Perhaps it’s just human nature. We don’t always do the things we know are good for us, like eating oatmeal or measuring marketing. Those who don’t currently do either can be much further ahead, just by doing a little, which is certainly better than nothing.
If you don’t currently measure your marketing, please grab a bowl of oatmeal and read on for four reasons why you should start measuring!
Last week, my sister Dianne emailed to share her discovery that Bob’s Red Mill makes a quick cooking steel cut oats. We’re both fans of steel cut oats but don’t love how long they take to cook, so this came as good news.
In my reply, I wondered whether they deliver the same health benefits as regular steel cut oats. I recalled reading something about how oats that take longer to cook also take longer to digest, which is somehow more beneficial to your health, although I’m not sure why.
When I raised this health related issue to my sister, her reply was “any steel cut oats is better than none…which is how much I’ve been having lately”. You see, Dianne has a young son who I’ve written about before, and he keeps her pretty busy. Quick, healthy breakfasts are a good thing!
I think Dianne is right. Any steel cut oats is better than none. If you don’t eat steel cut oats, you don’t get the health benefits. Marketing measurement is the same. If you don’t measure, you don’t learn anything that helps you to improve your marketing.
Like mothers of young children, marketers have a lot on their plates. They know measurement is good for them, but many don’t measure as much or as well as they would like. Many others don’t measure at all.
As much as they might like to measure, a full-on approach often isn’t practical, usually due to a shortage of some combination of time, resource and expertise. Still, they need to find a way to get something done, as the benefits of marketing measurement make it worthwhile.
If you don’t already measure your marketing, here are some reasons you should.
4 Reasons to Measure Marketing
1. You Will Learn Something Useful: The main problem with not doing any measurement is that you don’t get to learn anything that helps you to make better marketing decisions. If you could measure something, and learn something that helps improve your marketing, that would certainly be better than learning nothing.
2. You Will Set Clear Objectives: Measuring your marketing brings an additional layer of discipline to your marketing decision making. Committing to measurement requires that you to set clear and measurable objectives when planning your marketing programs. It will force you to ask the right questions about each proposed program. Those questions will help you filter out bad ideas and reduce ineffective spending of your limited marketing budget. That alone is worth the price of admission.
3. You Will Have Data: A manager with the responsibility for a marketing budget has two main organizational battles to fight. The first is to fight for budget to fund upcoming marketing programs. The second comes later when it’s time to prove that budget was well spent. If you measure marketing, you will have data with which to fight your battles. Having data is way better than having none and going into battle unarmed.
4. You Will Rank Your Programs by Results: However you choose to measure, make sure you apply one approach consistently across your diverse range of marketing programs. That consistency will give you the ability to rate, rank and compare programs according to their effectiveness at meeting their objectives. You will be able to identify the winners and losers, and you will have a basis on which to make decisions about which types of programs to run in the future.
My sister is right to focus on getting the health benefits from steel cut oats, and if it takes a bit of a short cut to get her there, than that is what she should do. Marketers who don’t measure also need to find a way to get there. I believe in a practical approach to a complex problem as a reasonable and effective way for time-starved marketers to get some measurement done and get the benefits of improved marketing health.
If you measure your marketing, you will learn what works and doesn’t work, so you can optimize your strategies and get better results. Measure… Learn… Optimize… In my books, that’s way better than nothing!
About the Author: Rick Shea is President of Optiv8 Consulting, a marketing effectiveness consultancy with a focus on helping small to mid-sized organizations measure their marketing so they can stop wasting money.
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