Marketing performance: what do the numbers and recommendations really mean?

June 14, 2023
Posted by
James Windle

Marketing performance is incredibly important for businesses, whether operating locally in Wollongong or trading globally in Gibraltar. Marketing performance can be assessed by a number of factors, the most obvious of which are your marketing metrics, or data.

In today’s digital world almost everything can be measured. From website traffic, to session duration, engagement and, most importantly, leads and sales.  Marketing data can be interpreted in a wide range of ways. In fact, the way marketing data is analysed and presented more or less decides how your marketing is performing.

For example, if you are currently inactive on social media and decide to start posting more regularly you will see a significant increase in awareness and engagement metrics. As a percentage, these numbers will appear astronomical - it’s not uncommon for these percentages to be in the thousands.

It’s a great story. The increase itself is inarguable, however in the following months these numbers will average out and the true impact of your marketing performance will be revealed. You see, the true value of any marketing activity or campaign cannot be properly measured and analysed in such a short time period. Rather, marketing performance needs to be measured over a minimum of three months in order to assess how effective the results are. The reasons for this are simple: trends and patterns.

Data trends allow marketers and business owners to assess the performance of their marketing by demonstrating the change over time. Alas, this will often bring your numbers back down to earth.

Imagine if you ate one can of Beans a month. That one can of Beans is equivalent to 100% of your Beans consumption for that month. In the second month, you decide you’re going to eat three cans of Beans a week. At the end of the second month, you’ve eaten 12 cans of Beans.

If you were to compare your Beans consumption as a percentage increase from month one to month two, that would be a 1,100% increase month-on-month. While a “1,100% increase” sounds like an exciting story, all you really did was eat 11 more cans of Beans than you normally would.

If you continue eating 12 cans of Beans a month for the next year, your trend will eventually flat line and your percentage increases will no longer be as exciting.

The same can be said of many marketing performance metrics. If you go from rarely posting on your business’s social media accounts, to posting every second day - you are going to see an astronomical increase in your marketing performance in the short term. As you continue your new social media posting schedule, those numbers will average and you will be left with marketing performance data that is truly valuable - the type that can be used to form patterns and predictions.

Marketing is often a significant investment for a business, especially those trying to navigate the uncertainty of today’s times. There’s so many different mediums and platforms to choose from. How do you know what metrics to measure? And then, how do you know if that metric is relevant to your business?

As a business, you should expect a return or at least some tangible result from your investment. But the truth is that real, sustainable growth is not seen at levels of nine-hundred percent month-on-month. Healthy growth is steady and manageable, it's measured over longer periods of time and includes dips along the way too.

It’s not realistic to expect increasing percentages, month-on-month, year-round. There are recessions, pandemics, and seasonal trends that can impact your sales - no matter how sensational your marketing agency is.

At Beans, we provide monthly marketing performance reports to our clients that assess the numbers that actually matter - not just the ones that make us look good. We pay special attention to what we believe is driving the trends and make adjustments as required.

When highlighting results in our reports we ask ourselves three questions:

- Is the metric relevant to your business objectives?
- Is there a trend (e.g. more than 3 months of positive data)?
- What can we attribute it to?
- How do we improve it?

These questions keep us focused on what really matters: your bottom line.

If you’re looking to partner with a business that is focused on your marketing performance, then contact Beans and let’s dive into your numbers.

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