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Measure What Matters Most — Which Marketing Metrics Should You Focus On?

Measure What Matters Most — Which Marketing Metrics Should You Focus On?

With the proliferation of data sources, how do marketers know where to focus? Chris Jordan suggests measuring what you want to improve.

As Seth Godin rightly points out, “Measurement is fabulous. Unless you’re busy measuring what’s easy to measure as opposed to what’s important”.

With channel proliferation, privacy changes, and more data, it is getting harder to measure what is important. Only 33% of marketers strongly agree that they gain insights fast enough for impactful decision-making (Marketing Intelligence Report). 

Getting data quickly is certainly important, but so too is the quality of the insights arising from that data. Vanity metrics, which tend to focus on number of followers, for example, are falling out of favour. Marketers now concentrate on metrics that measure engagement or conversions. Nearly four in five marketers agree that data quality is what will drive marketing-led growth and improved customer experience. 

While recent changes in privacy laws make things more complicated, new technologies are now available to help marketers meet these challenges head on.

A new definition of success

In the latest Marketing Intelligence Report, marketers named customer satisfaction and return on marketing investment as the two most important success metrics. 

Given the huge shifts that have taken place in customer behaviours and in business objectives due to the pandemic, it’s no surprise they should sit at the top of the success metric list.

According to the State of Marketing report, customer satisfaction analytics have seen a 22% growth rate as 78% of marketing organisations reprioritised metrics in light of the pandemic. 

However, only around a third of marketers say they are completely successful at measuring customer satisfaction and return on investment (ROI). 

The figures are similar for the next two most important metrics. Thirty nine percent of marketers say customer acquisition is important, but only 31% say they are measuring it successfully. Brand awareness sits at fourth on the list with 36% but only 32% reporting accurate measurements. 

Part of the challenge lies in the quality of marketing data. The State of Marketing Report shows only 42% of marketers are completely satisfied with the hygiene of their customer data, only 37% are satisfied with the timeliness of their data, and 35% are happy with data integration.

And these are not the only data challenges marketers are up against.

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Challenges faced by marketers today

When asked to define the challenges they face in evaluating performance, marketers in Singapore named the following:

  • Manual data integration processes
  • Siloed data
  • Alignment across teams on measurement and reporting

These challenges leave marketers in a paradox. Our report found 99% of marketers in Singapore emphasise the importance of having a complete, centralised view of all cross-channel marketing. However, 68% still evaluate the performance of their cross-channel marketing in silos. This leaves plenty of room for improvement and integration.

This appears to be a particular problem for businesses in Singapore, where siloed data is the number two performance challenge reported by marketers. Globally, it sits at the bottom of the list, at number seven. 

This might suggest marketers in Singapore could benefit from greater uptake of customer data platforms (CDPs). And, as we will see below, it’s an area of growing investment. Marketing Intelligence, for example, offers a single source of truth by integrating data from across teams and channels. It gives you real-time insights, allowing you to adjust your underperforming campaigns while they are still live. ROI becomes something that can be monitored and adjusted in real time, not just in retrospect once a campaign is over. 

Data privacy takes centre stage

There have been several significant changes to data regulations over the last few years. Introduced in 2018, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a privacy and security law that imposes obligations on organisations globally and delivers harsh fines against businesses that violate its standards. The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) came into effect two years later. It allows California consumers to see the information companies have saved on them, and who they shared it with. This is also relevant to companies based in Asia who have customers in the US.  Together with Apple’s privacy updates and Google’s phasing out of third party cookies, these changes in consumer privacy protections are causing substantial disruptions to digital marketing globally. 

In response to these changes in data privacy regulations, 98% of marketers in Singapore have fundamentally changed how they measure marketing performance, with revisions in:

  • Customer data collection 
  • Marketing performance KPIs and goals 
  • Marketing budget allocation

But where there is change, there is opportunity. Marketers in Singapore have reported increasing their investments in:

  • Marketing analytics and measurement 
  • Customer data platforms
  • Real-time interaction and personalisation

Analytics strategies that go beyond outdated measurements like email open rates will be essential to fostering the new metrics of marketing success. With Salesforce Marketing Intelligence , marketers can unify data from email from web analytics to build a 360-degree view of their customer, without breaching new privacy regulations. Add data from revenue databases to that equation and the success metric of ROI also becomes simpler to measure. 

The art and science of marketing

It’s long been said that marketing is both an art and a science. I would argue that has never been truer. The scope for creativity is vast and the tools for data measurement are extremely sophisticated. 

But with the proliferation of data, it can be hard to know how best we can apply these tools. 

The average number of data sources used in B2C is expected to hit 12 in 2022. That’s double what it was in 2020. In B2B, the anticipated increase is from 10 to 15 (State of Marketing report). 

A clear objective is critical. Otherwise marketers will find themselves just wading through data, rather than finding real value in it. 

This is where technology like Marketing Cloud can help. Its AI capabilities can drive automated, personalised content and deliver meaningful and timely insights about customer behaviour. Interactive reporting across teams and channels means campaigns can be course-corrected to improve performance and ROI. 

Marketers must focus on the most valuable metrics and use the right tools to surface actionable insights from data. By doing this well, marketers not only drive business performance, but also validate and justify the role of marketing. As marketers, there has never been a better time to validate our seat at the board room table. 

For more data, analysis and expert insight, download the Marketing Intelligence Report.

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