Metrics and a return on your marketing investment are indeed very important. But there is another essential piece when outsourcing your marketing efforts that is often overlooked or under-valued. Many businesses and marketing firms focus their marketing efforts on sales promotions exclusively because it is easy to measure ROI but this practice often ends up hurting the business and brand over time.
What Should I Measure as an ROI in My Marketing?
Not everything that matters in marketing is measurable. I’m sure to many, this statement feels wrong but let’s just break this down a little.
Examples of Measurable Marketing Success
- Number of new website leads or qualified job applicants
- Click and conversion rates in promotional advertising campaigns
- Number of views on awareness campaigns
- Ranking in SEO traffic for specific keywords
Hard-to-Measure Marketing Success
- Setting accurate customer expectations through advertising
- Eliciting a positive emotional reaction from visual messaging
- Maintaining a consistent brand voice across all platforms
- Growing brand awareness with future ideal customers
Both of these lists could go on and on. My point is this: if you see the value in the unmeasurable as well as the measurable, then you’re a company who cares about your customer experience and the long-term integrity of your brand.
What are the long-term Benefits of Unmeasurable Marketing?
When you hire a full-service marketing firm that provides measurable and unmeasurable services, your long-term benefits are vast. Many businesses, and marketing companies, look past the value of building a remarkable brand and instead only focus on sales to see and prove ROI. Focusing only on quick-sale conversions often happens at the expense of the brand equity over time.
Building a genuinely remarkable brand requires listening to your customer’s needs, providing excellent customer service, and creating a unique customer experience. Marketing is everything it takes to grow a business, not just the advertising.
What Should I Expect from My Marketing Firm?
For those of you currently working with an outsourced marketing firm, ask yourself these questions:
- Do I believe my marketing firm understands my growth goals?
- Does my marketing firm take the time to understand my company brand, culture, differentiators, and strengths?
- Does my marketing firm really “get” who my audience is?
- Does my marketing firm care about my concerns or needs?
- Is my marketing firm easily accessible for urgent needs?
- Do I have a trusting, respectful relationship with my marketing firm?
If you answered “no” to any of these questions, chances are you are not getting the most out of your marketing efforts. The “unmeasurable” aspects of your working relationship most certainly affect the measurable ones. Both are vital to producing successful marketing strategies that, in the long term, will affect your marketing ROI.
When you start interviewing outsourced marketing firms, be sure to get the complete picture of their service, how they approach the tools and the relationship. You should expect a well-rounded strategic approach that includes research to better understand your business and customers, excellent communication with your team, and expertise across all marketing disciplines. A holistic strategy will provide an integrated, layered approach to your marketing efforts and better long-term results.
When you are ready to start working with an outsourced marketing firm, consider the following:
- A marketing firm should function as a partnership with your team.
- A marketing firm should offer a holistic, integrated approach to your strategies.
- A marketing firm should take the time to do the research necessary to represent your brand well.
- A marketing firm should know and care about your growth goals.
- A marketing firm should build your brand equity and drive lead conversion within their strategies.
- A marketing firm should provide unmeasurable and measurable services for your business.
Be sure to learn about their company process; how they communicate with your team, develop strategies, and measure their success. Call their current clients to gain additional perspectives. Look at their reviews, their portfolio, and their own marketing. Hiring an outsourced marketing firm is a big decision, one that can sometimes make or break your brand. Do your research, ask questions, compare companies, and be sure you are getting the full measurable and unmeasurable service.
Stay true to your brand and set expectations for your team and marketing partner to do the same. Measure sales and short-term growth, but don’t neglect the unmeasurable aspects of marketing because those are sometimes the most important contributor to your brand’s long-term success.