Measurable Marketing: Why Marketing Data Matters

John Follett

So you’ve finally carved out a marketing strategy that’s going to blow potential clients out of the water and put the competition to shame. But before turning the key on that bad boy, step back and ask yourself: “How will I know if my marketing campaign is even helping my business? Could it actually be hurting it?”

Managing Your Marketing

All too often, small business owners will excitedly—and sometimes blindly—implement a new marketing strategy only to lose track of its effectiveness and purpose, wasting funds and valuable time in the process. You can avoid this pitfall by learning to manage and analyze your marketing to make sure it works for you and not against you. This is where marketing data collection comes in. Collecting and analyzing data from your marketing campaigns allows you to determine which tactics are working and which are falling flat. And with all the tools available today, there’s no reason not to measure and fine tune your marketing to be sure it’s effective.

Measuring Your Marketing

To start understanding your marketing data, you first need to make sure you have something to actually measure—painfully basic, we know, but oh so necessary. You may first want to consider incorporating some type of marketing automation into your campaign. If you’ve got the leads to work with, marketing automation can be fantastic measuring tool to help you nurture leads into customers and existing customers into loyal, returning patrons.

Let’s use email communications for example. Whether it’s sending a reminder email or a
monthly newsletter, many small businesses benefit from traditional marketing automation. It allows for customized send times and tracking bounce backs, views and clicks, all of which can help you assess whether your email marketing is falling short.

Depending on your business or product, though, measuring clicks may not be enough—you may need something that allows you to customize and tailor your communications to specific sectors of your audience. Targeting increases opportunity for conversion. An inbound marketing automation strategy works best for targeted marketing. Either way, your next step will be to track those results.

Tracking and Reporting Metrics

To give your marketing campaign its best chance to succeed, it is important to track and assess your metrics. One easy way to get started is by learning to track how much organic search traffic your content generates. This will tell you how often your business is showing up in search engines based on the terms users type in when searching.

With 70% to 80% of users essentially ignoring paid advertisements on the side of the page when searching for something, organic search is the way to go. But don’t stop at traffic and leads. There are plenty of other useful metrics to track, such as your average lead close rates, call-to-action (CTA) clickthrough rates, and traffic driven by certain keywords.

Bringing It All Together

Once you’ve got your info, organize it so it’s easy to understand and ready to present. Even if there is no one in particular to present this information to right now, you’ll be glad you took a little extra time to compile your data into one simple presentation the day you need to learn from past mistakes or want to toot your own horn a bit.

And after you’ve decided what’s missing from your marketing program, you’ll want to evaluate your current CRM. Will it sync with the components of your campaign? Will you be able to keep track of your leads, next steps, conversions and successes? If you’re not sure, your CRM may not be up to par. Consider switching to one that can handle the challenge you’re about to rain down on it and help you bring all the pieces of your campaign together. More specifically, look for a CRM with reporting metrics so you can one-stop-shop your way to marketing success without wasting time going back and forth between programs.

While the steps to marketing glory can vary depending on what your marketing plan entails, one thing rings true: learning to collect and measure your marketing data is the number one way to ensure you are on the right track. Making sure you’ve got the tools to back up your plan could be the difference between miserable failure and long-term success. Use these tips and you’ll be well on your way to measurable marketing data that shows everyone your small business has got it goin’ on.


Christina Heath earned her bachelor's degree in mass communications from the University of South Florida. She is a contributor to Christina has led marketing, public relations and recruitment efforts locally and internationally, and is driven by connecting people to their success.