Whether you are creating huge, expensive and extravagant campaigns or small, tactical and budget-friendly content, one of the most important factors in determining success is in how you will track, measure and analyse the results. Without this, advertising, marketing or any selling activities are rendered obsolete.

Every marketing message or piece of content created should have some sort of measurable metric attached to this, whether this is sales, sign-ups, interactions or any number of other customer actions which your business attributes value to.

Although some may disagree and determine that a portion of the marketing activity your company produces doesn’t need to be tracked or is simply for brand visibility, this too should definitely still be tracked. Where marketing materials are being sent out into the world, there always needs to be a determining factor to establish if they have been effective and successful in hitting the objective.

Measuring also allows companies to place accountability on teams within the business and ensure that everyone is aligned in their objectives and the company ethos. Without this alignment and accountability, the messaging will never be consistent and your businesses success could be thrown into jeopardy.

Specify what you want to achieve

Without a goal or overarching business objective, why are you even doing this activity? This is something that you should be asking yourself when it comes to planning any kind of marketing activity. Without a reason behind it, no matter how vague or small, there should be a metric to define if this is successful or not.

If you’re looking to increase your brand exposure, you might want to measure this through general enquiries increase over a specified period of time or you might be looking at an increase in traffic reaching your website and browsing two or more pages over a set amount of time.

Accurate measurements can be the difference between understanding your audience and what they like and blindly throwing money into a marketplace that might not like or care about what you’re doing and how you have positioned your brand. Audience insights are valuable and should be at the core of everything you do, after all, they’re the ones who are fuelling the business.

Understand your audience

If you don’t have a deep understanding of your customer base, then your marketing materials are likely falling on deaf ears. Gather as much information about your audience as possible, this could be a customer-base that you’re already reaching or an entirely new group of people that you want to reach.

Create customer personas which illustrate an example of the type of person you’re looking to target within each of your customer profiles and groups. This will allow you to better visualize how an individual will interact with your brand, what types of media they prefer, how they consume it and on what platform and how your brand or product fits into their life. Once you have determined this information, you can then look at tailoring content and materials for these groups of people to be more effective and more likely to achieve ROI.

Another effective method of learning more about your customers is through focus groups and surveys. These can prove to be extensively revealing about what a representative of your customer base wants, what they like, dislike, want to see more or less of and how they feel your brand can improve their offerings to be more relevant to the customer’s needs. This invaluable information can open a wealth of options for your business leading to relevant marketing materials which could cost less and reap more.

Learn from your previous activities

Learning what your customers like and dislike is critical to ensuring the longevity of your marketing efforts. Where you continue to produce marketing materials which are not valued by your customers and fail to convert to sales, brand loyalty or any other kind of valuable relationship, there’s often no real value to your business either and you could be throwing money away.

Where you can stand back and determine if your activity was a success will influence your future activities and allow your business to gradually understand more about your customer and the wider market landscape. It’s also beneficial to look at your competitors’ marketing materials in the same way and understand what sets them apart from one another, how they are different to your brand and how they position themselves in the market.