In most cases, measurement is required to justify the costs associated with each marketing campaign.
Furthermore, when you monitor the results of each campaign on an ongoing basis, you give yourself the required information to make adjustments midstream. This will allow you to add more resources to your more profitable campaigns, and eliminate the ones that are underperforming.
Hopefully, this will also prevent you from having to scramble to meet your monthly, quarterly or yearly goals at the last minute.
The reasons for continually monitoring your marketing campaigns are very clear.
However, the proper actions to take as a result of what the metrics are telling you are not so obvious.
The problem is, there may be some residual benefits of your marketing efforts that are not so easily measured.
For example, as I pointed out in a blog post, titled “The Hidden ROI of Social Media Marketing,” when you add social media into your marketing mix, you might not be getting the desired short-term increases in sales. However, your social media efforts might help decrease expenses, put out fires or have a positive effect on where your brand appears on a search engine results page. All of these can have a positive effect on your bottom line.
There is also the chance that while you might not be reaching a lot of consumers with your marketing efforts, you might be reaching the right consumers.
In other words, you might be reaching the key influencers who have the ability to spread the news about how great your product is and, in the process, persuade others to buy it, instead of purchasing your competitors’ products.
In his book, “CRUSH IT! Why NOW Is the Time to Cash In on Your Passion,” (affiliate link) Gary Vaynerchuk gives a perfect hypothetical example of how this might happen.
“What if your analytics tell you that you’ve only had seven views on Break.com in two months?” writes Vaynerchuk. “Are you going to stop posting to that platform? The data are telling you that you should probably drop it, but what you don’t know is that one of those seven viewers is a producer for The Today Show. There’s no reason to think that can’t happen.”
In Vaynerchuk’s example, if you stop posting to Break.com, you might be cutting off your only line of communication to a person with the power to spread your message all over the world.
There is a chance that the hypothetical producer for The Today Show would like your content so much that he or she would seek you out on other platforms.
However, he or she might not.
Are you willing to take that risk?
As I have said before, it is very important to measure the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns.
However, the actions that you should take as a result of what the metrics are telling you are not so cut and dried.
As a previous blog post alluded to, it is very possible that you might not be measuring the right things.
And, as Gary Vaynerchuk points out in his book, it is also possible that you might not be able to measure the true reach or effectiveness of your marketing campaign, if you are reaching a key influencer who is willing to become a brand advocate and spread your message to a wider audience.
This points to the fact that while the metrics may be telling you to do one thing, the correct response might be to gamble and do the opposite.
In the end, it might be prudent to trust your gut.
Photo credit: eliduke on Flickr.