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Use Marketing, Financial Metrics When Reviewing Product Development, Ad Campaigns

CEOs want tangible measurements on marketing performance.

Recent research suggests more executives and managers are performing product development and marketing campaign evaluations using marketing and financial metrics rather than more traditional review criteria. The executives are looking at metric-based compensation and training, as well as bringing in management teams from outside the marketing department to weigh in on campaign performance. Consider the many ways metrics are used to gauge performance elsewhere in the company can be reapplied in product development and marketing departments. Taking a more scientific or mathematical approach to evaluations may help decision makers create tangible goals that are measurable over time and supported by clear strategies.

What tools do you use to evaluate marketing and product development performance?

Greater Demand For Metrics 
Over the past few years, executives across all industries indicated a desire for greater use of performance metrics to gauge effectiveness of all departments. While most companies started to optimize big data analytics to efficiently monitor performance, some enterprises are slow to adopt such measurements when evaluating marketing and product development teams. Of those who have monitored increased marketing and financial metrics in these departments, the majority report improved decision-making capabilities as a result.

Research from professors at LSU and UCI identified 84 marketing and financial metrics growing in popularity with executives looking to transform marketing and product development operations. After surveying 439 U.S. managers, the data revealed metric use is not based on characteristics of the manager but other traits pertinent to the firm, such as metric-based compensation and environmental factors. Furthermore, the role the manager played in the company was irrelevant, while the type of decision he or she was tasked with making was factored into the use of metrics. The study found with increased metric use came improved decision outcomes as the insight derived from the evaluations strengthened managerial selections.

"If managers are looking to improve the performance of their product development and marketing decisions, they need to remember one simple equation - more marketing and financial metrics equal better decision outcomes - and marketing and financial metric use can be encouraged by metric-based compensation and training and the involvement of non-marketing managers in marketing decisions," wrote Ofer Mintz and Imran Currim, professors at LSU and UCI, respectively.

Marketing Metrics to Please The CEO
HubSpot recently outlined a few marketing metrics highly valued by top executives. They include:

  • Cost of acquiring a customer: Less efficient marketing teams have high costs of acquisition.
  • Percentage of customer acquisition cost associated with marketing: Determine how effective marketing performance is relative to expenditure.

  • Comparison of lifetime value to customer acquisition cost: Determine ROI on sales and marketing based on long-term gains compared to acquisition costs.
  • How long it will take to pay off customer acquisition cost: High payback time is bad and slows growth.

  • Percentage of customers originated from marketing campaigns: Determine value of marketing team v. sales team in acquisition.
  • Percentage of customers influenced by marketing efforts: Determine effectiveness of marketing campaigns in lead generation.