Making Marketing More Meaningful With Metrics

By Howard M. Cohen  |  Print this article Print
deriving revenue from marketing

COMMENTARY: With data analytics that can tell us so much more about who's reading our marketing, it's very easy to look at the wrong analytics to measure actual results.

You may do this monthly or quarterly, but it really doesn't serve you well to do this annually. First, compare the ERP list of all new customers that were added during the period and compare that to the entire list of which customers were reached through which marketing activities. Don't limit the marketing database to the period because some customers may have come from activities held the month before, or even years before.

Now, sort the result by marketing activity, and total each customer's purchases during the period. Remembering that your sales team's efforts had a lot to do with each of those sales, you now have a report on how much revenue each marketing activity drove during the period, broken down by customer. Compare the total of those sales for each marketing activity to what you spent on that activity and you have that most elusive of answers—ROIthe Holy Grail of spending.

You can also run a similar routine for sales to previously existing customers from marketing events during the quarter.

Total Lifetime Value of a Customer

It's important to know who your "best" customers are. From a pure revenue standpoint, you can obtain those answers by comparing all sales against all marketing activities to see not only how much revenue each customer has contributed, but also how much total revenue every marketing event has produced over time. Answers like these tell you to whom to pay more attention and in which marketing activities to invest more; plus, they bring much more meaning to your marketing.

Howard M. Cohen is a 30-plus-year IT industry veteran who continues his commitment to the channel as a columnist and consultant.