As a marketer, I can appreciate that type of trial-by-fire experience. We marketers are thrown challenges that we are expected to solve on the fly, then we are measured. Sometimes that measurement is deeply subjective. This is particularly true when it comes to evaluating strategy work.
Project Runway helped me realize that even the most abstract strategy of creative work must come with SMART -- specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time based -- goals that clearly tie back to revenue.
When you’re busy, like so many marketers are, the instinct is to move on after you set a direction, execute the plan and complete the project. But may I recommend that you, well, slow your roll? What you need is a tangible system that you can apply to make you more credible to your stakeholders or quite frankly, yourself. (I’m not sure if there would be multiple systems but you could make it “a tangible system (or systems) that you…”
Measuring Performance of Branding Work
Branding work, graphic design and illustrative image choices feel like straightforward tasks. But performance is at the heart of marketing. All marketing. Even the pretty picture side of it. Avoid treating design as one and done. Push the people you work with to do more, think bigger and figure out a way to test the effectiveness of what you’re doing. Here are examples:
Measuring Performance of Marketing Strategies
This one is trickier than it seems. Strategies are totally measurable, right? Yup, when they’re fully executed. But how do you keep track as they shift and move along the way?
Some organizations will try to convince you to “relax!” and tell you “don’t worry about it!” As much as I hate to sound paranoid, it makes sense for you to build out performance milestones that can act as scoring, even if it’s just for you. It’ll keep fickle stakeholders at bay when they check in with you to “see how things are going.”
The hardest part of this one is getting buy-in on the milestones. If that proves too much:
Measuring Performance for Content Writing
In a perfect content marketing world, you’re involved with the larger content marketing strategy. Real world? Sometimes you’re pulled in to execute on a strategy. When that happens, measurement can be a challenge. One blog article rarely acts as a silver bullet for an organization. How can marketers make the most out of these opportunities? Easy: get nerdy.
I’m sure you’re doing your SEO research. But consider diving deeper into analytics, asking more questions to help understand the client’s average post performance and learning what their customer path is so you can help guide them (and understand what they’re using to measure your work). Make sure you’ve got the reins to content performance by:
Summing It Up
By taking responsibility for the performance of your work, what might have been considered a job simply for a service provider can turn into a pattern of success that will keep the accolades coming and key clients coming back.
And when you offer this level of integrity in your tracking and performance for even the most creative of work, you’ll be able to ask for a higher price. You don’t find this type of accountability everywhere and it makes you the exception, not the rule.
I'm a veteran digital marketer whose career has grown up with the Internet.