Admit it: you love to be loved. In an age where marketing effectiveness is associated with page views and social media likes, it’s no surprise businesses thrive off vanity metrics. But effective marketing means much more than all of that.
While high-click through rates, web traffic and downloads all hint that your marketing is doing its job, there’s a big difference between generating traffic and building an effective marketing strategy.
Sadly, the simple fact is that focusing on marketing in isolation just doesn’t work.
Lead generation and customer acquisition are key elements of an effective marketing strategy. Far too many companies think that agencies who focus on minor measurable are succeeding.
But just because your web traffic is through the roof or you've had more downloads on a piece of content than usual doesn't mean the agency your marketing is doing its job.
That sexy-looking campaign might be driving traffic to your site, but unless everything else in your business is in place to turn those visitors into long-term customers, what on earth is the point?
When assessing how effective your marketing strategy is, start with these questions:
Can you deliver against your marketing messages?
Is your sales team aligned enough with marketing to close?
Is the sales team selling what the operations team can deliver?
Are you over promising to win the business?
So, what is Effective Marketing?
Effective marketing is all about analyzing all elements of your business to ensure that the marketing strategies you deploy are aligned with your business goals.
Think of marketing problems as Sudoku: you can't solve them in isolation, just looking at one square on its own. You have to look at all of the other squares in order to find the solution to the challenge.
Equally, you can't solve your marketing strategy issues without first understanding how sales, operations and everything else will fit into the equation.
This, in turn, means that your marketing efforts can work in tandem with business critical KPIs, remain cost-effective and increase ROI. At the core of developing an effective marketing strategy is that everything needs to work in harmony; no business can achieve growth with marketing alone.
Even here at MTM - a media and marketing agency - we don’t just throw loads of marketing out there to win business. We also have to make sure that our sales team is selling something that can actually be done.
Meanwhile, our accounts team also needs to be able to deliver what's sold and our dev team build it.
"Marketing is a waste of time and money." - every sales and operations department ever. If all of the cogs don't line up, the whole thing falls apart.
Sadly, far too many marketing departments and agencies out there spend too long trying to improve the marketing cog without ever looking at whether or not it's properly aligned with the others.
The result? A massive waste of time and money on all fronts and a team that thinks marketing is a waste of time.
That’s why good marketers and business leaders leave the actual marketing bit until last.
They start by analyzing the business as a whole, fixing weaknesses, magnifying strengths and making sure everything else is right before even thinking about a bigger push in the market.
Getting all departments in check before you waste money on marketing makes perfect sense because:
If your products or services aren’t in demand, you're not attracting the right prospects anyway.If your sales team can't close properly, any new leads are a waste of time anyway as they won't lead to conversions.If you can't deliver on what's being closed, you’ll lose the business soon after winning it.If you can’t handle queries and complaints, you’ll get a really bad reputation, losing even more business in the process.
What Does Marketing Effectiveness Mean?
Marketing effectiveness means putting quality over quantity.
Even when you’ve aligned your whole company to be a selling machine, it’s easy to get carried away by doing too much on the marketing front.
Trying to keep plates spinning with social media posts, articles, email campaigns, print, your website, PPC campaigns, SEO work and all the other channels you could be using makes it easy to lose focus on what's actually working and also lose sight of what marketing effectiveness actually looks like.
But when you reframe your measurable to customers, you’ll be able to spend more time doing what really works.
And then you’ll realize effective marketing isn’t just about marketing. It’s about giving your business the best opportunities to grow.