You Can’t Improve What You Can’t Measure
Published: March 30, 2022
Author: Savitha Namuduri
How to use data and analytics for integrated growth marketing
If you’ve been following our thoughts over the last year, you’ve heard that the traditional marketing funnel has changed completely. Change has become the norm, forcing today’s brands to constantly adapt to meet evolving customer needs. To effectively generate demand for products and services, brands need to target ‘new to brand’ and ‘new to category’ prospects. Oftentimes, these prospects don’t have the kind of brand awareness and brand sentiment required to make the relationship profitable. Therefore, building demand for the brand and increasing market share requires thinking about your marketing “funnel” differently.
Our 2021 Growth Marketing Report demonstrates a need to shift from performance marketing to integrated growth marketing. Typical performance marketing, bottom-funnel tactics like SEO, PPC, and paid social advertising are targeted at short-term goals and, while important, can only get you so far. These activities are tracked by metrics such as return on ad spend (ROAS), ROI, conversions, and revenue. On the other hand, upper-funnel tactics are focused on generating increased awareness, demand, and leads.
For sustained growth, you need to deploy BOTH upper- and lower-funnel activities, but too many brands have been taking a narrow approach. Some brands entirely disregard one portion of the funnel. This limits potential, and over time, returns will simply sputter out. Other brands do market throughout the funnel, but don’t align their strategies, budgets, and tactics.
Integrated growth marketing brings the power of both performance and brand marketing together. It recognizes that in today’s market, it’s imperative companies target customers throughout their journey in an omni-channel environment. A measurement framework that not only supports the holistic customer journey, but also ties the day-to-day operational metrics to strategic metrics, is a major competitive advantage for brands.
Focused on Conversions
The right combination of upper-, middle-, and lower-funnel tactics will go a long way in attracting, engaging, and converting customers. An integrated measurement framework provides a holistic approach that measures brand lift, reputation, customer satisfaction, market share changes, customer lifetime value, and churn.
Brands need to ensure there is a healthy demand generation effort that will translate into qualified leads and conversions. The goal of demand gen is to broaden awareness and educate consumers about the brand, its services, and its products. To measure the success of these top-of-funnel actions, we establish metrics such as aided and unaided brand awareness, ad recall, and unique reach, which are tracked utilizing brand lift studies and other data sources. Mid-funnel stages such as consideration can best be measured by active engagement such as likes, shares, reviews, downloads, access to gated content, or participation in a webinar. Then, we track the customer’s intent by looking at time spent on the site, adds to cart, and overall depth of engagement with your site.
Lead generation goes beyond awareness building to qualify potential customers and nurture them along the journey, with the ultimate goal of converting them to customers. You want high-quality leads, which can be measured with lead scoring algorithms, monitoring visitor-to-lead ratio, and lead-to-opportunity rate. These are specific upper- and lower-funnel metrics that are instrumental in measuring your brand’s lead generation activities.
While we propose the use of these metrics, customized KPIs specific to your brand will be the most valuable. But, how exactly do you go about making that happen?
We know that good data is the foundation of any good measurement strategy. Operationalizing data entails ensuring your execution strategy, data collection strategy, and measurement strategy are in alignment with each other.
For instance, when executing an upper-funnel tactic through a platform, start with the metrics that are trackable via that platform and assess how well those metrics serve the purpose of operational, tactical, and strategic KPIs. This is truly a best-case scenario. For less than perfect scenarios, 3Q Digital prescribes the following guidelines:
- Enrich – Identify and integrate sources outside the platform that help track data measuring growth and performance.
- Enhance – Assess the connection between brand and performance metrics to optimize tactical execution.
- Erase – Maintain data relevance by regularly identifying critical KPIs that inform decisions and eliminate metrics that simply don’t add value to your goals.
It is very easy to get lost in the overabundance of data that has become much more prevalent in recent years. Integrated growth marketing operationalizes the right data and analytics at your fingertips to provide a consistent brand presence and a customer experience that spreads brand awareness, drives engagement that results in better conversions, and affirms brand loyalty.