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  • Writer's pictureMarcio Moerbeck

What to do when things don't go well with your marketing strategies?

Updated: Feb 8, 2021

I was inspired today by a tweet to quickly write about my ideas for measurement and how to behave as a marketer when things aren't going well.

First, let me copy the tweet. Prof. Clark is an amazing follow that I highly recommend.

In his tweet Prof. Clark recommends we think of 5 issues when things aren't going well:

- Importance

- Time frame

- Variance

- Equation

- Lever

I don't immediately try to funnel my reactions to a poor metrics report to specific issues but one issue I would like to discuss is the issue of transparency. Measurement is unfortunately one of the forgotten pillars of marketing execution. Many organizations aren't prepared to measure the right metrics and some aren't aware of the implications behind a lack of measurement, but one thing is common - organizations that aren't measuring their results and reporting on them lack the overall confidence of the organization. In my career, marketing has always been fighting for relevance looking to shout to all who want to hear how amazing we are and how impactful we are to the business. Well, the devil is in the details and if you don't measure the right metrics and report them internally using internal marketing techniques, you are missing an opportunity to become more relevant to your stakeholders. Most important, we must not be afraid to fail and we must push for aggressive transparency - good or bad - as we build a reputation as team that own its achievements and shortcomings.

So, how do we solve this problem...

I will try to be succinct, but first step is to carefully map your customer's buyer's journey from awareness to advocacy - map each micro-conversion in all of the channels so you can understand your funnel (I don't like the word funnel, so let me know bore you now with my contrarian views)... net net... you need to know what happens BEFORE they are even in a buying cycle - that would represent 94% (give or take) of your total addressable market.

Second, you must use this map to understand the points of inflection where people go from trying to understand they have an issue to learning about the issue and finally learning about your solution to that issue... there are clear points of inflection and you must understand what they are - are they related to a specific content theme or a channel, etc. That's up to you to decide - Marketo has a great report few people use - the "Opportunity Influence Analyzer" and it is a powerful in mapping and understanding the points of inflection in your opportunities.

Now we have a buyer's journey map, a list of key moments in the journey and we might ask - what metrics are associated with them? Build a list of KPIs related to those metrics as a way to determine the health of your journey. Once you have that list it's a much easier process to diagnose what's going on here. This is connected to the issue of IMPORTANCE Prof. Clark mentioned.

Now, let's pretend you are the social media manager for your company. Your angle here is completely different. The metrics you measure that are critical to social media change. So you can join in understanding how people interact with your channel and what makes it important, so you can measure those metrics and adjust accordingly.

Now that I gave you an idea (albeit incomplete) of how to start thinking of measurement, let me tell you that when things aren't well... the first thing you must evaluate is what isn't going well... if your website traffic is down - is that a KPI? If it is, then it's time to fire up the SEO and content machine and examine further. Look at on site and off site SEO and work with expert to improve it... furthermore, be TRANSPARENT to stakeholders if things aren't well. Inspect and report what you found. Sugarcoating it will erode the confidence others have in your team. If website traffic isn't a KPI (let's make believe), then you still must continue working to improve it, but focus on reporting on the metrics you have defined as critical. You must be careful to not select 100 KPIs because you will confuse your stakeholders. Remember, everybody is a marketer until you start talking shop... most people who claim to understand marketing do not have the slightest idea what the social media engagement rate means. Be careful with over-reporting and don't confuse your audience. The idea here is to be meaningful, transparent and accountable for all things marketing related - good or bad.

I hope I inspired you to think differently about how you measure and report on your marketing metrics. As always, you can reach me via email or text using the phone listed on the site. #AskMarcio



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