Meaning, Metrics & Why Marketing MattersMar 1, 2023
Marketing is often misunderstood as a business tool. Many see it as a costly expense—the icing on the cake, rather than the cake itself. But in reality, marketing is essential for the success of any business. It is the lifeline that brings in new customers and keeps them coming back for more. It’s the process of creating, communicating, and delivering value. It’s also the means of measuring the impact of those actions so that businesses can get the most out of their investment.
The True Value of Marketing
It’s not uncommon for sales or operational leaders to eventually become C-Suite executives or the CEO. Thus, they’re familiar with – and perhaps biased towards – sales and operational solutions. And outdated – and frankly dangerous – perspective pits “marketing” against sales” – Capulets and Montagues of revenue generation. In fact, it’s crucial today that sales and operational people understand marketing – and that marketing professionals understand, to some extent, sales and operations. For the CEO confused about marketing’s value, marketing isn’t about spending money. It’s about smart spending in the right marketing channels that produces a return on investment.
About that ROI: measurement is largely about what matters most to you. Some businesses look at the direct results of their marketing spend, while others measure more intangible metrics like brand recognition or customer loyalty. In many small businesses marketing is confused with “creative stuff.” This leads to perpetual battles for Marketing – as a business department or strategic imperative – to be taken seriously. Yet, many businesses just…aren’t taking marketing’s impact seriously. A Marketing Week survey found less than 30% of companies are measuring ROI of marketing. Only about 20% measure which marketing campaign led to pipeline growth.
When leveraged correctly, your marketing investment can pay dividends in the form of increased sales, higher customer lifetime value, and a larger market share. But you have to define marketing’s place in your strategies and how you’ll measure its impact.
Strategizing for Success
Successful marketing campaigns are not created in a vacuum. They require meaningful strategies that are tailored to the business’s target audience. It’s important to understand the needs and preferences of customers so that campaigns can be tailored to them. This is where understanding the right channels is important.
Hey we admit it, as CFOs sometimes the first line of red ink gets scratched across “golf outing” or “tradeshow.” And sometimes that’s most appropriate. But key questions should be considered to understand the value these or other channels might really have to your company. Questions like:
- Is this where my customer is? Are decision-makers out here on the golf course (or tradeshow or ad spend or wherever)?
- Is there a marketing issue, a sales issue, or an issue of the disconnect between marketing and sales? “We need better leads!” isn’t helpful unless you can define what better leads are.
- Where’s your competition? Are they all over social media? Maybe you should be too. At every tradeshow or golf outing? Consider the impact of eliminating yourself from conversations that are going on with your customers. Consider the impact of not leading those conversations simply because you didn’t show up.
Finally, creative storytelling is essential for engaging customers. A 2017 study found that 86% of consumers want brands to tell stories that evoke emotion. This means creating content that is relevant to customers, and that speaks to their values and aspirations. At ProCFO Partners we cultivate conversations like these with regular podcasts, blog posts, a monthly newsletter and more.
Marketing is essential for the success of any business and should be focused on investing in meaningful strategies that are tailored to customer needs and preferences. By leveraging new technology and creative storytelling, businesses can create campaigns that are more likely to resonate with their target audience.
Ultimately, marketing matters because it has the power to drive growth and profits. By understanding the value of marketing, and measuring the impact of campaigns, businesses can get the most out of their investment.