Marketers are obsessed with metrics. They use them to monitor nearly every aspect of a marketing campaign.
But experience has shown me that marketers have a blind spot when it comes to metrics. They often fail to track how they themselves perform, which leaves them unable to properly evaluate their own efficiencies (or inefficiencies).
In this blog, I want to show that it pays for marketers to monitor their own performance as obsessively as they track the performance of their campaigns.
If they do this correctly, marketers can boost their internal efficiency, reduce team stress and make both customers and staff much happier.
There are three areas that need to be monitored to maximize internal efficiency: tools, teams and processes. They are all inter-related, and they play off one another.
Know what tools are out there
Tools are the features marketers use to create and run their campaigns – for example, click-through buttons or automatically generated email responses.
The first thing to keep track of is what tools are out there and how they can be useful to you. That means doing research, trying out new products and keep up with new developments in the area.
Some tools (like the ones we design) allow marketers to make marketing campaigns more efficient by automating part of the process. For example, you won’t have to worry about having an IT person or developer on your team who can code your emails if a tool can do that for you.
So put a bit of effort into finding out what’s available to you. Don’t assume you have to do things one way just because that’s the way you did it last year. Keep on top of what’s new, and you will be more efficient.
Make sure those tools are working for you
It’s all very well to have a tool, but it’s got to be doing what it’s built to do.
A marketing campaign might include an email nurture campaign that generates emails to prospective customers based on their interaction with online ads. The type of email sent will be based on what kind of engagement the prospective customer is having.
It pays to seriously evaluate how tools such as this are working.
For example, if the marketer did not get a good response, they need to find out whether something went technically wrong (perhaps a link failed for work correctly), or whether the poor response is due to something else, like not tracking the right metric. It could also be that the message was off-target and did not resonate with the audience.
In other words, don’t take the tool’s response at face value. Capture metrics to make sure the tool is working correctly and giving you the responses you need. Only then will you know whether the feedback you are getting is valuable.
Monitor your processes
There are people processes (how people work together), technological processes (how technologies interact with each other) and interface processes, where people interact with technologies. Each process is a part of any online marketing campaign and each has to be monitored for efficiency.
In terms of people working together, a marketer needs to evaluate how teams interact with each other. How long did it take to design and execute a particular campaign? Was it fast or slow? If it was slow, why was that? That will mean capturing metrics on such things as how often a document was modified, or how much time elapsed between modifications.
When it comes to technology, you need to look at things like whether feedback is coming to the right place. It’s inefficient if, for example, feedback ends up split between four different people’s inboxes. You’ve got to find out if that’s happening.
You should look at whether processes can be automated.
Our product increases efficiency by providing a framework for email design. Anything that can be designed using our platform is inherently technically doable in a marketing email.
Make sure collaboration happens efficiently
There are all sorts of tools available that allow people to work collaboratively and efficiently on the same document. These are tools, for example, that allow for only one active version of a document (the latest) and allow multiple people work on the document in real time.
Yet even with these tools it still happens that people – even within the same team – end up working on multiple versions of a document.
Capture metrics on how people collaborate. And if needed, maximize efficiency by obtaining tools that allow for collaboration – and make sure everyone is trained in how to use them!
Structure teams for maximum efficiency
It may seem self-evident, but marketers need to structure their teams for maximum efficiency, by lining up the right resources to do the right things at the right point in the process. That includes making sure people are working with the right tools, and also that they know how to use those tools efficiently.
It also includes looking at how resources are being used.
For example, is a marketing team using an IT resource who doesn’t necessarily know about marketing best practices? That can decrease efficiency. I’ve often heard of cases where people used to designing print ads are tasked with creating a marketing email without understanding the limitations or requirements of the process. They end up creating something which – however beautiful or clever – can’t be executed technically in an email. So it’s back to the drawing board. (Our product is designed to eliminate the possibility of that mistake.)
You won’t know that’s happening if you don’t study the process.
Have a hard look at who’s on your teams
If you’ve invested in the right tools, and if you’ve streamlined your processes, the composition of your team changes.
Simply put, if you have a tool that automates coding, you don’t need someone with HTML skills on the team. If you’ve changed your processes to iron out IT bugs, you may not need to have an IT person on call. That means teams can focus on the creative elements of a marketing campaign.
And here’s where efficiencies happen. No longer does the marketing team have to beg or borrow internal resources from other departments or, if that’s not possible, no longer does it have to find and pay for external contractors to do the job.
Capture and study your own metrics
My last bit of advice: Be deliberate about your evaluations. That means scheduling time to do a post-mortem of each campaign. It also means gathering and studying campaign metrics – internal metrics, the ones you will need to determine your own efficiencies. You can’t just wing this. You need details. Did Person A and Person B really go back and forth 30 times on one small part of the campaign? You need to know why.
If they were disagreeing about some minor fact – like the location of a headline in an email – you may be able to streamline the process by creating a rule that anchors headlines in particular place.
If you can streamline your own tools, processes and teams, imagine how much more execution can happen! If you are better at executing, you will be more efficient. And that will make you better marketers.