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Focusing On Activities Instead Of Actual Results
The crucial difference CMO’s, marketing managers and business owners must distinguish is between outputs and outcomes. It’s a common mistake to judge your effectiveness by looking at outputs, but true understanding comes from tracking your outcomes.
Outputs of Marketing/Selling: are essentially the avenues and activities you use to reach out to customers. Print advertising and retail stores are two traditional avenues for marketing your business. Content marketing outputs have exploded over the past decade, making blogs, social media, videos, surveys, and other online tools incredibly valuable. The trouble arises when businesses try to measure their effectiveness based strictly on these outputs. Unfortunately, the amount of time and effort involved does not guarantee any degree of marketing progress. You can have infinity outputs, but if they’re ineffective, they have absolutely no value.
Outcomes of Marketing/Selling: are much more reliable area of focus. They are the result of the hard work you expend through your outputs. So let’s say you use your website to gather email addresses. Then you send out relevant newsletters to those who opted in. The outputs are your website and your newsletters. But what matters? The outcomes: How many sales were made as a result? How has the newsletter changed public perception of your company?
Oftentimes, business owners & CMO’s will fall into the habit of measuring outputs rather than outcomes because it’s much easier – it takes less effort. With the rise of digital marketing, it’s even easier to get sucked into the trap of measuring outputs because that’s how platforms are framed:
How do social media platforms measure things? Likes, follows. How do email marketing platforms measure things? Subscribers, open rates. How do website platforms measure things? Page views, clicks.
Efficiency & Effectiveness: Work Both Sides Of The Equation
By focusing on your customers and results instead of efforts, you can bemore efficient by eliminating all the overhead of execution and tactical planning. By moving to a strategic and integrated marketing plan, the elimination of waste alone can remove tremendous amounts of inefficiency.
And by focusing on results, you can stop spending time executing, or planning throughout the year, and spend your efforts optimizing your marketing programs around the elements that are producing the best results.
Four Steps To Focus On Results
Create an integrated annual marketing plan – Put the customer needs at the center, building a marketing strategy to meet those needs and eliminating waste with an “always on” approach because buyers are always looking for information.
Content Strategy– Segment your buyers, define their unique personas, understand what channels are most important, create content that meets their needs and that customers want and continuously test it in the market.
ROI optimization – Monitor and report the results of all activities and model the best channels and content combinations that help to convert prospects to qualified buyers.
Sales enablement– Do NOT forget to work hard to ensure your sales and telemarketing teams are trained on your marketing programs so they can best support conversion at all stages.
Ali Salman is an online marketing strategist who have worked with Coca-Cola, Extreme Pita, Mucho Burrito, KIA, Honda and other Fortune 500 companies. Ali Salman now heads Rapid Boost Marketing - Canada's fastest growing search marketing agency. RBM clients include Fortune 500's and medium size businesses across North America. Ali as RBM CMO leads his team in building and managing quality, high-performing and cost-effective interactive campaigns and programs for our company's customers and partners. In his career, he has significantly improved campaign performance for large brands such as Government of Alberta, Liberal Party, Workopolis, Cathay Pacific, as well as medium to large retailers and high-tech B2B-enterprise niches.
Ali and his team develop online promotional concepts that spark viral growth through search and social media for RBM clients, devising strategies that use search engines and more to reach key demographic segments in the ways they're most likely to be receptive. Ali Salman also oversees corporate marketing initiatives for Rapid Boost Marketing, including strategic communications counsel, public and analyst relations and client education programming.