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On this subject, here is an article about Content Marketing: Communicate effectively and regularly with key stakeholders about the right metrics to preserve and grow your content marketing budget.
As the content marketing leader for an established insurance brokerage, Jane regularly provided the CMO with reports that included basic audience engagement and lead generation metrics. Yet when the CMO left for a different company and a new marketing leader took the reins, Jane and her team scrambled to deliver more value-based metrics. The new CMO wanted clear evidence of content marketing’s contribution to key marketing and business metrics.
Despite flat marketing budgets, content marketing has actually grown from 5.9% of the marketing budget to 7.4% from 2016 to 2017 according to the Gartner CMO Spend Survey 2017-2018. With increased budgets come increased expectations for results, and senior executives expect marketing budgets to support business growth and align with business goals.
“Take the initiative to determine which metrics demonstrate content marketing’s direct impact on KPIs and business results”
Jane and her team knew their content marketing efforts worked, but they needed to produce the numbers and the narrative that proved their business impact in this new environment of heightened scrutiny and new leadership.
“Marketing leaders responsible for content marketing and management must demonstrate and monitor business value to increase future investments,” says Christopher Ross, research director, Gartner for Marketers. It’s critical to measure and prove the business value of content and equally important to regularly communicate the business value of content marketing with targeted stakeholders.
Define key performance indicators (KPIs)
Meet with key budget decision makers to uncover the most important KPIs, and provide guidance on identifying KPIs the content marketing team can directly measure. Once you know which metrics are critical for the broader organization, refine content metrics to demonstrate direct or indirect impact on critical business goals.
Create performance benchmarks
Establish achievable performance benchmarks to track progress. Benchmarks provide a valuable anchor to establish context and direct analysis. Compare internal benchmarks with industry averages to get a sense of performance against the competition. Highlight for key stakeholders any internal benchmarks that exceed industry averages.
Develop your narratives
Develop and connect your content marketing narratives to the overall business strategy. Create narrower messages for individual constituencies that revolve around programs and campaigns. Share insights related to how content marketing achieves or surpasses key goals, to directly connect efforts to business priorities.
Target key stakeholders
More than 5,000 organizations worldwide now have a dedicated customer experience (CX) leader, more than 40% of whom report directly to the CEO, according to Gartner research. This increasing level of CEO oversight shows the importance of CX to the bottom line, hence the need for measurement, says Ed Thompson, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner.
“Customer experience metrics have several uses,” says Thompson. “They can be used to communicate the rationale for previous investments; validate whether improvements have taken place; set goals and targets for future improvements; or intervene when remedial action is needed.”
“Some metrics used don’t measure customer benefit at all”
Most large organizations with revenue of more than $1 billion have more than 50 CX metrics — some as many as 200 — all owned and managed by different people in different parts of the organization.
Customer retention or loyalty metrics are often owned by someone in marketing, first call resolution metrics are owned by the customer service department, repeat orders are owned by the finance department, and timeliness is owned by the supply chain team or operations.
5 types of metrics
Although the number of metrics used is large, most fit into five categories.
- Customer satisfaction (CSAT). Most organizations start here. This can involve either the explicit capture of survey questions asking about satisfaction or implicit metrics, such as product review ratings, timeliness of delivery statistics or mystery shopping scores.
- Customer loyalty/retention/churn. These metrics can be retrospective, such as average tenure, or more predictive of the likelihood of a customer remaining a customer. Examples include purchase frequency; use of multiple channels; loyalty program participation; average order size; repeat orders; and return rates.
- Advocacy/reputation/brand. These metrics determine the level at which customers would be willing to recommend or endorse the product and/or organization. Price sensitivity, sentiment scores on social media, trust ratings and event participation are all good examples.
- Quality/operations. This is the most underestimated set of metrics. When a product or service does not meet requirements, the customer experience is poor, no matter whatactions are taken to remediate the problem.
- Employee engagement. This fifth set of metrics is included in perhaps only 10% of CX initiatives. A Gartner survey identified employee engagement as a major concern in delivering CX improvements, with 86% of organizations ranking it as having an equal or greater impact than other CX challenges.
Some metrics used — such as cross-sell, upsell, or cost of sale or campaign response rate — don’t measure customer benefit at all. Make sure to understand when a metric is not a CX metric, so as not to encourage wrong behavior. An example would be selling a financial product under the mistaken belief that it is part of a CX initiative.
Present a consolidated view
Avoid focusing only on one top-level customer experience metric, such as CSAT or net promoter score (NPS), says Thompson.
Instead, consolidate all the relevant metrics into a customer experience dashboard or weighted index that covers as many aspects of employee engagement, quality, satisfaction, loyalty and advocacy as possible, and share it across departments.
Repair and maintenance staff within a field service department, for example, will be able to see the average wait time for customers in the contact center and anticipate irritated customers if wait times are high.
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