On the other hand, if you’re already using analytic tools, don’t continue to stick with them if they’re obviously not doing what you’d hoped – if it’s time to move on, then that decision needs to be made and acted on.

Whatever analytic tools you end up using, make sure you measure in all directions.  Although it is certainly useful to look at past data, you want to use that as a springboard for creating forecasts.  This can give you the greatest insight into whether or not you’re on your desired trajectory.

As you start collecting data on past performance and projected future performance, you will likely find yourself looking at changes that need to be made.  It’s important not to ignore this – the entire point of putting together a well-oiled analytics system is that it tells you what you need to do, and when!  You need to have the courage to trust the system and make the necessary changes.  If your company goals evolve over time, then you may find that your measurement system needs to evolve, too.  Don’t ignore this, either – keeping your analytic tools current and relevant is of utmost importance.

My personal recommendation for many companies is the Hubspot platform.  They offer a wide range of automation tools for marketing, as well as featuring closed loop analytics, which is perfect for businesses where the sales team has a great amount of input into your CRM, which is in turn integrated with your marketing efforts. If you want to explore the most efficient route to your marketing goals by using the right measurement system, check out my latest post on analytics.

Image credit: © Ben Chams – 

Image of Katleen RichardsonKatleen Richardson of is an experienced leader who builds integrated strategies combining research, data analysis and creative thinking. She has delivered successful solutions for the publishing, financial and telecommunications industries, as well as for conference and training companies, and professional associations. Her approach is to design customer focused, cost-effective solutions based on cross functional collaboration and results-based metrics.