220px CluelessThe next time you’re chatting with another marketer -- or yourself :) -- ask this question: How do you measure your marketing success?

If you hear an answer along the following lines, watch out:

  • “We’re just trying to produce a lot of content.”
  • “Well, we really just try to get people to come to our site and boost our brand.”
  • “Right now we’re trying to build out our social media presence."
  • “We’re trying to increase awareness of our company.”

These are the signs of a clueless marketer.

Why? The problem isn't the topics themselves -- social media is a great thing, so is awareness, so is traffic. 

The problem with these answers is that they're not specific measures -- and they’re certainly not specific measures of success. How do you measure "creating a lot of content"? If content volume is really what your business wants to optimize for, pick a specific metric -- maybe number of blog posts or number of ebooks. Just make sure you have a clear quantitative definition of success.

So what are some good answers?

  • “It’s all about traffic for us right now.”
  • "We’re focused on two things: Traffic and Leads."
  • "We’re really focused on building our reach -- which we define as …”

At HubSpot, some marketers focus on leads, some marketers focus on traffic, some focus on lead-to-customer conversion, and some focus on other metrics. Your business may have other goals, and that's great. Just make sure they're clear and measurable.

Photo: Wikipedia


Originally published Oct 26, 2011 1:00:00 PM, updated March 21 2013