What is Measurable Impact for Marketing?
When it comes to marketing, what does “measurable impact” mean? Measuring the impact of a particular marketing activity starts with setting realistic expectations to achieve intended outcomes.
When it comes to marketing, what does “measurable impact” mean?
Let’s dive in.
Whether success means growing shareholder value, financial efficiency, customer acquisition or retention, or diversifying revenue streams, knowing what success looks like is vital.
Without measurement, you cannot confirm that any deliberate strategic action achieved its stated objectives.
Measuring the impact of a particular marketing activity starts with setting realistic expectations to achieve intended outcomes. These are often referred to as SMART goals, which stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-bound.
How do you know if your insights and planned activities have had a measurable impact on your business? Put more practically, how do you measure the effectiveness of your marketing investment?
Every business engagement has a set of specific inputs that must produce the desired output. Typically, these inputs include time, money, and effort. When it comes to marketing, we expect these input factors to create or expand brand awareness, increase sales, and enhance customer engagement while protecting existing revenue. As organisations have limited resources, measuring their desired impact ultimately determines the success of a marketing plan or campaign’s effectiveness.
The vital ingredient needed to measure a particular initiative’s impact on your business is setting realistic, achievable goals, also known as Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).
Marketing’s role is to uncover prospects, generate demand, and qualify leads for a sales team to nurture and convert. Organisations can measure these metrics as they are quantifiable. However, other marketing metrics are intangible and difficult to calculate, such as improving or enhancing brand loyalty.
The critical factor to remember when measuring outcomes in marketing is time. Some activities produce results in shorter timeframes, while others take longer to manifest.
For example, a lead-generating campaign should produce measurable results for your sales teams in the short term. However, it also has an indirect impact on building brand awareness with potential prospects. Measuring this extended metric can only occur over some time.
The impact of a marketing initiative is the desired outcome generated by an action. To put it another way, if there were no action, you would not see any difference in the measured result. That action may be a straightforward input, such as an email marketing campaign. That action can also be a more complex and collective set of inputs, such as taking an SEO-led approach to content marketing so that compelling messaging reaches target audiences while also optimised for search engines over the longer term.
Either way, an impact must make a noticeable difference to a pre-determined measure such as market share, brand awareness, or sales.
As stated, not all marketing activities create a noticeable direct impact in the short or even medium term. Organisations can measure some results, such as an increase in customer retention. However, in many instances, the effect is difficult to measure as the activities do not directly correlate with a stated outcome. Some marketing activities play a vital strategic role, but isolating their measurable impact for attribution is scientifically complex, and in some cases, near impossible.
Even so, organisations should be able to measure the macro effect of all their marketing activities over time.
Time to Impact – a Measurable Metric
One metric that provides a measurable marketing outcome is time to impact. This benchmark quantifies the length of time it takes for marketing activities to make a measurable impact on a business. Organisations can determine the number of leads, reach, engagement, and sales a particular initiative generated over a set period. Time to impact is an essential measure as it helps organisations understand how various activities deliver a measurable impact. It factors attribution, contribution, and investment in the context of a set timeline.
As mentioned, other outcomes may not be as transparent as the time to impact if one does not set a realistic measurement period. Some activities may only produce a measurable impact in the medium-to-long term, such as SEO. Optimising your digital content does not necessarily produce results right away. It can take longer periods as a result of compounding outcomes to have the desired effect.
This example illustrates why it is vital to set realistic expectations. Some activities may well have a direct, immediate impact, but others may only produce the expected results over time.
Determining a Measurable Impact
Measurable impact is the quantifiable outcome attributed to marketing and lead generation activities over a set period of time which contribute to achieving set strategic objectives.
Ideally, you should set quantifiable KPIs at the start of your marketing initiative and complement these with relevant time-based milestones. It can be challenging to quantify for some activities in isolation but setting realistic goals and a reasonable timeline can give you the metrics you need.
The type of marketing activity will also affect the timescales of your measurable impact. For example, you could measure your lead acceleration’s effectiveness in weeks, but others, such as SEO or brand marketing, will have a longer time to impact.
Want to Discuss How You Can Achieve a Measurable Impact fWith Your Marketing?
At Filament, we go beyond merely being an extension to your team – we are your team! Our whole focus is on your successful outcomes, which is why we place measurable impacts at the core of our marketing strategies.
Get in touch with us to discuss how we can make a measurable impact for your business and help you achieve quantifiable marketing success and business growth.