Stop guessing, start researching: understanding marketing impact
As we emerge from Covid, marketing budgets are likely to be under increased scrutiny. Ruth Gosling looks at why it’s more important than ever for marketers to use data and insight to demonstrate the impact of their work.
In my role as Insight & Analytics Manager at Mobas, I provide guidance to many clients who wish to take a more robust approach to measuring their marketing impact but are unsure where to start. Here are my top tips.
Define your audience
Before deciding on any measurement process, it’s important to be clear about who you’re targeting. This may be very broad (such as adults aged 18 to 60 across the UK), or specific (such as first-time home buyers, chemistry students, BAME Gen Z consumers). At Mobas, we have tools for measuring impact among a wide range of audiences.
Determine your goals
Now that you’ve defined your target audience, think about what you’d like them to do. Which behaviours are you trying to encourage? For example, are you trying to increase brand awareness, favourability or loyalty? These metrics will form the basis of your research.
Once you know what you need to measure, it’s important to set clear targets in order to define what success looks like. Using the SMART approach works well here:
Specific: e.g. ‘to increase brand awareness by x% among Gen Z consumers’.
Measurable: think about how you’ll measure this – for example, you could do a baseline wave of research before the activity, and a follow-up wave to look at changes over time.
Attainable: this is a judgement call based on what you already know about your audience, brand and competitors. Be ambitious, but not unrealistic!
Relevant: ensure that you’re measuring things that really matter to your target audience. Qualitative research can be a useful way to establish this.
Timed: set clear timelines by which you expect to achieve this.
Agree your measurement approach
There are so many different tools and options available, it can be overwhelming! Should you do an online or telephone survey? Quantitative or qualitative research? How many participants do you need? Our expert team at Mobas can guide you through the options. We conduct much research ourselves and also have a range of specialist partners, so we have the flexibility to design an approach tailor-made for you.
Look at the full picture
By following the above steps, you should get some great research data upon which to judge the success of your marketing efforts. This should be used alongside other data sources, which may include website and social media performance, sales data, etc. – anything that’s important to the success of your business.
At Mobas, we develop bespoke data dashboards for our clients, providing a user-friendly way to join the dots between data sources and see the full picture. It’s lovely to know that people enjoyed your ad, but what really matters is understanding the impact it had on their behaviour – for example, has it increased sales or website traffic?
What are you waiting for?
The benefits of using research to measure marketing impact are clear: you’ll gain an in-depth understanding of what worked, and why. Providing clear insights on which creatives, messages and channels are working best will aid decisions about future activity. This helps to ensure continued growth and saves money over the long term.