We all need to start somewhere, and we all make mistakes on our journeys to becoming great marketers. But rather than cry over spilt milk (or that email you sent to the wrong list … don’t worry, we’ve all done it), what you learn from it is far more important.
I myself am far from an expert, but I do know what it’s like to feel lost when you’re trying to interpret dozens of metrics from a single marketing campaign. So I’ve short-listed some of the biggest lessons I’ve learned in the hopes that this won’t just be an awkward confessional post, and you’ll be able to learn from my experiences, too.
Lesson 1: Don’t just track vanity metrics.
Just like you wouldn’t look at view count to measure the success of a video (we know you’re better than that), you shouldn’t use inquiries, or initial campaign responses, as the only measure of success for your marketing campaign. If you track those initial inquiries further down the funnel then you get to the more meaningful metrics, like if the leads converted into opportunities for your sales team or if they generated any pipeline.
For instance, if we were to look at view counts alone, then this webinar we co-presented with Jay Baer would be our star performer and we’d be tempted go full throttle to create more webinars like it. But if we look more carefully at the data, while it is definitely a fact that many people watched the webinar, those people actually converted into opportunities at a lower rate than most other webinars we’ve done. While this webinar appears to be fantastic to engage people who are new to video for the first time, it not our strongest asset for nurturing and converting existing users. So instead of just pumping out introductory webinars that appear at first glance to be great lead gen activities, we have to make sure to balance those with webinars that also nurture and convert viewers who are further down the funnel.
Lesson 2: Wait to see the true results of your campaigns before making decisions.
If you’re using a CRM like Salesforce it’s incredibly helpful to set up dashboards or reports so you can monitor campaign progress from the moment you set it up. But be aware that you might not see the true results of the campaign until weeks, or even months, after. Why? Because sometimes it can take time for leads to make their way through the funnel and have the appropriate conversations with sales so they can convert into pipeline. So while it may appear a campaign isn’t effective at generating pipeline immediately, if you wait for those leads to trickle down it will demonstrate its true value over time (especially so for evergreen campaigns that you can continue to promote, like webinars and eBooks). Just be patient, which I realize is infinitely easier than it sounds when you’re trying to demonstrate the ROI on your campaigns!
Speaking of dashboards reports, they’re also invaluable to not only review campaign performance within your team, but also with other teams you work closely with. Reviewing the data together is a great way to find out what’s working and what’s not, but getting qualitative data like anecdotes from other teams that sometimes don’t translate into data are also equally as important. I’ve always found that sales is a goldmine of information, and conversations like “We had some great conversations with these people. Maybe we should target more prospects in the toilet industry” can result in you committing to a Squatty Potty event later in the year (link is SFW!).
Lesson 3: Don’t discount your failures.
If you’ve tracked the metrics further down the funnel and given it time to see the true results of your campaign and things still aren’t shaking out, please, please, please don’t just throw the baby out with the bathwater. You could have a fantastic idea or piece of content on your hands that just needs a bit of love and tweaking to get it right.
For instance, let’s say your sales webinar didn’t perform well. You could try breaking it up into a short demo series, or promoting it on-demand so viewers can watch it at any time, or making it interactive to allow viewers to submit their questions to get a discussion going. You can even try something as simple as hosting the next one first thing in the morning or over lunch rather than in the afternoon.
Or let’s say your new product video has a 60% drop-off rate in the first 10 seconds. No sweat. Try cropping out the fluff at the beginning, like any intros, re-record it and get to the good stuff faster, or add interactive annotations to keep people engaged.
The ways you could improve your campaigns are almost endless. By evolving and testing new ideas against the baseline, you could spin even some of your worst campaign nightmares into marketing grand slams.
Do you have any gems of wisdom you can share about how you use your data? Or want to share your biggest marketing mishap? Let me know in the comments below!