The importance and relevance of marketing has been analyzed ad naseum throughout this semester by students one and all. This very site has played host to a myriad of interesting viewpoints all emphasizing the importance of marketing in the modern strategic environment, however one key factor in the strategic marketing process has yet to be explored; the evaluation of marketing.
Whilst the numerous theories behind the various marketing elements have been explored extensively, the implementation of these tools is dramatically affected by the ability for an organization to measure the effectiveness of these tools. In order to do this, organisations must adopt an honest and open minded approach evaluating performance, in order to maximize the output of their marketing strategy, and, in turn yield maximum value for their marketing investment.
Much like the posts on this site, the quality of the work whilst submitted with the best of intentions can only be quantifiably evaluated by the mark given with respect to the relevant criteria, by the same token, the effectiveness of marketing activities can be measured with respect to marketing metrics. These metrics range in type to provide a comprehensive form of analysis, this article will seek to simplify these categories and provide you with the information that you need to know.
Whilst many organisations simplify the evaluation of their success down to purely profit and loss, when it comes to marketing the landscape is a lot more complex. Financial metrics such as ROI, Customer Value, Profit Margin and Profit Contribution are great indicators that can be used to justify or dispel the investment in marketing activities, and can form the basis of an evaluation, however, they can be misleading, for example, ROI measures on a percentage basis not on a total sum, therefore a campaign generating a low ROI can potentially make significantly more than one with a High ROI (Piketty, Goldhammer & Ganser 2014).
Looking at behavioral metrics allows us to look not just at if a marketing activity is working, but how such results are being achieved. The application and interpretation of metrics such as sales totals, market penetration, purchase frequency and my favorite; market share, are crucial in explaining how an organisation is generating their profits, and what areas can be improved. Market Share to me is a universal representation of whether a marketing campaign is working that can be applied to all profit-based organisations, and should always be considered as a KPI (Lautman & Pauwels 2013)
Memory Metrics are a unique form of evaluation which can provide organisations with valuable information regarding the perception of their brand. Brand Awareness, Brand Image, Consumer Attitude and Intention to buy are all key indicators in this category. This category would best be described as a great supplement to a marketing evaluation strategy, as the information alone doesn’t provide satisfactory detail, but in conjunction with other metrics can go a long way to providing detail relevant to analyzing the marketing performance of the brand.
Physical Availability Metrics
These factors look at the positioning of the product in a tangible sense, to analyze the presence that the product has at the point of sale. These factors include, shelf space, the hours of operation at supplier, geographical distribution of product and quite simply the quantity of distributors. These factors provide insight into the front-line reasons as to why a product may or may need be performing as expected. Like market share, shelf space and tangible distribution of the product can be a key point of competitive advantage for many brands, particularly in the retail context (West, Ford & Ibrahim 2015).
Market Activity Metrics
These metrics take a broader view of the overall marketing strategy as a whole. Such considerations are of vital importance to provide insight into the efficiency and effectiveness of the marketing activities being undertaken to ensure the prolonged success and constant rejuvenation of the marketing activities being undertaken.
Customer Profile Metrics
The final category of Marketing Metrics relates specifically to the process of profiling the customer base of the brand. These factors generally relate to demographics and allow the brand to get a strong perception of who their customers really are. This is exceptionally powerful in enabling marketers to make informed decisions with a clear target in mind, subsequently mitigating a significant amount of risk throughout the marketing process (Sadgrove 2016).
In summary, Marketing Metrics are a vital component in developing a marketing strategy, and should never be overlooked. The ability to both critically and accurately evaluate a marketing program, empowers brands to improve themselves and strengthen their position in a competitive market. Conversely, the risks associated with not adequately evaluating marketing activities or depending exclusively on profit-based figures can be significant, with a rapid decline in market share the likely outcome. Simply, knowledge is power and the more information a brand can provide themselves with, the more sustainably effective they will be moving forward.
Lautman, MR & Pauwels, K 2013, ‘Identifying Metrics That Matter: What Are the Real Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) That Drive Consumer Behavior?’, GfK Marketing Intelligence Review, vol. 5, no. 2, pp. 46-52.
Piketty, T, Goldhammer, A & Ganser, L 2014, ‘Capital in the twenty-first century’.
Sadgrove, K 2016, The complete guide to business risk management, Routledge.
West, D, Ford, J & Ibrahim, E 2015, Strategic marketing: creating competitive advantage, Oxford University Press.