What is Effective Marketing?
For many businesses, the effectiveness of marketing is simply the number of leads generated by specific tactical activity. While lead generation is an obvious measure of marketing effectiveness, it is far from exhausting what marketing has to offer. It might be more commercially useful to define marketing effectiveness more generally as the return on marketing investment against a pre-determined set of objectives.
These objectives can include creating a defined market position, creating clarity among internal and external stakeholders about the mission and values of a business, identifying and refining target personas and even shrinking sales on the basis of a well-defined re-positioning strategy. For example, a company who were over-trading in a highly commoditised market wanted to gradually reduce the overall volume of sales over a three-year period. The aim was to refine their product offering and target higher-margin, lower- volume sales, which would give them greater financial stability and a differentiated position in the market. They succeeded and this is just one example of the enormous commercial benefits well-structured marketing can bring and how broad the definition of marketing effectiveness can be. The key to marketing effectiveness, is to be able to think what you want to achieve and to measure the effectiveness of the means used to achieve it.
This involves doing the following six things:
1. Being able to separate evidence from emotion
2. Knowing when to act on the basis of ‘sufficient evidence’ without succumbing to an endless need for research which paralyses action
3. Being aware of the many ways in which your brain can trick you into thinking you are making an evidence-based decision when in fact you are making a biased one
4. Knowing how to evaluate feedback from the market and how to act on it
5. Telling a great story with a classic three-act structure and framing it to target key personas
6. Having the tools to evaluate evidence in real time and automating as much as your marketing as possible. Above all, marketing is about engagement and the greater the level of engagement you get from target audiences, the more effective your marketing will be. In the Digital Age, it may that many of the prospects you engage will take time to decide when they want to buy from you. This process can take weeks, months and in some B2B markets, years.
The fact that prospects who engage with your brand don’t turn into leads immediately does not mean your marketing is ineffective. On the contrary, it means your marketing is engaging and nurturing prospects in exactly the way it should if it's to create long-term value.
Over the last 18 years we have created Route to Growth, which is an integrated, evidence-based marketing platform that is designed to maximise engagement from target audiences. It has done more than change what many businesses across multiple sectors think about marketing. So, if you want your marketing to be effective, first look at ALL the ways marketing can help your business and then engage an agency that knows how to work with evidence, emotion and complex commercial environment in which your marketing has to create value.