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Product Marketing Rule #39: Learn to Love Marketing Data

Product Marketing Rule #39 from the best-selling book, 42 Rules of Product Marketing, was written by Leslie Bixel, Senior Principal Consultant, 280 Group

One small software firm was able to double their annual revenues without increasing their marketing budget or adding additional sales staff!

Bottom line: the success of a Product Marketing Manager will be determined by the revenue and profit performance of their product.

The best Product Marketing Managers know that understanding performance data of marketing programs will aid them in driving sales and maximizing marketing ROI.

Before the era of online marketing, a Product Marketing Manager’s marketing planning was largely dependent on faith in the value of image advertising and on historical data from other products, other strategies, and other customers, at best.

The Internet has provided “real customer, real-time” measurable forms of marketing. Digital marketing is traditional direct marketing on steroids. Faster, cheaper reach with instant feedback. This is fantastic! Now we can quickly demonstrate that product marketing makes money!

  • Using Internet advertising you can get ads to targeted customers, and invite them to visit your website
  • Using web analytics you can then track what these customers do on your website, and determine what and how they buy
  • Using web optimization tools you can observe customer behavior and gather data how users interact with individual web pages
  • And with good e-mail tracking systems you can measure the success of reaching and selling to customers receiving your e-mails

Does this mean a product marketing manager needs to become a web analytics guru?

Of course not, but understanding what data to measure and track, and how to interpret the results, is a critical skill for every product marketing manager.

Small early stage companies often fail to capture the data that would help them tune their marketing efforts for maximum profitability. Larger, more established companies may have the opposite problem, and product marketing managers can find themselves drinking from a marketing data fire hose.

In both situations, it helps to put in place a simple spreadsheet report that captures a small set of performance metrics, and tracks them on a quarterly basis.

A summary report of important data trends provides the management team a quick and clear view of the impact of product marketing spending, and demonstrates the value of a product marketing manager as an orchestrator of business results.

Using free or low cost web marketing tools like Google AdWords, Google Analytics, MailChimp, Constant Contact, and others make it easy to produce a report on marketing performance indicators:

  • Number of page visits, number of ad impressions, number of mail opens, and click-through rates
  • Position of paid listings, organic search rankings
  • Amount of increased web traffic (unique visitors), duration of website visits, ratio of new to returning visitors
  • E-commerce information regarding the number of immediate sales generated for products sold on line, the length of the sales cycle, geographic trends, impact of sales promotions and pricing changes
  • Number of leads generated for products sold online and/or offline. Increased volumes at call centers or retail outlets

Benchmarking and tracking performance this way provides the opportunity to experiment quickly, build on success, and eliminate wasteful spending.

Using this simple tool with one small software firm recently allowed me to tune their marketing mix and improve individual program performance to such a degree that they were able to double their annual revenues without increasing their marketing budget or adding additional sales staff!

Learn to love online marketing data. Let real customer data feed your marketing strategy. Use trend indicators to maximize marketing ROI and raise your own worth as a contributor to the bottom line success of your company.

Product Marketing Rule #39 from the best-selling book, 42 Rules of Product Marketing

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