Marketing is all about communication, right? It’s about understanding your audience, creating a clear message and bringing that message to your audience in the areas they’re already active and likely to be engaged. Right?
Well, yes. But that’s not all. Marketing has to have a financial benefit to the business because, if it doesn’t, it’s really not doing its job.
That’s not an easy concept to get your head around. In a world where online marketing is ever more important, quantifiable results are ever more elusive. Our social media presence is ever changing, our messages further reaching than we could ever document and the impact of our online reputation a consequence not only of our own words but of the words and actions of others too – and its not always positive.
Marketers across the globe share a common problem; how do we quantify the impact of our efforts?
Now that’s a really tough question to answer, though many have tried. There are countless methodologies and technologies out there which supposedly help us to track what we do, both online and off, but often they fail to fairly communicate the exact reach of a marketer.
In the past, my answer would have been trust: I believed that a trust in the content and communication is enough to instil confidence in anyone seeking success in a marketing capacity, particularly online. But, now in my finance placement of the TUI Travel Graduate Scheme, I’m learning that successful businesses are not based on trust and there has to be an element of quantifiable return.
Working here, I’m coming to understand the frustrations of quantifying marketing from both sides of the fence – my own experience of trusting in marketing vs the more corporate approach of tracking every message and monitoring the ROI (return on investment). But it’s certainly not all ‘big business tramples creative marketer’ – no, instead this process has to be a collaborative one, with each party helping the other achieve their goals.
And it gets some great results. Only recently, a direct mailing campaign, built on a process of audience understanding which delivered some really key findings, was sent out by the company and, more recent still, we see the results of that direct mailing in our revenue. What a fantastic result for the marketing team and a great way to secure the same or more marketing budget next year.
It may seem that finance and marketing are different ends of the scale, but there really is a key link between them that we need to explore. Perhaps it is only in learning how to fully exploit the benefits of this link that we can really call ourselves successful marketers.