A few years ago I bumped into an old school friend who had just completed an MBA. Having toyed with the idea of doing an MBA myself, I decided to quiz him on his experience. Rather than come back with the usual “great networking, great people and subjects etc” he summed up his experience in one word: DATA.
A little taken aback, I asked him to elaborate, and he simply said “Measure, track and record EVERY piece of data of EVERY aspect of your business and you’ll be sorted”. Easy. That saved me a few years and a few dollars too!
If you speak to anyone in SEO or Accounting they’ll probably tell you the same thing. The numbers usually don’t lie – although marketers are usually not as number savvy!
Back when we first started our retail business, my partner and I were absolutely certain based on ‘gut feel’ about some things like Best Selling lines, Busiest periods and even best Sales staff. That is, until we started measuring everything through a new POS system.
Almost every single piece of data we speculated on was incorrect which was a real wake up call. If we were so certain on some things and we were incorrect, how accurate would we be on important information that we had no idea about?
In the context of promotional merchandise marketing we have clients who approach us without any clear objectives yet alone goals or measurables. Quite often this can lead to disillusionment as to how effective a campaign is.
A part of how we approach this is by clearly setting our Marketing objectives before getting into the design or budgeting phase. Then we can go about how to quantify and measure things whether it be through tracking website visits, increased sales or brand lift.
You definitely can’t hit a target that doesn’t exist.
How clear are your businesses targets and measurements?