Magazine article CRM Magazine

Measuring Your Marketing

Magazine article CRM Magazine

Measuring Your Marketing

Article excerpt

Marketers have always had it a little tougher: They're dealing with consumers who are tuning them out on one end and executives threatening to pull the plug at the other end. The only way to be taken seriously these days is for marketers to bring something to the table that can't be refuted--metrics. Of course, doing so is never quite as easy as it sounds. (See "Mistaken Metrics," page 30, for a look at the current state of measurement in the CRM industry; also see columnist Lior Arussy's Customer Centricity piece, "You Are What You Measure," page 12.)

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In his book, The Marketing Performance Measurement Toolkit, David Raab, principal at consultancy Raab Associates, examines the varying approaches to help marketers identify what "success" means to them and their organization. Associate Editor Jessica Tsai had the opportunity to speak to Raab about how measurement complexity doesn't mean impossibility.

CRM magazine: Does trouble typically begin when marketers fail to articulate a business plan before diving in?

David Raab: That's a huge mistake that people make. Somebody says, "I gotta get me some of that marketing measurement stuff," and they really don't know what they need except what they read [in] an article somewhere.

It's a very common mistake to just jump right in and do one of two things: One, measure what's convenient to measure because the data's available; or, two, look at what everybody else is measuring, or what's being talked about in the industry, because it's the best practice. It might be the best practice, but may not be the best practice that's appropriate for your business.

There's no shortcut to understanding what your situation is, and what your objectives are.

CRM: You attribute failures in part to a lack of education. How do you propose marketers get smarter?

Raab: The challenge is that things are changing so quickly in this industry. What you learned in school even five years ago has very limited relevance. It's much more important that people know how to ask their own questions, understand their own business, and figure out what's right for them today, rather than going to any external source of standard metrics.

The reality is there are certain kinds of broad purposes of a marketing project--justify marketing investment, demonstrate strategic alignment, and measure marketing execution. You have to figure out which kind of project [you want] and each of those implies a certain set of metrics. …

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