Before you engage the services of a marketing specialists or agency, it’s imperative you agree on certain performance outcomes prior to commencement of the work. Setting clear performance outcomes ensures both client and agency understand what’s expected from their end, with measures in place to track against the end goal. This is especially important if the fee structure you’ve decided on is performance based or if you’re looking to build a performance incentive into the pricing agreement.
Setting measurable marketing outcomes takes some time and effort but is well worth the energy involved, and even having basic measures in place will be beneficial. Performance measurements are important for the growth of any business and help protect against communication breakdowns between marketing agency and client. Key metrics ensure the agency has something to be held accountable for to make sure the client is getting the agreed value for money.
The best performance orientated specialists and agencies will be fully transparent when telling the client how they measure the return of their marketing efforts, but sometimes the responsibility falls on the client to provide clear performance expectations. A large number of tactics and strategies can be deployed with a variety of different measures depending on the area of marketing specialisation involved and it’s vital to tailor your marketing measurement to your specific circumstances and goals.
Here are just some of the common performance outcomes that marketing agencies can be held accountable for as part of their contractual agreement.
By monitoring and tracking your website traffic over time, it’s easy to see how many people have visited your site and what actions they’re taking when they’re there. Analytics can determine how many first-time visitors your website is getting, how much time people are spending on your website and which individual pages are performing the best.
Analytics can also determine your conversion rate by reporting on the number of actions taken by a visitor to your website. With close monitoring, you’ll be able to see how many more sales are finalised, how many downloads are made and how many people subscribe to your mailing list once your marketing plan is in action.
If social media is part of your marketing plan, it’s important to track how your social media marketing efforts are tracking in more ways than just the number of followers and likes you have. Social media marketing should focus on whether you’re engaging with the right audience, how many of your followers convert to sales and how many of those followers actually inquire about your services. Trackable metrics include link clicks, shares, re-tweets, brand mentions, audience reach, leads, and conversions.
The performance outcomes of email marketing campaigns can be measured by tracking the click through rate (CTR) of a particular email to see how many recipients click on a hyperlink, call to action, image or make a purchase through a landing page. The success of a direct mail marketing campaign can be measured by the response rate, conversion rate, renewal rate, total return on investment and cost per acquisition (CPA).
Having high quality content on your blog is essential to educate customers and establish authority within your niche, but that content is worthless if it’s not reaching its intended audience. When hiring a marketing agency to create your blog content, measures can be put in place to track the number of interactions with each blog post (the number of comments, shares, likes, etc) and the number of views each individual blog post is receiving.
The tactics outlined above simply provide a snapshot into the key outcomes that can be measured to track a marketing agency’s performance, but there are other performance indicators that need to be agreed upon before commencement.
Here are some of the factors to clarify before an agreement is put in place:
Research consistently shows that setting clear goals and objectives sets the path for improved performance, with higher goals generating better results than low ones. Not only does setting measurable performance outcomes lead to better results, it also holds marketing providers accountable for their time and expenses, giving businesses better return on investment.
Neil Anderson is the founder and director of MarketingSearch.com.au a privately owned and operated Australian marketing search platform that enables businesses to transform their marketing impact and profitability through provisioning of better agency search & selection , talent sourcing & upskilling and project optimisation services.
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