September 14, 2011

Measuring Business and Marketing Results

We All Want Revenue 

We seem to be good at tossing around buzz phrases. We can talk to each other about the ROI of digital engagement through the internal customer service of community development. Managing expectations and deliverables are a way of life. And yet we seem to often get stuck while waiting for quick wins.

In the world of marketing and business development (the new catch-all for sales), there is no shortage of chatter about the social web. Of course, it’s the moving target and still the new shiny toy. Anyone with an Internet connection can publish their opinions. That does not mean it’s a sound business opportunity.

Marathon Meet Race

Budgets are tight, jobs are on the line, there is no time to try stuff and hope it will work. And as someone who consults business and has worked in every medium, it remains challenging for me to remind owners and managers that this stuff takes a while and no campaign will sustain them forever. Moreover, you can only measure your return if you are honest about your actual monetary and human investment. Throwing up a Facebook group, buying a bunch of television advertising and stuffing mailboxes are not tactics that will automatically bring results.

The social web is not the only place to spend your effort but reading and tweeting about direct mail or telemarketing just doesn’t seem to be as sexy. But judging from the mound of three-color print designed pieces of cardboard and paper overflowing from my recycle bin, it appears to be alive and well. Television and radio advertising remain viable channels to extend your offer and external or outdoor advertising is still around too. But opening your wallet and demanding results is dangerous sport.

Nothing Is Free

My colleague, Drew McLellan wrote a post recently about the importance of channel selection and more importantly he reminds us that social media are not free or even cheap. It takes a shift in your organization to account for any outbound marketing. In fact, in my humble opinion, marketing is not a department but rather a part of all that you do in business.

No amount of advertising or external collateral will save a bad business. So if you think you can buy your success, save your money and spend it on developing your actual offer. I have lost count the number of prospects who tell me they don’t need marketing, they need more revenue. It’s like saying you want to run a marathon but aren’t prepared to buy shoes and train.

How Do You Measure Your Business Expectations?

Kneale Mann

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