“52% of marketers do not have a formal scorecard for rating agency performance on an annual basis” — CMO Council, More Gain, Less Strain Report

The job of the marketer is to produce results that impact the bottom line.

With the technology available to track campaign performance in real time, CMOs are increasingly being held accountable for return on investment (ROI). This has a trickle-down effect into their agencies and external partners.

Corporations today seek performance-driven agencies that understand how campaigns correlate to sales, and use data to optimize activities for improved results over time.

This requires a systemic approach to reporting and evaluation.

Identify Client Marketing Goals

Start your measurement plan with a solid understanding of your client’s expectations, marketing goals, foundation and potential. This background and benchmark data – which can be collected via initial meetings or an assessment tool – helps you set realistic campaign goals and allocate resources to strategies with the highest success likelihood.

When looking at the sales funnel, the 2014 Marketing Score Report found that marketers’, executives’ and entrepreneurs’ highest priority goals are to generate leads (86 percent) and to convert leads into sales (85 percent).

Flag Top Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

Identify the most important metrics on which your client measures success at each level of the funnel – brand, leads, sales and loyalty. These should be specific to their organization, but could include: website visitors, leads, customers, revenue, churn rate, customer lifetime value, etc.

Have the client sign off on these metrics. They will be used as the basis for your recommendations and to measure the overall health of the campaign.

Each core KPI should also have five to 10 supporting metrics that enable you to dig a bit deeper if performance starts trending extremely positive or negative, or abnormalities present themselves. For example, if your core KPI is leads, then supporting metrics may be leads by source, lead quality score, event registrations and/or content downloads.

Ensure Tracking Technologies Are in Place

Once you know what needs to be tracked, double-check that technology is in place to capture necessary data. (Your initial assessment of the client’s foundational technology and lead sources is a good starting point here.)

Based on your reporting needs, consider technologies such as:

  • Website analytics software
  • Marketing automation
  • Social media management solutions
  • Email software
  • Call tracking
  • Customer relationship management (CRM) systems

However, disparate tracking solutions translate to siloed performance reports. Therefore, seek to integrate reports into a central dashboard for ease of ongoing monitoring. We use a custom-built one created in Google Drive.

Establish Benchmarks and Goals

Collect at least three months of your client’s historical data for initial analysis. Look for fluctuations and abnormalities, identify benchmarks and use these to set realistic performance goals for each prime metric.

Monitor, Report and Adapt

With a central reporting dashboard that is customized based on the client’s priority goals and sales funnel, you can more readily report on those metrics that matter and prove your agency’s value.

Monitor performance daily, but also provide executive-level snapshots of performance on at least a monthly basis. In these reports, tie activities directly back to prime goals, call out KPIs by funnel section and identify performance highlights and action items to improve.

By taking a performance-centric approach to marketing that centers on transparency and accountability, agencies can run more effective programs, gain greater client respect and solidify larger budgets.

How do you measure and report on client campaigns?

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