Often, organizations struggle to measure the effectiveness of marketinig programs. They have a difficult time tracking the source of leads, costs associated with campaigns and return on investment. Whle this probelm can be tricky to solve, a few key things help quite a bit. Here's where I have found success:
1. Put the right marketing infrastructure in place
-- To effectively measure performance, you need a few basic tools including web site tracking, some form of marketing automation system, effective lead tracking forms and landing pages and integration with a CRM system. We also use a set of targeted lists that we feed into our marketing automation system while synchronizing these leads with sales force automation.
2. Effective Response Attribution
-- As leads come in, the source of the campaign needs to be assigned...accurately. We do this in a number of ways. "How did you hear about us?" data is collected off forms on our site in a way that is not difficult for the user to complete. We ask the user to "point us in the right direction." Did they search for us? Did they link from another site? Had they received an outbound e-mail? Did they meet us at a tradeshow? Then, we assign LEAD SOURCE very specifically after a short conversion or e-mail exchange with the prospect. Make sure you update the leads sources on a regular basis to reflect current marketing activity. In other words, if a news article is going to appear on a specific site, this has to be shown in the lead source list...otherwise sales will not assign the lead source correctly.
3. Auto populate your lead tracking as much as possible
-- Whenever I push outbound e-mails with very specific calls to action, I make sure the lists I use have pre-populated the Marketing Program field and Lead Source. For example, If I'm going to advertise a webinar to showcase our Interactive Analytics Technology and I'm targeting BI analysts in a specific vertical, I use my marketing automation system to automatically populate the relevant fields from my target list prior to the e-mail going live. In this case, the Marketing Program would be "Outbound E-Mail for Analytics Webinar" and the Lead Source would be the specific list used. Since this is synched with our sales force automation system, the leads get written to this system. When responses come in, the activity history is updated. Measurement is very effective and easy.
4. Meausre Effectiveness on a regular basis
-- We run reports, charts and graphs from our marketing automation system that measure the number of leads and status of leads by marketing program and lead source to see what's working and what is not. Ensure you measure lead effectivess in conjunction with the opportuity status, forecasted and closed revenue.
For those interested, we use Marketo as our marketing automation/lead nurturing system. We use Jigsaw to acquire our targeted lists. Leadlander measures web site activity and acts as the barometer for us to guage industry interest, page content tracking and "smart prospecting" to find leads with a higher chance of response. All of this is integrated with Sales Force. So, we pull lists from Jigsaw and auto-populate Marketo which synchs with Sales Force. We access Leadlander and then connect to Jigsaw to set select targteds based on company name, title, geographic location based on IP address & ZIP Code and web pages hit. From Sales Force, we assign leads to Marketo Campaigns, track web page history for leads and assign follow-up tasks for sales based on prebuilt rules that score the leads.
We use our own analytics tools, Centrifuge Interactive Analytcis, to measure usage of our free software evaluations including login activity, file uploads and the type of analysis prospects are doing.