Analyze This: Why Marketing Analytics are Essential to Your K-12 Program
When marketing, you can’t measure and analyze everything. But that shouldn’t keep you from trying, since the benefits that result can be truly astounding.
Smart and successful companies understand that analytics are a key component in transforming a budget item from an expenditure into an investment. But some stop short of practicing that thinking when it comes to marketing, thinking perhaps that it’s not worth the time, energy, knowledge-base, or effort. Or perhaps because of a concern that by doing so means that creativity and positive risk-taking will suffer.
The very first step to building an analysis-based marketing philosophy is to make sure each initiative you undertake has a specifically defined goal and purpose. Fight hard against the status quo. If you always engage in an expansive email campaign in October, or always go to that trade conference in January, over time the reason for doing so might become murky. If you specifically define what it is you’re trying to achieve – and put numbers to it– then it clarifies why the effort is worthwhile.
• So for that campaign in October, create some metrics to measure your success. At first they might be based on assumption. As time goes on, those assumptions will be backed by quantifiable data, and that’s exactly the end goal. Just for the sake of example, let’s say it looks like this:
So for this email campaign, you’re planning a 23% open rate leading to 8% warm leads leading to 4% hot leads that within nine months will yield 18 major new orders for a total ROI of 625% over cost. Tally your actuals against your assumptions. Of course, there are two kinds of tracking: against plan, and the actual numbers.
For the January conference, say you’ll schedule theater-style product demonstrations every hour designed to “wow” the estimated 425 viewing attendees. You’ll collect names and contact info as price of admission. Of that group, 10% will be hot prospects, and of those 42 people 23 will be signing contracts by August with the average order size being $12,500. Total business generated by the effort is $288,000.
So even if the simple math required to do this takes you queasily back to middle school, pop a Dramamine and overcome. The exercise of thinking in this way is well worth the numeric jumble, and a simple spreadsheet program might be all that’s required.
Plus, as time moves on the marketing status quo that was formed by a decades-old plan is now refreshed and constantly corrected by analytics devised to become predictors of success. How sweet is that for your bottom line.
And it really is that simple. If you view analytics as the guiding light for smart, sound marketing investment, then its true value emerges.
Photo: Håkan Dahlström