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Marketers certainly don’t lack opportunities to assess their customers.
Demographics, online and offline viewing habits, purchase history, lifestyle, interests, response rates, likes, comments, click-throughs, opt-ins, conversions, influences, behavior tracking … the list is seemingly endless. Algorithms combine and analyze these factors to define and track customers in virtually every aspect of their daily activities.
In the world of B2B marketing, the digital transformation during the pandemic has an impact on which metrics are important. In many cases, more channels, more statistics, and more measurement options have simply created more trees to darken the forest. As personal interactions with sales reps have decreased and purchasing has become self-directed, customer behavior has become even more abstract.
Marketers are discovering that tangible, long-term profits are lost when looking for mysterious “success metrics” that don’t move the needle in a way that is geared towards sustainable sales growth.
Companies need a new way to organize and query their target group touchpoints – and to move more effectively towards larger, long-term goals.
The move to results-oriented marketing
Results-based marketing is a discipline that is of equal interest to B2B and B2C marketers. It seeks to redefine the definition of success in business marketing by starting with the end, that is, working from desired customer behavior back to the factors that drive that behavior.
In results-based marketing, results are not the only measure of success. Results, as often emphasized by results-minded practitioners, are not the same as results. The results are narrowly defined and short term; The results are long term and reflect a broader, more vital future.
Pursuing a goal in a result-oriented way means defining the end state and solving a shortlist of factors that will reach this end state without being distracted.
For example, rather than simply tracking the increase in users who click on an ad, it would mean finding potential customers “in the middle” – those between awareness and conversion – and putting them on their way to becoming a loyal, returning customer.
A results-based approach increases customer lifetime value while reducing advertising costs. Results-based marketing outperforms reach-based media planning based on ROAS (Return on Ad Spend) by more than 50%, MMA Global noted. In addition, it was found that “moving centers” can be predicted with an accuracy of 99% – a real indicator of how effective a results-based approach can be.
Putting results into action
Adopting and executing a results-oriented strategy requires resetting many of the basic tools of modern digital marketing. Planners need to look at their processes through a different lens.
Here are five of the key areas for change when moving to a results-based approach.
1. Dive deeper into your business goals
Results-based efforts involve changing the mindset of internal stakeholders about marketing effectiveness. Team members may need to move past clicks and impressions for their product lines in favor of a more holistic view.
Results-based marketing also includes reviewing how budgets, campaigns, and audiences are aligned to meet business goals. What does the alignment need to be? What are the KPIs for each channel? The measures derived from such critical questions are merged into your overarching goals.
2. Optimize the channels you invest in
Do you know the value and purpose of each channel you are active in? When you know the value of different customer contacts, you can make multichannel decisions.
If you know that, on average, your customers will need a certain number of taps before making a purchase decision, they will likely be across different channels.
Paid search, for example, is conversion-driven; That makes it valuable in the final stages of a buying journey for a potential customer to do a very specific search and look for a very specific answer. A paid social media ad, on the other hand, might not result in direct conversion right away – but it could help you keep track of what is pushing customers to convert.
3. Use the correct data
With the right data foundation, it’s possible to see at a granular level who your prospects are and how you interact with them.
In the digital world, sales is no longer a linear process; they are a meandering journey. By identifying the events and experiences that catalyze this journey, you can develop strategies to replicate them.
Most sales are controlled by the customer. The conditions must support this reality.
Even with metrics, less is more. “Analytical paralysis” is a widespread marketing disease, so you keep wondering if there is any particular metric that matters to you to track.
4. Use predictive analytics
Predictive analytics can be the key to determining the right media spend and strategy. As mentioned earlier, it’s easy to get caught up in followers and likes on social media – at the expense of the actual results that will help build your business.
Companies have a lot of information about their customers and their behavior that can be traced back to targeting in media campaigns and users. The idea is to create “lookalikes” for your most valuable audience segments based on their standard behavior and then replicate those conditions.
Predictive analytics can help mid-range lookalikes – caught between awareness and conversion – move forward on their journey.
5. Continuously refine your strategy
Test, test, test – that is the marketing rule in the digital world. Once you’ve made an effort, refine your content, creatively, and continuously output it, little by little. Let the data speak for itself, what works, what doesn’t, and how each element can be optimized. (One caveat: some marketers go into over-testing. Don’t jump into a market and then make hasty decisions when the data is inconclusive.)
It is wise to emphasize progress over perfection in all aspects of your contact. Digital marketing is about agility, including planning. Focus on your articles with the greatest impact first, and don’t try to make them perfect from the start.
See the big picture
Results-based marketing is like relationship marketing with a twist. When implemented effectively, it builds long-term partnerships that embed companies deeply into their customers’ ecosystems, and with a higher ROAS than range-based planning.
Perhaps more importantly, results-based marketing allows for a comprehensive view of how organizations are marketing. It sets the agenda on multiple fronts: media spend, audience targeting, user experience, KPIs, CRM, and more.
Marketing goals can become blurry, even for seasoned professionals. A results-oriented approach can only provide the well-founded clarity that they are looking for.
More resources on results-based marketing
Marketing activity metrics mean little: this is how you can really prove the value of marketing
PR measurement is all about outputs, outtakes and results: Shonali Burke on Marketing Smarts [Podcast]
The marketing metrics that matter to the bottom line