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Tuesday 2¢: A Different Way to Measure Marketing

Different Way to Measure Marketing

Welcome to the Tuesday 2¢ . It’s Tuesday, the weekend is a distant memory and it’s time to let off some steam and give our 2 cents on a hot industry topic. This week Ian Truscott discusses how marketing is all about the relationships you form with your clients not the money you spend for vanity metrics.

As marketers, it was predicted that between us we will globally spend over a trillion dollars on marketing this year. Although some CFO’s feel that this money is a tax on doing business, the more enlightened feel it is an investment and when we are talking of investment, we need to think of a return.

At this point I am bound by the marketer’s code to quote John Wanamaker :

Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don't know which half.

Today, this return is usually measured in terms of click-throughs, web traffic, subscribers, leads or sales – but what if we thought broader than that?

Something similar to how Customer eXperience Management (CXM) industry analysts have established that there is a correlation between brands that do well in Customer Experience metrics also do well in the more traditional way we measure business success, like share price and revenue (like Forrester's CX Index ).

Could we consider that the entire output of marketing, beyond clicks, leads and sales, measured by a metric of how people feel about the brand, be a contributor to the valuation of a business? Not just the value of brands like Disney or Coca-Cola, but every business that markets itself?

Is this loyalty? For example, my loyalty for brands like Amazon, Marriott, American Express and today Lufthansa, (I’m writing this on a plane), is of obvious value to them in terms of future revenue, but the value of a brand advocate is also in their “sneezes” ( as Seth Godin once described them ), the way they share their love for your brand.

In the B2C industries of my examples (the travel industry, credit cards and retailer), loyalty is a well-trodden path, you get points, your purchases get tracked and it’s a well understood transaction.

For the rest of us marketers, especially in B2B, it’s not so easy – this doesn’t fall under the traditional marketing model of “loyalty”. These brand advocates are somewhere in the CRM, along with all the folks who never open your emails, or the fake Gmail folks that don’t play fair when you offered them something useful to download on your website. You won’t find them by offering points.

However, whatever business you are in, these highly engaged customer or brand advocates are an asset, and I was reminded of this value this week as we had our ecosphere days; our annual client and partner event. The event was in Munich, ran onto a Saturday and we entertained our guests at Oktoberfest.

As I looked out onto the conference room on Saturday morning I could see something special. It’s Saturday morning, here was a room full of people that almost certainly had something better to do at that moment, but chose to engage with our brand.

I’m not sharing this to toot our own horn about our event (although we are very proud) but to demonstrate the difference between a web hit, CRM contacts and engagement.

So, I offer you the “Would Show Up on a Saturday Morning” (WSUSM) metric, as marketers these are the folks you need to find and nurture. These are your people, your tribe, your advocates, however you describe them.

I would also be willing to bet companies with a high WSUSM ranking, have high growth, a higher stock price, higher revenues and are generally happier.

Thinking about marketing in this way, as a long term build of a relationship, rather than the quick fix against a vanity metric, with something mildly annoying (like a Facebook ad, don’t get me started on those) has got to be more rewarding in terms of building a brand consumers will be loyal to.

It’s a tongue in cheek metric, but what would you do to increase your WSUSM? What would you do to have your clients show up on Saturday morning?

Ian Truscott Ian Truscott

Ian Truscott has the unofficial and honory title of the “Träger des Firmen-Megaphons” for censhare, bringing 20 years of B2B software experience to our company (surely starting as a child) to lead marketing here. Luckily for us in the Munich office, he’s found the kettle and some tea bags – look at him, he’s happy.

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