The economy’s challenging. Management’s watching the bottom line. Marketing and communications budgets are slim. Terms like “Accountability” and “Return on Investment” are essential parts of the new marketing vocabulary.

Scary? Sure. But not unmanageable. If you look at marketing as an investment, now’s your chance to prove it. You can even set up a process of continuous improvement at the same time. It will take some work, but the effort you put into measuring and reporting the results of your programs will win you and your department respect and credibility.

Of course the gold standard in marketing measurement is tying a sale to a specific communications program. But in B2B marketing where sales cycles are long and multiple factors may play a role, direct links are hard to document.

GATHERING INFORMATION

You can do quite a bit toward demonstrating the value of marketing by documenting how individual programs are measuring up. For instance, we suggest you:

Social Media
* Measure how often you’re retweeted or shared and the added reach you get
* Track how many conversations have been started by your posts
* Look at growth in followers, likes, blog readers, etc.
* Make offers that lead to landing pages that collect inquiry counts

Blogs
* Track readership and comments
* Make offers that lead to landing pages that collect inquiry counts

Public Relations
* Track where your articles and releases are picked up and what’s the reach
* Include an offer or landing page link so you can look at number of inquiries generated; measure quality if you can

Email Marketing
* Open rates are a good start
* Include an offer or landing page link so you can look at number of inquiries generated; measure quality if you can

REPORTING

This is not the time to keep secrets. Be sure your boss, your boss’s boss, and folks on up the ladder know what you’re doing and what the investment’s yielding. To build trust, we suggest you share the positive and the negative. Include what you’ve learned and how you might change things next time.

CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT

If you take time to study your results, you’ll probably find ways to improve a program. If you try something different, watch the results to see if they’re getting better or worse. Then you have more information to feed back into future efforts.

Measuring, reporting, improving. You’ll look like a marketing rock star!

Need help setting up measurement programs? Contact your CCC account manager or email smcpherson@cccinc.com.

For more information on Creative Communications Consultants, visit www.cccinc.com.