The value of marketing for your firm can be a tough one to pin down because some of what we do is difficult to quantify. However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t things you can use to show the value of marketing to leadership today. Using a combination of analytics, anecdotes, and industry research, you can show, with confidence, the value marketing brings to your firm, and to businesses in general.
Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager
You can learn so much from Google Analytics. From general site traffic to specific goals, the tool allows you to analyze what people are doing once they get on your site and whether they’re taking desired actions. A great way to assert the value of marketing using Google Analytics is to compare numbers before and after a given marketing initiative. For example, if you’re running a series of email campaigns that link back to the site, show the difference in referral traffic before and after the campaigns, the time people spent on site, and pages they visited after being referred. If you’re trying to get a certain number of sign-ups on a form, you can set goals and track using Google Analytics or Google Tag Manager, and show goal completions and path to the goal. Make sure you have the tracking code installed before you need to capture anything, so you have a baseline to compare to.
Tools you use to manage your marketing and/or CRM, like HubSpot, can also provide valuable metrics you can use to demonstrate the value of your efforts. For example, you can create calls to action in HubSpot and track the click-through rates of each one. Or you can see how someone arrived on the site before they filled out a form and everything they’ve done after that, tied to their name via the CRM. All-in-one tools that manage your CRM and marketing efforts can help you connect the dots between what you’re doing and who is most drawn to the message. Oftentimes, you can go a step or two further than Google Analytics by identifying the people who are engaged with your content by name. This can enable other staff members to follow up with more specific messaging and questions for them.
UX Tools like HotJar
What better way to understand behavior on your site than by watching visitors navigate through it? A tool like HotJar allows you to watch visitor sessions on pages to see where they might be getting stuck or confused, as well as see things like form fills and abandonment along different steps of a goal. HotJar can be useful for identifying problems and showing the difference it makes to solve those problems. HotJar can also demonstrate the need for additional pages, content, or functionality based on feedback users provide via actions or forms created in HotJar.
Social Media Metrics
Some of the tools mentioned above pull in social media metrics, but you can also go to the source to get more insights on what users are doing on your pages. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn all have insights pages available to admins. Depending on the network you’re on, you can find out demographic information on who engages with your posts, the ones that get the most comments, likes, shares, or clicks, the time of the day that’s most effective, the industries and positions your engaged users have, and more. You can use the metrics to identify trends and capitalize on them.
Email Marketing Metrics
Whether you use MailChimp, Constant Contact, ConvertKit, HubSpot, or something else, every email marketing tool has analytics you can use to evaluate the effectiveness of your campaigns. Basic metrics like open and click-through rates can help you analyze subject lines and appropriate content for segmented audiences. You may also be able to do A/B testing of subject lines, content, or design, depending on the tool and the size of your list. Experiment if you can with different messaging and looks. Change one variable per experiment and report your findings back to leadership. What you learn from these tests will help you craft more effective emails and show leadership how you’re evolving emails based on readers’ responses.
Sometimes, the best proof of the value of marketing comes from stories, which are harder to quantify. However, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be compiling them. Testimonials, case studies, reviews on Google/Yelp/Facebook/etc. and positive emails can all show leadership that both your marketing and client service efforts are moving in the right direction. As a bonus, these anecdotes are often marketing materials in and of themselves. The cyclical nature of positive feedback turning into marketing collateral is a gift that keeps on giving.
3. Industry Research
Say you’re new to your position, and nobody has done any kind of baseline assessments or analytics in the past. Not to worry. You can still demonstrate the value of marketing through industry research. Pull case studies, testimonials, white papers, and whatever else you can get your hands on about the differences companies saw (pay special attention to B2B and professional services cases) once they started implementing different marketing strategies and tactics. This way, you can speak to leadership about the changes they may be able to anticipate seeing after launching different marketing campaigns. As a bonus, conducting industry research may give you new ideas you hadn’t thought of previously.
Even if you haven’t spent a lot of time in your role, have little data to pull from, or only have non-quantifiable evidence of the value of marketing, pulling what you can use these three methods will help you outline what marketing has and will bring to your firm.
About Sammi Dittloff
Sammi Dittloff is a Marketing Consultant, writer, and founder of Needs More Fiber, an agency dedicated to adding substance to a brand's content. She previously worked as the Marketing Director for Chortek LLP for 3 years. As a freelance content marketer, consultant, and strategist, Sammi specializes in content strategy, brand manuals, SEO, and analytics. She has 15 years of experience in marketing, writing, promotions, advertising, and analytics. Sammi was a Media Writing TA while pursuing her MA in Media Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and has since returned to school for an MS in Nutrition. Her latest projects can be found at needsmorefiber.com and hisammi.com.