Measuring Your Performance

Measuring your brand’s performance from a marketing standpoint is difficult at best. Part of the reason, as I wrote before, is what I call the time to gratification. As marketers, we generate content, distribute it to our audiences and wait. Sometimes, we’ll see immediate results. Other times, however, it may take weeks or months before someone decides to purchase based on content we developed a year ago.

So, we look for ways to accurately measure our performance (there’s a ton of research and numerous books and training on how to do it, much of which is out of reach cost-wise for most small to medium-sized businesses).

Some folks will just look at sales. If sales are up, we must be doing something right. But a pure look at sales may not account for promotional pricing, especially when it is out of your control.

Others will look at read rates for their e-mail campaigns. Many people, like me, use the reading pane for their e-mails, never to click them open. So much for that.

Maybe you can troll forums and blogs to see what people are saying about you. It’s a great idea (and everyone should be doing this), but those will only be those people with something to say.

Think about surveys for a minute. Often they are reported as a certain percentage of Americans (or whatever demographic group) believe such-and-such. While, statistically speaking, sampling can give you a pretty good idea of what the group as a whole thinks or feels, the reality is that it is the percentage of those people that decided to respond to the survey. As Mark Twain said, “There are lies, damn lies and statistics.”

There is no easy answer. How you go about measuring your performance depends somewhat on the type of business you are in. There are some things you can do, however, that will improve your ability to measure:

  • Avoid measuring in general terms like overall sales. When using sales as a barometer, focus on particular segments, markets and geographic areas that match your targeted content.
  • Identify processes and outcomes that are measurable. In other words, look for those specific items that, when done correctly, lead to positive outcomes. It could be how you generate content, make decisions, fill orders, handle complaints or deliver the product.
  • Measure things that are within you control and that you can manage.
  • Only measure when you can collect the data.
  • Be able to use what you measure to improve what you do and how you do it.
  • Measure the things that you can share with those accountable for the performance.

By putting the right measures in place, you will put yourself and your brand in the best possible position to succeed.

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One Response

  1. There is surely some way to go before technology provides precise measurement of who is actually reached!

    there are efforts to make that possible, MS is trying, google is and so are many others. the problem is rather that gross rate points as in TV are NOT a measurement which you want to apply to online channels. but it is also not a very precise measurement to count the clicks you receive from search ads, it would become much more so if you would know how often the prospective lead was exposed to the advertisers ad before.

    Exposure and brand awareness – for some campaigns things like conversion or response actually not really matter that much. if a health brand introduces a new treatment you don´t expect prospective clients to buy online anyway – at best you want them to click and inform themselfes and then you want to make sure they call their GP or your call centre [which is some rather old tech tool – the telephone and there is an excellent blog at

    measurements and quantifications have a long way to go, before they are really useful in assessing the value added trough different channels of advertising or marketing. but we are getting a step closer every day.

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