“Nobody has ever mentioned Marketing and KPI’s to me in the same sentence…”

I met a sucessful business owner this week who said this to me. My immediate – shocked – reaction was to fear that this might put marketeers in the same category as estate agents, investment bankers, second hand car salesmen, journalists and politicians in terms of our public perception. Sat next to me I saw a talented, ambitious, innovative owner of a growing IT business, who had received some marketing help in the past, but who hadn’t been well advised. Currently his business was not measuring the implementation, effectiveness and return of the marketing investment he was making.
Of course, we are all, as business owners or directors, surrounded by a plethora of companies who offer marketing services, whether “web and online marketing”, “social media marketing”, “telemarketing”, “advertising and marketing”, “PR and marketing”, “design and marketing” etc etc etc. We are certainly not short of choices for investment in our own business growth. In my experience, decision makers often feel confused and spoilt for choice which makes it easy for them to be ‘sold’ the latest, greatest, new fangled marketing gimmick. Sadly this can then often lead them to regret their choices when the promised land of increased sales fails to materialise and causes a consequential lowering of their trust in marketing professionals.
It would be easy if we all had a slot machine called “Marketing” into which we could insert our £1 coins, press the button and it would churn out a predicable stream of potential new customers with high potential profit margins for the sales team to contact. Unfortunately, the real world isn’t like that. To implement marketing effectively a business needs a planned, realistic and researched marketing strategy, which can be implemented on time and on budget. Only then can the results be reviewed and refined at regular intervals and an understanding of how to improve our return on investment acquired.
An essential and integral part of that plan should be which KPI’s to monitor. Anything less and it isn’t marketing. Anything less and we have sold our businesses short. Anything less and we risk tarnishing our industry’s reputation.
Happy marketing