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By Rhys Madoc, CEO, UHY International

June 2024

Marketing can take many forms. The goal of one campaign might be to raise awareness of your business with target customers, while the goal of another might be to encourage people to visit you at an industry event. In both cases the final aim is the same of course: to attract business and grow revenue.

So how do you know if you’ve succeeded? On the surface, that might seem obvious. If your revenue is growing, your marketing would appear to be working. But measuring marketing success - and the return on your investment – is much more nuanced than that.

To keep refining your marketing activities and reaching more of the high value customers you need, you need to track a range of factors.

For example, which marketing channels work well for you? Maybe social media draws a bigger response than email. Perhaps a series of sponsored articles in an industry publication was especially successful. Then there is the question of what is meant by success. A high profile marketing campaign may have attracted interest, but did the extra revenue it generated justify the considerable cost in money and manpower?

There are scores of questions like these you need to answer to be certain that your marketing budget is being spent in the most efficient way. It is essential that you measure the return on that investment, so you can continually refine and improve your marketing strategy over time.



Measuring marketing success is not straightforward, because it involves attributing a growth in revenue or customer numbers to specific marketing activities. You might not be sure if the email campaign worked or whether it was the pay-per-click advertising. Maybe one activity created more ‘buzz’ in terms of likes and shares, but another led to more genuine interest. When you have answers to these kinds of questions, you can do more of the things that work.

Start with the basics. How many new sales or accounts does your business attract in an average month or quarter? If you’re planning a new marketing campaign, you want to know how much it improves this figure. But that is not all. You also want to know how much it costs to attract each new customer, and how that compares to previous campaigns.

In many businesses – especially B2B – marketing doesn’t directly lead to revenue. It might lead to expressions of interest, then requests for more information, and eventually to discussions with your team. It can be a long process.

In that case, there are several potential weak points in your marketing funnel. You might need to measure a range of more detailed metrics, like the increase in traffic to your website for the life of a campaign, or the number of times someone clicks on one of your social media adverts to ask for more information.

The precise metrics to measure will be different for each business and each campaign, but the right ones will provide nuanced insight into the success or otherwise of your marketing efforts. For example, if a marketing campaign is driving increased traffic to your website but very few of those leads become customers, it might suggest problems with your homepage layout or content.

By the same token, if sales teams are seeing lots of new leads but closing very few of them, it may suggest an issue with your sales scripts or even the knowledge levels of staff.



To find the data you need, you will need to establish a set of relevant and measurable Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). You will need the right KPIs for your business, but some obvious ones are:

Sales growth – did a campaign lead to more sales, either immediately or eventually? How many more, and how does this compare with the impact of previous campaigns?

Drop-off rate – when do people leave your sales funnel – that is, the journey from showing initial interest in your service to becoming a paying customer? This may pinpoint weaknesses in broader marketing and sales activity.

Click-through rates – for online activity, how often do people see your ads, blog posts or reports and initiate a follow-up action, like clicking on a link or requesting a callback? Compare this with previous campaigns.

Return on marketing investment (ROMI) – divide your total revenue by your marketing investment and you have a figure for ROMI. Measure the impact different activities have on it.

It is also worth conducting customer research at regular intervals. This is particularly important if your marketing efforts are focused on changing the perception of your brand or introducing new products or services, rather than directly impacting sales.



In most cases, a marketing campaign can’t do everything. For example, it might generate more leads, but it will then be up to your sales team to convert them into customers. So you need to define the goal or goals of any campaign and communicate that to your wider team. Make sure everyone is measuring relevant metrics.

If the campaign is over several weeks or months, check performance regularly and adjust details as required. Experiment with ad placing, social media content, calls to action and more. Establish milestones where everyone can sit down and discuss what is going well and what might need to be improved.

Measuring marketing activity takes time to get right. But after some experimentation, you should start accumulating the information you need to improve your marketing efficiency. By measuring the success of channels and campaigns, and comparing them against historical precedents, you can know with some certainty whether or not your marketing is working effectively on your behalf.



Image credits:

1 Photo by Christina Morillo

2 Photo by Gustavo Fring

3 Photo by Vitaly Gariev at Unsplash