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Thursday, June 17, 2010

How Do You Measure Your Marketing Effectiveness?

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Do you have a system to measure your results, a way to measure your activity effectiveness?
Once upon a time I competed at an international level in track and field. One of the life lessons I learned from that experience was the value of measuring activity and how predictable the inputs at training were to the outputs or results in competition.
In a sport where the tiniest fraction of a second can equate to success or failure, the slightest edge made a difference.
One missed training session in a month-made a difference. One last 300-meter sprint when all you want to do is lie down and feel sorry for yourself-made a difference.
At a certain level, talent becomes less relevant to mindset. A lazy talent will rarely compensate for a holistic training program.
But it wasn’t all about just hard work. Ineffective hard work leads to injury and decreased performance. Hard work doing the right training routines is the key.
There is a parallel to the sales and marketing world. Once you understand the value of a unit of input in your marketing endeavors, life becomes positively predictable.
For instance: Let’s imagine that it takes you 1 hour to research and write and submit an article to Ezine Articles. If your average article receives 100 views and 10 clicks to your website and 1 opt in to your business list – then the cost of an opt in is 1 hour of your time.
If it takes 10 opt-ins to produce $100 profit- then the value of your time is $10 per hour.
If your goal is to earn $100 per hour then something clearly needs to change.  Keeping the same analogy. Is there a way to increase average views to 1000? Can we up sell to a higher end product or service that is worth $1000?

  • Most economic activities can be condensed into a value unit. Let’s imagine you spend an hour per day on your social networking sites cultivating connections. That equates to 30 hours per month. How much business is this activity generating? $10 per hour? $100 per hour? Zero

  • Not everything is a financial equation. I appreciate that, but let’s be honest-if you are spending countless hours trying to build an enormous Twitter following-have you analyzed the pay off? 
  • Free traffic is rarely free. If you have the opportunity to earn $25 offline and you invest that in paid advertising that generates $50 in business, is that more effective than working 5 hours online to produce the same result?

So many questions. We live in a world that seems to offer so much ‘free’ stuff and yet we always pay a price, and that price is time.
I’ve recently been looking at the out sourcing world, and it is fascinating. There are some very talented people who live in parts of the world where the exchange rate is such that $5 goes a long way. If there are areas of your business that require skill sets that you don’t have, then this may be an effective strategy.
The message is this. Keep asking the question: What is the value of this activity and how can I leverage it ten fold?
Try to figure out the value of your inputs. Persistence only has value if it is in the direction of producing effectiveness. Working 100 hours per week for $1 per hour is NOT the goal! 


  1. Hey Kiaran

    I am an accountant so I can appreciate the numbers.

    Sometimes when people first start their business all they have is their time so they have to accept a low rate of return.

    As their business grows their time value goes up and their revenue streams increase to allow them to outsource and become more efficient.

  2. What is my time worth? Would it be better spent elsewhere? Very valid questions that every marketer should ask him or herself. Leverage is key!

    Great post, Kiaran!

  3. I liked the article!

    It has great points and examples. It is the other side of the coin how easy it is to calculate anything that it is done and what results it will bring. If someone only started I don't think it is a good idea to convert everything in to dollar value, it would be nice if everything wold happen over night.

    Thank You for sharing.

    Slavik G.

  4. Definitely loved this post, Kiaran. I could easily spend some time thinking about all the nuggets you've given here, but then I'd have to ask myself - What's the value of this activity? :)

    Again, great content.


  5. Hey Kiaran,

    A very good post! Yes, leverage is key. Smart marketers outsource some tasks while they focus on the key income producing activities.

    Thanks for sharing.

    All the best,
    Mavis Nong

  6. I have been thinking about your outsourcing comment. I would be interested to hear more about that. If you do pursue any services, let us know what, how, how much... and of course your measure of the effectiveness! Example - I have been thinking about creating a cookbook from a bunch of written recipes. Perhaps outsourcing the "typing" (OK, I'm 64 -- keyboarding?).

  7. Here's a link to a good article on outsourcing that I recently retweeted

    Cheers Kiaran