How to Attain Marketing Nirvana

Technology has forever changed the retail shopping experience. Most companies are investing in paid media advertising, (AdWords, display, social ads, SEO, email, etc.) to increase downloads, signups, sales, leads and customer acquisitions.

So much information can be gathered - but how does a company quantify the return on marketing investment? Which campaigns are the most effective? 

Investing in marketing is imperative therefore it is important for a company to know whether or not their marketing strategy is working to maximum Return on Marketing Investment. One method this article speaks about is attribution modeling which can be used as a method of assigning a value to user touch-points that contribute to the result of a conversion or purchase, and then assigns a value to each. With understanding of how your customers are interacting with your ads and different marketing channels, you can learn to optimize your marketing plan.

A simpler and faster method of quantifying your return on marketing investment is to call the experts at Mx3 Metrics. Our software quickly measures and computes your data into quantifying information any time you need it. And you can quickly create customizable reports!

Contact us anytime for a free consultation.

 

 

Top 8 Mistakes People Make with Marketing Automation

1. Being inorganic

Marketing automation programs that use templates and scheduled messaging are useful timesavers but make sure you don’t lose the personal touch of real human connection.

2. Flipping the wrong personal switches

The purpose of marketing messages it to create a meaningful bond between your company and your customers. It is important to see your communications from the customers point of view. The linked article includes some questions to ask yourself while designing your marketing plan.

3. Failing to plan

Balance between objectives (short and long term goals) is key to not losing direction or creativity or being able to gauge the effectiveness of your campaigns.

4. Getting the focus wrong

Successful marketing is not just about the number of people you reach. It is about reaching the RIGHT people. Know your audience to achieve the most effective marketing efforts.

5. Ticking boxes

Marketing automation in the business to business community has risen 11 fold in just 6 years. It is imperative to be educated in the industry best practices and understanding.

6. Ignoring buyer profiles

Tailoring your communications to buyer profiles results in a far more effective program for less cost and effort. Marketing automation can be great tool for saving time and success when used with customer understanding and buyer profiles which must be thought out ahead of time.

7. Inefficient use of tools and platforms

Because the right marketing automation platform can be a little expensive, it means taking a careful audit of your present or potential automation procedures. This article asks a few questions that can help.

8. Forgetting the data generation

Marketing automation endeavors are data generators. Each interaction with a prospect, each conversion to lead or each failure generates a set of data points that are highly useful in designing future strategies.

Mx3 Metrics software is the tool to use to bring all your marketing data and make sense of it. Now more than ever, a tool that tells you how your marketing plan is working - or not working - is a crucial time and money saver.

Call or email us any time to see if Mx3 Metrics is your solution to successful marketing!

 

Digital Marketing Trends and Predictions for 2017 with Doug Lacombe

Calgary Executives Association is pleased to have Doug Lacombe as our guest speaker for our Open House breakfast on Wednesday, February 15th. We invite you to join us.

Doug Lacombe is the founder and president of Communicatto and has over 20 years experience in media (newspapers), web publishing, software, telecom (wireless data and voice), and social media.

Are you curious about what the future holds for Digital Marketing?
What do you think the key trends will be?

  • Automation?

  • VR?

  • Blockchain?

  • Machine Learning?

  • AI?

Join us on February 15th to find out Doug's perspective. Register today! 

This event is open to anyone who is interested in learning more about the Calgary Executives Association.

Here is a teaser from Doug:

So Much Marketing Data. No Integration.

How do you determine if your marketing efforts are getting the results you’re after?

One of the fundamental issues with measuring the performance and results of marketing is understanding what is happening within each marketing channel. Each digital marketing platform has a method for collecting and reporting on the data generated by these platforms. Some of these systems include Google AdWords, Facebook Insights, Twitter Analytics, and LinkedIn Analytics, to name just a few.

But what is missing is integration. There are a few marketing reporting systems that pull together data from multiple sources but all of them are missing a segment of data that is critical to understanding what is happening. Google Analytics almost does this but to be truly integrated, a reporting system for marketing performance should collect data from three critical areas: marketing, sales and financial.

Marketing Data

Marketing includes every channel a company uses to reach its audiences including digital, social and traditional advertising. Data from these sources includes Impressions and Visits (to a website, social platform or physical location).

Sales Data

Sales includes the customer relationship management system that a company uses. This would include Prospects, Meetings, Free Trials, Offers (or Proposals) and number of sales units. To really understand where your marketing efforts should be directed, this information should be segmented by marketing channel, which in my experience is rarely documented.

Financial Data

Financial information includes all marketing costs (fixed and variable) and all information related to revenue, again segmented by marketing channel. Once more, this is infrequently done.

Integration

There are programs that integrate some of this data - Google Analytics is a good example - but most marketing reporting platforms are missing data from one area or another. Google Analytics, for example, has data at the point of visiting a website. Google has made some effort to integrate data from Google AdWords for Paid Search and Search Console for Organic search. As a result, we can see the Impressions generated by AdWords and Organic Search within the Google Analytics platform. This is excellent but there is no integration with any of the social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. In order to get Impressions from any social media platform or email program like MailChimp, or traditional advertising like TV, radio, print and trade shows, we have to go to the source.

Excel

Interestingly, Microsoft Excel offers a pretty good solution. Using Excel, we can add data from any source, create reports, develop charts and analyze trends. However, Excel requires at least intermediary skills to use the program and understanding of math and statistics. There are a few marketers who have these skills but many don't.

Our Solution: Mx3 Metrics System

The screenshot below is from our marketing metrics program, called Mx3 Metrics. On the right side, you can see that we have added the key levels of the marketing and sales funnel. Impressions is at the top and Outcomes is further down. Down the middle, you can see a partial list of marketing channels including Organic Search, Paid Search, Display ads and Print. There are more channels below but not captured in this screenshot. From the middle and out to the right you can see cells for Impressions for the various marketing channels by month.

Missing Metrics

The other issue with most marketing reporting systems available is the lack of metrics (which we define as a calculation between 2 measures). This is especially an issue with metrics related to financial performance but key conversion metrics are also conspicuously lacking. Examples of critical metrics are cost per visit (to a store or to a website), cost per lead, cost per sale, offer rate and take rate. Google AdWords is the only channel platform that calculates critical metrics such as click-through-rate, cost per click, conversion rate, and cost per conversion. The team developing AdWords gets it. But most companies use more marketing channels than AdWords and so they are stuck trying to figure out the measures and metrics that are critical for them to make decisions relate to marketing results and performance.

Mx3 Metrics: Channel Detail

In our system, we add all the measures that are critical for each marketing channel and each level of the Customer Acquisition Funnel. Our software then calculates the relevant conversion metrics and cost per level metrics. See screenshot below.

Demo

If you would like more information or a demo, contact Jeff Nelson at jeff@anduro.com, 403-703-2247 or @mx3metrics.

eNewsletters are Still a Strong Way to Connect with Prospects and Customers

Recently, I recommended to a client of ours that she send out a monthly newsletter. Her reply was, "Why?" I sent her the list of reasons outlined below.

What do you think? Are eNewsletters still relevant or are they a waste of time?

1. Staying In-Touch

Email newsletters are still a very strong way to stay in-touch with current, past and some potential customers. There are very few ways to deliver information from your company right into someone's mailbox (physical or electronic). 

2. Staying Relevant

One objective of marketing is to keep your brand relevant. eNewsletters are an effective way to keep your brand in front of people who know who you are and "support" your company. They may contact you again and/or they may refer others. Even if someone deletes the eNewsletter without opening, they are still seeing your email address, your company name and the subject. This is an "Impression" which has value. Maybe they are too busy to open this month's newsletter but they will open a newsletter that you send at sometime in the future.

3. They Are Asking for It

Everyone on the eNewsletter list has opted-in which means that they want information from you. If they don't want the information from your company, they can unsubscribe.

4. Obligated (to some degree)

This is just my opinion, but I feel companies have some degree of obligation to inform and educate their "audience" of issues, trends, solutions, and new developments.

5. Easy to Measure

eNewsletters are easy to track. We know the number of subscribers, the open rate, and the click rate. These are all great measures and metrics that we evaluate the response to information we are sending to our "audience".

6. Inexpensive

eNewsletters is cheap to prepare and to deliver. Compared to costs like Google AdWords, eNewsletters are very cheap. This is especially true if you are reusing existing information from blogs and social media.

7. Results

Typically, the open rate for eNewsletters is about 30%. Click through rates back to the website are about 7%. If you have 1,000 people on your list then that is 300 people who at least opened the eNewsletter and about 70 people who clicked back to your website.

Accrual Accounting and Allocating Marketing Expenses

Allocadia has written an excellent article on accrual accounting and how it relates to marketing expenses.

See: Accrual World: What is Accrual Accounting and Why Does It Matter to Marketers? on January 22, 2015 by Katherine Berry

In the article, Katherine Berry asks and answers some very good questions on this topic:

  • What is accrual accounting?
  • Who uses accrual accounting?
  • How can marketing teams use accrual accounting?

As she explains, when "using accrual accounting, expenses are recorded when an obligation is incurred — regardless of when the cash is paid out." And she has some excellent examples.

Our software, www.Mx3Metrics.com, makes it easy for marketers to allocate expenses like trade shows to the month of the event, as opposed to the time when the expenses is paid which can me many months previously.

Tracking the Success of a Flyer

My brother sent me an email today asking on behalf of one of his customers, "How do you track the effectiveness of flyers?"

This is a common question. I often get asked this question or a similar one when discussing marketing strategies. The heart of the question boils down to the return that companies achieve for different types of advertising. Usually, this is in the context of figuring out the success of a marketing campaign.

Ideally, marketers should know the Return on Marketing Investment (ROMI). Our formula for this metric is Revenue minus Investment divided by the Investment. In this case the "Investment" is the cost of the advertising campaign. I say "ideally" because many marketers don't seem to track ROMI. This is shameful. Every marketer should not only track the performance of all their ads, they should also have quick answers to questions like, "How successful was that flyer campaign?"

Getting back to the question of tracking the success of a flyer campaign... For me the answer is less about how and more about the effort involved to track performance and results. Every method for tracking success takes effort and most marketers don't seem to want to put in the effort. But let's start with how.

Here are a number of techniques:

  • Underprice an item for sale with a unique price like $99.97 (instead of $99.99)
  • Add a tracking code that is required to get a discount or unique produce
  • Add a unique phone number; these can be quite cheap now-a-days
  • Point people to a microsite with a unique catchy URL
  • Similarly, point people to a unique landing page
  • Use an unique email address for people to use
  • Offer the promotion at a unique location e.g. to the flyers in one area of the city that has a location close by
  • Suggest that the prospect contact a specific person
  • Implement an in-store survey that is triggered when someone enters the store and ask: "How did you hear about us?"
  • Similarly, add a drop-down field on the website and ask: "How did you hear about us?"
  • Monitor Google Analytics and/or store visits and look for an obvious increase in traffic
  • Include a form in the ad that must be completed to get a promotion
  • Only do one unique promotion at a time; e.g. flyers for one month and nothing else
  • Add a QR code, although I don't see QR codes anymore, they seem to be out of fashion

As you can imagine each of these techniques takes effort to implement. You have to think ahead and figure out what people will do. In fact, you have to do more than that; you have to guide them and direct the audience to do what you want them to do. Click here. Phone this person. Fill in this form. Remember this number. Visit there. Etc. It isn't easy; and people don't always do what you want them to do. The key, however, it to anticipating how people will respond and helping them do what you want them to do.

Ultimately, the best course of action is to do something. Anything. Start by trying a least one method to track the performance of an ad or a marketing campaign.

And here is the secret: it isn't as hard as it sounds. Just try it!