Happy or Not Happy?

Last week I spoke on Marketing Measurement at an event called ‘Effective Marketing in a Digital World’. During the pre-event networking, I ran into a friend I hadn’t seen since he and his wife had their first child.

Naturally, our conversation revolved around his daughter and he showed me a photo of her that he keeps on his phone. As I remarked on her beautiful blue eyes (all credit goes to his wife) and how cute she is, he also pointed out what a good baby she is and how she doesn’t cry too much or too loudly.

Then, perhaps influenced by the topic on which I was about to speak, we started joking about how his daughter rates quite highly on two important metrics for measuring baby quality; cuteness and crying volume. We decided one could use these two metrics to categorize all babies into one of four quadrants of a matrix, as follows:

  • Quadrant #1 – Very Cute babies that cry quietly
  • Quadrant #2 – Very Cute babies that cry loudly
  • Quadrant #3 – Not Very Cute babies that cry quietly
  • Quadrant #4 – Not Very Cute babies that cry loudly

Of course, few parents would put their babies into the 3rd or 4th quadrants, but assuming some did, here’s how parents in each quadrant might feel:

#1 – Pleased to have a quiet and very cute baby
#2 – Hoping baby will grow out of this ‘Loud Crying’ phase, but thankful for the cuteness.
#3 – Hoping baby will grow out of this ‘Not Very Cute’ phase, but thankful for the quietness.
#4 – Hoping for improvement on both characteristics.

We laughed about the inappropriateness of categorizing babies this way, agreed to get together soon and continued networking with others.

The next day, as I reflected on the great people I met and the conversations we had, I recalled that silly matrix conversation. Then I remembered how I had once devised a similar matrix to categorize all marketers by their measurement efforts and whether they were happy with those efforts. In this case, the four quadrants were:

  • Quadrant #1 – Companies who measure marketing and are happy with their measurement
  • Quadrant #2 – Companies who don’t measure marketing and are happy they don’t
  • Quadrant #3 – Companies who measure marketing and are not happy with their measurement
  • Quadrant #4 – Companies who don’t measure marketing and are not happy they don’t

Unlike the baby matrix where most parents would say they are in the 1st or 2nd quadrants, I think a lot of companies would say they are in the 3rd or 4th quadrants. This is not surprising as marketing measurement cannot be done perfectly and so there is always a way to improve.

It can be helpful to decide in which quadrant your company sits, and why, as this can lead to improving your marketing measurement.  Let’s look a few key characteristics of companies in each quadrant:

Quadrant #1

  • Spending enough on marketing that they need to evaluate and manage that spending.
  • Learning what they need to know to improve marketing decisions and business results.
  • Spending appropriately on measurement relative to the size of their marketing budget.

Quadrant #2

  • Those with small marketing budgets have little or nothing to measure.
  • Those with larger marketing budgets who don’t measure are either making great instinctive marketing decisions based on limited information, or they may just be unaware of their ineffectiveness and any missed chances for improvement.

Quadrant #3

  • Measuring but not learning enough to improve marketing decisions.
  • Current measurement efforts may be inconsistent or sporadic.
  • May not have a standardized approach, making it difficult to compare individual program results to benchmarks and other programs.
  • Might be overspending on measurement, making it too big a percentage of their marketing budget.

Quadrant #4

  • May not be achieving their business objectives and are feeling pressure to better manage their marketing spending to that end.
  • May not measure due to a shortage of resources, such as time, money, people and expertise.
  • May lack clear, measurable marketing objectives that facilitate effective measurement.
  • Measurement may seem too daunting to undertake, given the increasing complexity of marketing and customer decision-making processes and, possibly, a resulting perception that the only suitable approach to measurement must also be complex and therefore too costly.

Where Are You Now and Where Do You Want To Be?

I know, that’s a little vague. I’m not looking for answers like “I’m at the office and I want to be at the cottage”, although that is a very good answer. I’m wondering which quadrant your company is in currently, and whether that’s good enough for you.

If you’re already happily in Quadrant #1, congratulations, you can leave now for the cottage! However, if you’re in one of the other quadrants and you’re spending a significant amount of money on marketing, you may still have some work to do before you pack your SUV, particularly if you’re not achieving your business objectives.

One of the points I made in my presentation is that to be effective at marketing, you have to do four things well:

  1. Research: Insights about markets, competitors, customers, etc.
  2. Strategy: For the business, your brands and how you will go to market
  3. Execution: The marketing programs that help you find, develop and keep profitable customers
  4. Measurement: To know if your strategies and executions are delivering

One of the main benefits of measurement is the ability it gives you to make improvements to your strategies and executions. If you are not measuring, or if you are not happy with your current measurement efforts, there is a solution, and that is to build an effective measurement process. If you need my help, I’ll be at the cottage.










About Rick Shea
Rick Shea is President of Optiv8 Consulting, a marketing consultancy that helps small to mid-sized organizations improve their marketing impact and business outcomes through customer insights, strategic discipline and effective content. Copyright ©2007-2023 Optiv8 Consulting, a brand operating under Rick Shea Enterprises Inc. All rights reserved. You may reproduce this article by including this copyright and, if reproducing electronically, including a link to: http://www.optiv8.com/

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