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To measure content marketing effectiveness and evaluate the ROI of your content campaigns, you should use simple, relevant, and useful Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). The ideal KPIs are content metrics that can measure performance over time and across all levels of the conversion funnel.
This post identifies sixteen of Portent’s favorite content KPIs, sorts the content metrics by the goals they’re best at measuring, and tells you how to start tracking your content marketing efforts.
How to Measure Content Performance: Establishing and Setting KPIs
A good KPI is quantitative, relevant, and easy to calculate.
To establish relevant KPIs, we recommend following Aleksey Savkin’s rule of thumb.
“If you are not sure if you are dealing with a KPI or a simple metric, do a simple test: imagine that you can double the value of this indicator. If you expect the performance of the business to be increased significantly, then it’s a good KPI for your business context. If not, then it is a simple metric.”
If you’re trying to set KPIs for your content, find the numbers where you really want to move the needle and use those values as metrics that matter most.
What the Conversion Funnel Means for Content and KPIs
While establishing these metrics, it’s important to know where and when to use them. Visitors to your website are at different stages in their customer journey, and your content should speak to them in different ways depending on where they are on this journey.
When you’re planning your KPIs, keep the conversion funnel top of mind; you should be able to measure content performance during every step of the conversion funnel.
A Chart of Portent’s Favorite Content KPIs
It’s tricky to pair content metrics with a user’s specific path in the conversion funnel. To help you get started, here’s an illustration showing how Portent breaks down content KPIs according to the different stages of the customer journey and their overlap.
In our content marketing strategies, users are funneled through journeys that result in three goals:
Each goal within these journeys has a few ideal KPIs. Some KPIs can be used to measure success across more than one goal.
Tracking your content marketing campaign performance is a tactical move that gives you ammunition to speak to stakeholders about the quantifiable value you’re creating. It also helps you learn to be a more user-focused, goal-oriented marketer.
If you want to learn more about measuring the long, messy game of content marketing, we’ve included descriptions of all the content KPIs and how they interact with each other.
Content Metrics: Conversion KPIs
If you’re writing content that’s meant to generate leads, you should track how many leads you’re generating.
For example, if you’re debuting a new gated resource, you should measure how many new leads that resource brings in. Afterward, compare that number to the leads generated by other gated resources.
This analysis will answer some critical strategy questions:
- What are your customers looking for?
- Are your customers willing to give up their contact information to get your content?
- What kind of content generates the most qualified leads?
Transactions & Revenue
For businesses focused on driving e-commerce revenue and transactions through their website, Google Analytics e-commerce tracking is highly recommended. Within those reports, add the secondary dimension of “landing page” to see how many people purchased after touching a piece of content you produced. This metric allows you to discover what copy has the highest transaction or revenue level.
If you use revenue as a KPI, your findings will vary according to how much a customer spends. If you’re just curious about how many people touched your content eventually converted, and you don’t care how much they wound up spending, use “transactions” instead of “revenue” as the guiding metric.
If you don’t have enough transactions or revenue to see how those figures interact with your content, you can set goals inside Google Analytics that allow you to track conversions without a dollar value. You can see what URLs accomplished which goals you’ve set. A non-monetary goal might be filling out a form, making a phone call, or joining an email list.
Below is an example of what this looks like.
Content Metrics: Reputation KPIs
Did key industry influencers mention your content? Even if they didn’t link back to you, mentions help your reputation. You can measure mentions with a tool like Sparktoro, or by creating a Google Alert for mentions of your brand or a particular content campaign. It’s also beneficial to track whether those mentions are positive or negative.
If you build a content campaign around a targeted keyword, make sure you’re tracking your success. There are a lot of tools on the market for tracking your keyword rankings, such as Ahrefs and SEMrush. For most of our SEO and content campaigns, Portent uses STAT, a SERP-tracking tool out of Vancouver, Canada.
Here’s an example of what SERP position tracking looks like in STAT. We chose Portent’s ranking for the term, “choosing content KPIs.”
When you show up high in the SERPs, you’re building your reputation both with Google, its crawlers, and potential site visitors who are browsing search results. Even if they don’t click on your page, they’ll still see it in their query results, which improves awareness.
Share of Voice
Another useful metric that STAT offers is Share of Voice (SoV). This KPI measures how visible a keyword set is on Google.
Not all rankings are equal, and higher ranks give you more Share of Voice.
Not all keywords are equal, and earning a keyword with higher search volume gives you more Share of Voice.
You can use SoV to determine how your content is affecting brand exposure on SERPs. It’s a great KPI to monitor if you’re launching a brand-awareness campaign or implementing a content hub project.
Sentiment analysis is a complicated topic that’s usually relegated to social media, but major brands can leverage this AI technology to track the way people are talking about their content campaigns, too. Sentiment analysis measures reputation from your social media mentions. If you just launched a new educational center, for example, this metric is a useful way to keep your ear to the ground for relevant Twitter chatter.
For a deep and technical dive into sentiment analysis, we recommend this story on Yelp from Stack Overflow’s David Robinson. For something higher-level, Brandwatch is one of the oldest names in the business and offers a clear, accessible explanation.
Content Metrics: Engagement KPIs
Are people commenting on your blog post with valuable insights, questions, or feedback? If you write a blog post that gets through to people, they’ll often show it in the comments. Tracking this engagement KPI will help you learn what topics resonate with users and spark conversations.
For example, check out these comments on Ian Lurie’s blog post, The Digital Marketing Checklist: 48 Things You Should Be Doing But Probably Aren’t.
People read it, considered its points, and then responded thoughtfully:
As with any robust comments section, it’s important to meaningfully engage with users, too. This interaction helps build brand loyalty and further improves the value of comments as a KPI.
If you want an easy, fast way to tell whether or not people are reading your content, look at the scroll depth of the page.
Most heat mapping programs, such as Hotjar, will provide you with scroll depth tracking. After you’ve set up tracking on the page through Google Tag Manager and the heat mapping platform, take a look at your scroll depth maps. You can see where your readers are dropping off, and how fast. A rapid drop might mean your content needs to be reworked.
Time on Page
Time on page is a similar key performance indicator to scroll depth in that it shows you how long people typically spend reading your content. Instead of being measured in pixels, however, this KPI is measured in seconds.
If you’re creating a new content strategy for your blog, your goal might be to increase the average time on page for new blog posts. Generally, the longer someone spends on your page, the more they’re engaging with your content, which means you’ve successfully earned their attention.
However, it’s important to keep in mind that time spent is related to the content length. Don’t compare the content of different types and lengths for time on page. A 2,000-word guide will probably have a much longer time on page than a 300-word blog post, but 50 percent of readers might make it all the way through that blog post versus only 10 percent who read your whole guide.
Pages Per Session
You can swap out this KPI with bounce rate if you prefer — they both tell you if readers are leaving your site after viewing your content. But bounce rate only tells you the ratio of visitors who leave versus those who keep digging deeper; the average pages per session will tell you how many pages they visit.
What’s a good rate for average pages per session? This depends entirely on your business. Generally, a site that serves to generate leads will have fewer pages per session than an e-commerce site, where users often spend time browsing product pages. If your e-commerce site doesn’t see an average rate of pages per session of three or four, you need to retool your strategy. In comparison, if a blog post on the Portent site has a rate of pages per session more than two, it’s excelling at this KPI.
Content Metrics: Conversion & Reputation KPIs
Returning customers are the intersection of reputation and conversion. They know your brand, they like it, and they want more.
It’s hard to measure the impact of content on return customers, but you can use Google Analytics to set tracking codes from the “thank you” page or log-in screen.
From here, you can see what kinds of content this group interacts with. Here are a few questions to consider when evaluating return customers:
- Do your returning customers visit your blog?
- Do they read your long form content?
If not, why not?
If so, which ones are popular?
Content Metrics: Reputation & Engagement KPIs
Likes & Shares
Social media is one of the best barometers for gauging the success of your content. The more likes and shares, the better the content is performing in terms of engagement, which affects your reputation.
Social media is sensitive to many factors. If you want to measure the impact of your content based on the content’s virtues alone, promote different content pieces with the same amount of money to lookalike audiences at the same time of day. If a piece does well, throw the rest of your promotional budget behind it. And then create more content like the winning article.
Backlinks are one of the most crucial KPIs for content — for many writers, they are the carrot on the other end of the stick. They are also a valuable barometer for assessing who respects or enjoys your content to the point they’re willing to recommend it to others.
As SEOs often say, every link is like a vote. When you receive unsolicited backlinks from authoritative sites, your readers are engaged, and your reputation is growing in the eyes of both readers and Google’s ranking algorithm.
Content Metrics: Engagement & Conversion KPIs
Open and Click-Through Rates
These are the KPIs for measuring conversions and engagement with email marketing campaigns. Your site’s content extends to all owned channels, and that means email, too. If you aren’t setting KPIs for your email marketing campaigns, you’re squandering one of your few opportunities to speak right into a customer’s ear.
Content Metrics: Conversion & Reputation & Engagement KPIs
Without visitors, you’re not going to engage, convert, or build any kind of online reputation. The more people who view your site, the more people are engaging with your brand, and the more your reputation spreads. And the wider your reach, the more likely you’ll generate conversions.
Page views are the easiest way to measure the success of content. Unsurprisingly, they’re also the most popular. And some might even say the laziest.
Unless you’re combining page views with some other metric, you’re going to be missing a big part of the picture. What sets apart great marketers is their ability to layer a versatile yet surface-level metric like a page view with other KPIs to understand whether and how a piece of content connects with readers. A click-bait headline, for example, might generate a lot of page views, but if the content doesn’t address users’ needs, the time on page won’t be very long, the pages per session will be low, and you probably won’t get any backlinks. So use this KPI in conjunction with others.
Tying it All Together
So there you have it!
We’ve shared the 16 KPIs we look to monitor when evaluating the effectiveness of content.
As we have shown, evaluating the effectiveness of your content marketing efforts is like playing a game of chess — patience and careful planning go a long way toward success. There is not one right way to track the success of your content- it’s all about identifying your goals, setting KPIs, and then iterating to find what works well for you.
So go on! Test and try a handful of metrics to find the right mix of what works for you.
Podcast advertising is among the most affordable, engaging and effective methods to tap into new audiences and build your brand.
As of April 2019, the podcast industry includes more than 700,000 podcasts that have produced more than 29 million episodes, according to Podcast Insights. A majority of the U.S. population has listened to at least one podcast, and unlike radio, online, or TV ads, 85 percent of users stay engaged throughout the whole podcast because the medium demands listeners’ attention and time. Plus, a study by Midroll shows that 72 percent of people who have listened to a podcast for four or more years have purchased a product advertised on that podcast.
If you’re considering using podcasts for marketing and advertising, the most important choices you’ll make are what audience you want to target and which podcasts to advertise with. These are complicated decisions, but we’ve devised seven steps that will help you choose the best podcasts for your brand to partner with.
Step 1: Choose a Demographic to Target
The first step to choosing a podcast is deciding who you want to target with your ad campaign.
“Generally, advertisers will come to us with an outline of who they’d like to target, and then we can work with them on finding the right fit depending on who the brand is,” says Heather Gordon, the director of digital sales at the CBC, which publishes a wide slate of award-winning podcasts like “Love Me” and “Someone Knows Something.”
To create the outline Gordon mentions, ask yourself these four questions:
- What am I trying to sell or accomplish?
- Why do my current customers buy this product or trust my brand?
- Who else would buy the product or be interested in my brand?
- What do both groups of people care about?
If you have previous user research into your current customer base, such as personas, surveys, or focus-group testing, this opportunity is the perfect time to use those resources to answer the four questions and guide your podcast search.
The process gets more complex if you don’t have a clearly defined user base or if your target audience is too large.
In that scenario, your best option is to use a list of standard demographic labels, such as gender, income, education, and interests. Afterward, perform user research on that demographic or get in touch with podcast publishers that have multiple shows to further explore your options.
Step 2: Identify a Unique Proposition for the Podcast Demographic
Now that you have an ideal podcast demographic, the second step is deciding what you can offer podcast listeners that they can’t get elsewhere.
This task is important on two fronts. First, the unique offer entices listeners because the value of “too good to pass up.” Second, the unique offer makes tracking the campaign success and ROI more effective.
The offer itself needs to have a clear value proposition. The common method is giving podcast listeners a steep product discount or free trial if they visit a podcast-specific landing page on your website, engage with your brand on social media, or use a promotional code during checkout.
For example, the SEO tool Ahrefs recently experimented with podcast advertising. In a blog post about their experiment, the author, Rebekah Bek, discussed creating account giveaway contests for listeners who tweet at the podcast and Ahrefs about why they should win a free account.
“It’s a win‐win for everyone involved: the podcast host gets a great prize to boost audience engagement and some extra social shares,” Bek wrote. “We get extra attention to our message and a way to gauge if the ad resonated well with that show’s audience.”
Although this promotional method is the most common approach, it’s not the only option. Another unique proposition you can create for podcast listeners to compare price points or features among other competing products while describing benefits that make your product superior.
As an example, Target advertised its new affordable bra line, Auden, on the podcast “Science Vs.” In the ad, the host, Wendy Zukerman, introduces the brand and then begins chatting about buying bras with a coworker, Alice. Alice complained about buying a fancy, poorly fitting bra online that cost nearly $70. Zukerman countered that the Auden bra line costs less than $22 and has ample sizes for most women.
After determining the offer or unique proposition, consider if you’re able to provide the podcast host with your product beforehand.
“A lot of times brands will offer the talent a product to experience first hand if they aren’t aware of it; this lends authenticity to the way the talent can then speak about the product or service,” Gordon says. “Having that genuine experience means they can talk more convincingly when they do the commercial or speak about it in their live read.”
If you consider this tactic, it’s important to be aware that not every podcast or publisher allows for hosts to give explicit endorsements or accept product trial arrangements. Public broadcast publishers are among the organizations that typically stay objective.
Step 3: Conduct User Research
Current and previous customers are among the most underused resources in podcast advertising. As we established, the podcast industry is flooded with more than 700,000 podcasts—stumbling on the perfect option without help is tough. But if you combine your brand’s user personas (and other demographic information) with surveys, you can quickly learn what podcasts your customers listen to.
This step works exceedingly well if your brand has an active presence on social media or a robust email newsletter. You can set up a free survey using tools like Google Forms and Survey Monkey. Below is an example.
If you don’t have access to enough customers to create a survey, don’t fret. Online tools like Survey Monkey, Survey Planet and SoGoSurvey can recruit survey participants within targeted demographic parameters.
Step 4: Use the User Research to Find Podcasts
Now that you have a list of podcasts your current and previous customers listen to (or, users within their demographic), begin researching those podcasts to determine if they’re a good fit with your brand and the ad you’d like to create.
We recommend focusing your efforts first on the most frequently mentioned podcasts. If one podcast doesn’t stand out as a clear winner, look for themes that jump out, such as genres, hosts, topics, or podcast publishers. Afterward, dig into popular podcasts within those correlations to narrow down your options.
While you’re researching podcasts, ask yourself these three questions:
- How do the podcast hosts blend audience interests with the ads or sponsorship mentions?
- What level of expertise do the hosts appear to have with the products they advertise?
- If you can find audience demographics, does that data align with your ideal demographic?
If you’re still unsure of what podcasts to target, consider evaluating podcast publishers instead, which can help choose for you.
“What we like to do is encourage clients to consider an audience approach,” says Kathy Callaghan, the executive director of sponsorship at WNYC, which publishes award-winning podcasts like Radiolab and Snap Judgement. “Rather than picking and choosing specific shows, think about the audience and scale you can get by signing a collection of shows.”
After learning what a client’s goals are, Callaghan says she and her team work closely with that brand to understand what shows are working the best. Afterward, advertisers get the opportunity to increase the flight of advertisements for shows that are working better than others.
Step 5: Choose Among Pre-roll, Mid-roll or Post-roll
One of the common questions podcast hosts or publishers ask is where do you want your ad to run: the beginning, middle or end of an episode?
Pre-roll and post-roll ads are often 15-30 seconds long and premiere before or after the episode, respectively. Mid-roll ads range from one to two minutes and serve as an intermission. Each option usually costs different amounts, with mid-roll being the most expensive, and some podcasts will book one type of ad placement months in advance. Knowing what your ideal placement is further narrows your choices.
Mid-roll ads are often the most effective choice because listeners are unlikely to try and skip the ad and potentially miss valuable content. Consequently, mid-roll is also the most popular option.
Step 6: Choose Your Advertisement Type: Baked-in vs. Dynamic
After you’ve determined where in the episode you’d ideally like your ad to run, the next choice is what type of advertisement you want the host or publisher to include. Usually, you have two ad options: baked-in and dynamically inserted.
A baked-in ad is read live by the podcast host and becomes part of the episode itself. Every user will hear the same advertisement, regardless of when they listen to the episode.
Contrarily, a dynamically inserted ad is included in the episode by an ad server after the podcast is recorded. Dynamic ads rotate throughout the year, letting publishers target specific podcast audience demographics. Ultimately, not every listener will hear the same ad.
Podcast publishers may not offer both options, so choose who you want to partner with carefully.
Step 7: Chat with the Podcast Host or Production Team
Now that you’re empowered with the knowledge of who you want to target, what you’ll offer that audience, what type of ad you’d like to serve and where it should live, you’re ready to begin chatting with the podcast hosts or publishers.
At the start of your conversation, the podcast team will likely ask you about the following topics, most of which are centered on your campaign goals:
- What are you trying to achieve?
- What are your KPIs?
- Who are you trying to connect with?
- What sort of content do you want to be aligned with?
“It’s really about listening to our clients, and then based on our knowledge of our catalogue, working with them to find the best fit,” says Robin Neufeld, the director of content marketing at CBC. “Often the best fit is a number of podcasts over a flight, just to test out different creative, podcasts, [or] genres.”
While you’re chatting with brands and answering these questions, it’s important to remember the podcast industry is full of noise and podcasts with varying levels of quality and reach. Neufeld, Gordon, and Callaghan all emphasize you should choose to talk and partner with brands with enough audience trust, reach, and loyalty to achieve your goals.
“The ideal scenario is those instances where you have a partnership with a client and you agree that you’re going to learn together about what makes the most sense for their brand,” Callaghan says.
Discovering what makes sense for your brand and the podcasts you’re partnering with is crucial. That’s because podcasts are a powerful storytelling medium thanks to the intimate connection listeners have with the show hosts. When an ad pops up on a podcast, it’s closer to having a conversation with a good friend rather than hearing a blaring radio spot. Now is the perfect time to take advantage of this connection and include podcast advertising in your marketing strategy.
The post 7 Steps to Find the Best Podcasts for Your Ad Campaign appeared first on Portent.
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Regardless of whether duplicate content is accidental or the result of someone stealing blocks of text from your web pages, it must be addressed and handled correctly.
It doesn’t matter if you manage a website for a small business or a large corporation; every site is vulnerable to the threat that duplicate content poses to SEO rankings.
In this article, I will explain how to find duplicate content, how to determine whether it’s affecting you internally or across other domains, and how to manage the duplicate content properly.
What Constitutes Duplicate Content?
Duplicate content refers to blocks of content that are either completely identical to one another (exact duplicates) or very similar, also known as common or near-duplicates. Near-duplicate content refers to two pieces of content with only minor differences.
Of course, having some similar content is natural and sometimes unavoidable (i.e., quoting another article on the internet).
The Different Types of Duplicate Content
There are two types of duplicate content:
- Internal duplicate content is when one domain creates duplicate content through multiple internal URLs (on the same website).
- External duplicate content, also known as cross-domain duplicates, occurs when two or more different domains have the same page copy indexed by the search engines.
Both external and internal duplicate content can occur as exact-duplicates or near-duplicates.
Is Duplicate Content Bad For SEO?
Officially, Google does not impose a penalty for duplicate content. However, it does filter identical content, which has the same impact as a penalty: a loss of rankings for your web pages.
Duplicate content confuses Google and forces the search engine to choose which of the identical pages it should rank in the top results. Regardless of who produced the content, there is a high possibility that the original page will not be the one chosen for the top search results.
This is just one of the many reasons duplicate content is bad for SEO. Here are some other obvious reasons why duplicate content sucks.
Internal Duplicate Content Issues
To avoid duplicate content issues, make sure that each page on your site has:
- a unique page title and meta description in the HTML code of the page
- headings (H1, H2, H3, etc.) that differ from other pages on your website
The page title, meta description, and headings make up a minimal amount of the content on a page. However, it’s safer to keep your website out of the gray area of duplicate content as much as possible. It’s also an excellent way to have search engines see value in your meta descriptions.
If you cannot write a unique meta description for each page as you have too many pages, then exclude it. Most of the time, Google takes snippets from your content and presents it as the meta description anyway. However, it is still better to write a custom meta description if you can, as it is a critical element in driving click-throughs.
Understandably, creating unique product descriptions is challenging for many eCommerce companies, as it can take a lot of time to write original descriptions for each product on a website.
However, if you want to rank for “Rickenbacker 4003 Electric Bass Guitar,” you have to differentiate your product page for Rickenbacker 4003 from all the other websites offering that product.
If you sell your products through third-party retailer websites or have other resellers offering your product, then provide each source with a unique description.
If you want your product description page to outperform the others, check out our article on how to write a great product description page.
Product variations, such as size or color, should ideally not be on separate pages. Utilize web design elements so that all the variations of a product are kept on one page.
Another common issue with duplicate content found on eCommerce sites (though, not exclusive to eCommerce) comes from URL parameters.
Some websites use URL parameters to create page URL variations (for example, ?sku=5136840, &primary-color=blue, &sort=popular), which might lead to search engines indexing different versions of the URLs, including the parameters.
If your website uses URL parameters, check out Portent CEO, Ian Lurie’s article on URL parameters duplication entitled The Duplication Toilet Bowl of Death.
WWW, HTTP, and The Trailing Slash
An often overlooked area of internal duplicate content is around URLs with:
- www (http://www.example.com) and without www (http://example.com)
- http (http://www.example.com) and https (https://www.example.com)
- a trailing slash at the end of a URL (http://www.example.com/) and without a trailing slash (http://www.example.com)
A quick way to check for these issues is to take a section of unique text from your most valuable landing pages, put the text in quotes, and search for it on Google. Google will then search for that exact string of text. If more than one page shows up in the search results, then you will have to look closely to determine why that’s happening by first looking into the possibility of the three options listed above.
If you find that your website either has a conflicting www vs. non-www or trailing slashes vs. non-trailing slashes, then you will have to set up a 301 redirect from the non-preferred version to the preferred one.
Note: There is no SEO benefit to using or not using www or the trailing slash in your URLs. It is a matter of personal preference.
External Duplicate Content Issues
If you have a significant amount of valuable content, there is a good chance that it will end up being republished on another website. As flattering as this may be, you will have to do without it. Here are the different ways duplicate content occurs externally:
Scraped content is when a website owner steals content from another website in an attempt to increase the organic visibility of their site. Webmasters who scrape content can also attempt to have machines “rewrite” the scraped content they stole.
Scraped content can occasionally be easy to identify as the scrapers sometimes don’t bother to replace branded terms throughout the content.
How the manual action penalty works: a human reviewer at Google will review the website to determine if a page is compliant with Google’s Webmaster Quality Guidelines. If you are flagged for trying to manipulate Google’s search index, you will either find your website has been ranked significantly lower or removed from the search results entirely.
If you are the victim of scraped content, you should inform Google by reporting the webspam under the “Copyright and other legal issues” option.
Content syndication is when another website republishes your content that, most likely, originally appeared in your blog. It’s not the same as getting your content scraped because it’s something you volunteered to have shared on another site.
As crazy as this may sound, there is a benefit to syndicating your content. It makes your content more visible, which can lead to more traffic to your website. In other words, you are trading content and possibly search engine rankings for links back to your site.
How to Check for Duplicate Content
If you have web pages rich with content that are declining in their search engine rankings, then you should check if your content has been copied and used on another website. Here are some ways you can do this:
Copy a few sentences of text from one of your web pages, put it in quotation marks, and search for it in Google. By using quotation marks, you’re telling Google that you want results that return that exact text. If multiple results show up, then someone has copied your content.
Copyscape is a free tool that checks your web page text for duplicate content found on other domains. If the text on your page has been scraped, the offending URL will show up in the results.
You vs. Duplicate Content
Let’s face it; you didn’t work so hard to produce original content to have someone steal your work and outrank you in the search results.
The growing threat of duplicate content can seem overwhelming and will likely require much time to combat, but the work involved in managing it will be well worth the ROI.
If you follow the advice given and get serious about managing duplicate content, you will improve your rankings and ward off scrapers, thieves, and clueless newbies.
The post What is Duplicate Content and How Does it Affect Your SEO? appeared first on Portent.
Executing a trial and error method sometimes does not merit a single attempt. Due to fast modernization, marketers always want to keep up or even topmost the marketplace. They can also struggle just to attest the worth of their programs even when there is no actual purchase and direct response from the consumers. More often business to business (B2B) marketers’ concentration is centered on the top generation programs with severe, prolonged, and multipart sales cycles to prove capabilities. Using the information given, how do you think marketers still can assess the impact of their marketing programs with this kind of pressure?
This is by incorporating the following tips.
- Plan for ROI
- Thinking about and weighing the most valuable occasions
- Ensuring team cooperation, that each member has the vital and critical information needed at a given period
- Forecasting events to make your data structure more adaptable to any circumstances
- Creating a timeline for iteration periods or development stages
- Understand marketing objectives
- Brand awareness and market positioning.
- Lead generation.
- Lead nurture and sales enablement.
- Target account acquisition
- Customer loyalty and growth.
- Identify Vanity Metrics
- Generate more sales
- Anchoring analytics on a strategy, not the previous year’s budget.
- Understanding the consumer’s decision journey to purchasing your product or service, the what, when, where and how of a buyer.
- Discussing ROI with the entire organization, not just the marketing and sales teams but all of the departments must be included.
.. any marketing element in a program, whether it starts with a “P” or not, needs to be modifiable to meet the unique needs, problems, and aspirations of a priority group. If a P is so complex or ubiquitous as to defy a fit with the priority group, then it is no longer a marketing variable. (Lefebvre, 2013, p.310).
Many social marketing academics and practitioners like to propose, argue and otherwise distract themselves from people’s concerns by talking about 5, 6…(up to 20 I’ve read) Ps – adding things like Politics, Purse strings, Partners, People, Positioning…you get the idea. Other people contend that this ‘producer’ oriented “P” approach (what ‘we’ do for ‘them’) needs to be rethought as a customer-centric set of Cs – Customer (wants and needs), Convenience, Cost and Communication to which more Cs can easily be appended – collaborators, co-creation, co-operation, etc. And yes, they don’t seem like more than semantic differences – the core issues are the same. Many other proposals for how to think about the marketing mix are out there as well.
Yes, there can be some dogmatism about whether you use Ps, Cs, Vs, or any other set of attributes to describe your marketing mix – usually expressed by peer reviewers and people at podiums. The important thing to remember is that the use of a single letter, or even an acronym, is in an effort to help us to remember to touch all the bases. However, when they shift from focusing on what’s important to members of our priority group to what’s important (or clever) to us, and don’t have obvious implications for how to design our program, then I think it’s time to put your head down and ignore them [and yes, I can make arguments for including or excluding Ps and Cs with the best of them, but why bother].
The marketing mix is near the core of the social marketing approach. A marketing effort is more than a mass media or advertising campaign (a 1P or 1C effort), a nudge or removing a barrier (another type of 1P or 1C effort), or designing opportunities to try a new behavior or making products and services more accessible (yet another 1P or 1C approach). The marketing mix is there to remind us that we have to tailor offerings to different groups of people based on their shared needs, problems, aspirations and other characteristics; that is, we have to segment them first. Then we develop a unique marketing mix for each priority group – it’s not one size fits all. If Ps and Cs help you remember to do that, and not default to your typical 1P solution, then it works. Now test your ideas with your priority groups.
Let’s take as an example the many conversations I have with people over social media and mobile phones. Early on in these conversations the question comes up, “How are you going to use it?” More often than not it’s to be used to ‘communicate messages’ or perhaps ‘nudge’ people in a priority group – a 1P solution. What if that social media or mobile tool was thought about as a product (or app) or a service – not simply a new channel for messages? How could this technology be used to make information or action more convenient or accessible? How would it reduce current barriers to action, or provide incentives to try? How could it be harnessed for peer learning or support when making behavior changes (oops! Not in those Ps and Cs)? How would someone use it to solve a problem (find value using it) – and what exactly is their problem that this social media or mobile technology is suppose to solve? Oh, and how will your priority group learn about it? Too often the answers are along the lines of “Well, we haven’t thought about that.” The marketing mix is a decision aid to get you thinking about those things – those are the questions marketers think about.
…the 4Ps concept should not be a straitjacket that includes certain strategies and excludes others; instead, I refer to it as a heuristic to acknowledge its value as an aid in considering major leverage points for change and developing a more comprehensive strategy and program than might otherwise occur. (p. 310-311).
That’s all it is. You can keep it simple or make it complicated. In the end, it’s what is important to your priority group, not your beliefs or mnemonics.
Lefebvre, R.C. Social marketing and social change: Strategies and tools for improving health, well-being and the environment. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2013.
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