How's Your Vision? Has Marketing Become Too Near Sighted?

How’s Your Vision? Has Marketing Become Too Near Sighted?

Everywhere you look today there are articles and bloggers talking about applying metrics to marketing activities, and as a long-time media guy and a former market research analyst, I’m all about having good numbers when it comes to making marcom decisions, but are we tracking the right metrics or just the easiest ones? It’s not difficult to blast an e-mail this morning and have a pretty good sense of how well it did within a day or two, or to evaluate the success of a Webinar you’re hosting this week by the number of leads you see flowing into the funnel next week, but have we become too near sighted? Has it gotten to the point where we are basing decisions on all of tomorrow’s activities on the ROI of what we did just yesterday? Have we become too focused on short-term objectives and this quarter’s KPIs at the expense of long-term strategy and execution?

Obviously, with a down economy comes increased pressure to hit this month’s numbers. That’s understandable. But it seems this trend extends further back than last Fall. In fact, it seems marketers have been operating paycheck-to-paycheck for a few years now, with no real sense of what lies beyond this week’s white paper offer or next week’s blog post.

As professional marketers, it is our responsibility to evaluate not only the tactics we use for short-term gains, but what success we are having in the areas of total customer satisfaction and brand development. The development of a strong lead development program and an effective sales funnel is vital today, but for all the successful closed deals these generate, there are a greater percentage of individuals who, for whatever reason, fall out of the funnel somewhere along the line. These folks have at least as much to say about the strength of your brand as those who actually buy something. Without the use of regular brand awareness research and a commitment to customer satisfaction trending analysis, marketers run the risk of losing touch with their brand, and the position it holds in their markets.

So, next time you’re looking for a topic for an e-mail blast to your customers, how about asking them how you’re doing and what you could be doing better? Ask them how you stand up against your competitors when it comes to product development, technical support and documentation, customer service, price and product availability—the Key Performance Indicators that matter most to them!

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