This article was written by Greg Paull, Co-founder & Principal, R3

With the economy in flux, marketers are faced with deciding how best to slice a smaller pie to shore up current customers and use new approaches to win new ones. The challenge for any marketer is twofold – “What is the right balance and mix?” and “How do I measure success without standardised KPIs?”

You must measure if you mean business

For those that work in the agency industry, there are only two types of people – those who produce advertising – and the rest. Quite often ‘the rest’ have tried to ‘dabble’ in advertising, rather than just specialise on what they are good at.

Yet, this ‘line’ that the industry has created is going the other way with clients. The so-called people ‘below’ it often hold more esteem than those above it because they are either creating ideas that are measurable, or they are developing strong marketing programs with a direct sales impact.

For clients – measurement is now sexy.

How do you use measurement to improve your marketing mix?

1. Test and learn – Measurement is both a science and an art. The leaders in this field set up different marketing mixes and track results. You can’t rely on just ‘gut feel,’ you need to invest in research and learning to build a more efficient model. A good place to start is knowing where you rank alongside the competition. Without benchmarks, your results will lack meaning.

2. A good strategy is online and offline – The lines are blurred. Customer experience includes anything related to the brand, from the intelligence of your chatbot, to the sustainability of your packaging and the attitude of the person in charge of dropping off an order at the front door. A successful campaign today can only win with smart online and offline strategy. Smart marketers bring data from all touchpoints to map the way forward.

3. It doesn’t happen unless it happens at retail – All the statistics about decisions made at point of sale continue to be true. Whether it is the UX on an app, to something as simple as an interactive piece of point of sale, right down to the physical retail space, driving shoppers to checkout is still the ultimate aim. Getting to the granular and understanding what drives conversion makes the dollar difference that is a real sign of marketing success.

4. Use the right measurement tools – It seems inconceivable now, but years ago, when award entries asked for ‘results’ the response could very well have been ‘the client was very happy.’ Sophisticated technologies are available now to more accurately measure each campaign element and impact, but unfortunately, this has not made the marketer’s job any easier. Knowing which tool best aligns to your goals will save you from spending time and money on broken promises.

5. Don’t forget – it’s still about ideas – The days are over for purely relying on ‘execution’ agencies to rollout a campaign. The best marketers are investing in digital agencies that can develop breakthrough thinking. Find partners who understand what is possible, why it’s possible and can demonstrate how it’s going to work for you and your audience.

Eskimos have twenty-three different words for snow – agencies have even more for integrated, 360 degrees, holistic, demand creation marketing. The onus ultimately is still on the marketer to make sure the overall objectives are met. Let’s hope in the process, marketers will get better ideas, with better results.

As featured in Marketing Malaysia