Why Worry About
Marketing Performance Metrics?

Arturo F Munoz Open QuoteOur incapacity to comprehend other cultures stems from our insistence on measuring things in our own terms.

-- Arthur Erickson

Marketers today face severe obstacles when justifying their existence. Typically they sit so far up the corporate tower, that they cannot help being detached from the action going on in the field. They lack access to relevant customer data.

Marketing Performance MetricsOnly too often their objectives are in misalignment with their sales counterparts, who sit in the trenches with the customer and the competition.

Few measures of performance are available to help marketers identify campaign effectiveness. It is no wonder that the average chief marketing officer’s tenure is less than 24 months.

Why Marketing Should Care?

No internal group of professionals is in more dire need of an effective customer relationship management (CRM) process than the marketers in charge of B2B demand generation. This group spends money on promotions, is in no position to rake in the revenue from long, complex sales and yet is evaluated based on revenues from promotions. No wonder its performance is so often misunderstood.

Demand generation has urgent need for a marketing performance measuring system and its corresponding marketing performance metrics, because metrics drive behavior, in this case sustained budgetary support and career endurance.

Yet metrics that are merely revenue and profit-based fail to account for other performing areas that are critical to the success of the business, namely efficiencies of operation and opportunities to innovate.

Naturally the implication is that the team under the spotlight needs to generate a set of insightful metrics both to guide them in their behavior and to educate other corporate players on the value that marketing is producing for the business. But not all metrics are created equal.

Metrics Don’t Exist In A Vacuum

As is the case when presenting any argument, its validity is entirely dependent upon the reasoning that goes into its development. Metrics don’t exist in a vacuum. They’re designed out of the raw stuff that makes up information. In other words, they’re as much dependent on data as they are on reasoning. And not all data is created equal.

There is a great deal of importance in producing localized measures, in this case marketing performance metrics, that build credibility and certainty about productive behavior going on inside the marketing department; behavior that needs not be necessarily defined in terms of revenue or profit produced directly by other departments. Still it takes clean data to even begin basic development of such metrics.

Jill Dyche of DataFlux, a SAS company, explains quite rightly that selling the strategic value of clean data is no easy task. Never mind executing on that strategy! But formulating your game plan and executing upon it you must do, if you wish to generate reliable marketing performance metrics and call yourself a marketer in the long-run.

In this section of the site I will delve into the concept of performance metrics and will show you ways to evaluate marketing performance without having to depend entirely upon bona fide revenue numbers from the field or a call center.

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