Don’t miss the first and second blog in this series in which we explore the four obstacles facing your marketing department and the tools you need to launch a digital content strategy.
Measuring success is a key component to any business activity in the financial world. To get a clear picture of success, the first step is to determine what you want to achieve. This is done by identifying what clear, concise objectives are expected to be achieved on both a granular (campaign) to broader spectrum (marketing department) level. Goal setting for a marketing campaign, content marketing strategy, and/or your overall marketing spend for the year are just some examples of key performance indicators (KPIs).
In the previous blog post, we outline how to develop a great content marketing strategy. Use this and parallel techniques to determine what strategies are most beneficial within the industry, along with what audience you would like to target. This is an essential step in creating your marketing plan, the piece of information we will effectively measure.
For this exercise, here are some of the tools we’ll use. Each tool is essential for goal setting and allowing yourself to measure your strategy with ease:
Keep in mind that while these tools are optimized for this exercise, every strategy and business may use a different set depending on their goals and marketing needs.
Document and establish our business goals and targets. Once we have a sense of what constitutes revenue and what the marketing department seeks to achieve in the coming month, quarter, or year, we can begin to identify key performance indicators. After outlining those handy KPIs, we can do what investment firms do best: benchmarking. Google Analytics will be the ultimate key tool to use in benchmarking performance within the industry. (More on that in our next blog installment.)
Additionally, we’ll want to set up Goal Values within Google Analytics to establish the value of our conversions (i.e. downloading a whitepaper, watching a webinar, submitting an investment application). These values may differ from organization to organization and the Compliance Department may restrict what can be accepted digitally versus hard copy. This may limit what KPIs we can track within Google Analytics but never fear, that’s why we have other tools at our disposal.
Data Aggregation from Databases and Platforms
In order to accurately measure return on marketing investment, we’ll need to include data from all the platforms you have marketing campaigns running on. For example, you’ll need social media analytics information if you have a presence on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, etc. Most, if not all, social media platforms have analytics data you can access either for free or through purchasing their analytics plan. This information can be easily connected to and visualized through Google Data Studio™ via your Analytics log-in with each platform.
Digital platforms are certainly a cornerstone in the bigger data-driven picture; however, let’s not forget the databases that most financial institutions use. Most institutions use one or more databases to track assets on the account, fund or bank level. For example, one popular sub-accounting platform in the investment world is DST Systems, which provides you access to amount invested in a mutual fund, cash flows in and out, new business assets, and confidential investor information. Based on what systems you use, there should be a way to export aggregate data. If not, you should speak to a relevant contact to discuss available options or functionality for the future. Upon export, you can store your data in a Google Sheet, which is essentially an excel sheet within Google Drive. Storing it within a sheet as opposed to an excel file allows you to combine it with your analytics data in one location: Google Data Studio™.
Break Out The Measuring Tape
The established steps and tools are essential in measuring the success of a marketing department and its many components. Using these tools for goal setting provides an opportunity to lay the groundwork, giving marketing associates a sense of direction and higher-ups a substantial analysis on effectiveness. If this were a construction project, we’ve established what we wanted to build, the goals surrounding the project (i.e. timeliness, quality, etc.), and have broken out the tools in the shed. As we move forward in our building endeavors, we have everything we need to execute while measuring our success. In the next blog, we’ll explore in-depth how to create a “Marketer’s Factsheet” – a user-friendly way of housing all of this information in one place to successfully measure your marketing program(s).