Jon Miller, VP Marketing and co-founder of Marketo, recently wrote a blog post called “Where Marketing Metrics Go Wrong” that caught my attention. I completely agree with Jon when he says that the problem with most marketing metrics is that while they measure some kind of value, they do not actually capture the revenue implications that C-level executives or board members are looking for.
Jon mentions several different marketing metrics (listed below) that marketers should avoid and I tend to agree with him.
- Vanity Metrics
- Measuring What is Easy
- Focusing on Quantity, not Quality
- Tracking Activity and Not Results
- Efficiency instead of Effectiveness
- Cost Metrics
I am not going to go into detail about them because they are pretty self-explanatory but I do believe that it is important to track cost metrics, not necessarily to report on, but because questions about cost will come up so it is good to have those handy to measure things like cost vs. revenue for certain programs. We both agree that using cost is the wrong way to frame your marketing information, but again that data is useful to have since you will probably need it.
Essentially as a marketer it is critical to track the metrics that help you maximize the value of your marketing programs, properly augment your marketing budget, and determine which campaigns influence revenue. However, when it comes to reporting to upper management it is best to stick with revenue focused numbers because that is what the higher ups care about most.