Why Direct Marketing Should Measure more of the Unknown

A recent research study reports that marketing professionals still aren’t measuring the right outcomes to be able to decide if their marketing campaigns are truly effective or not.

The study by CIM and Deloitte is reported in Marketing Week, who report that “marketers are not providing measurements that allow their companies to assess the return on marketing investment effectively” and are instead “measuring what is easy, not what is important”.

Apparently, only 7% of marketers set clear key performance indicators (KPIs) for each marketing initiative; of course it’s an easy position to fall into.

Take the measurement of an email marketing campaign as an example, when it’s relatively straightforward to identify open rates and click through rates from your email broadcast software.

Conversion rates are slightly harder to identify but can usually be found using Google Analytics Goals to identify which outcomes originated from the email campaign.

But how many email campaigns also include analysis of phone calls generated, or more importantly the reasons why recipients visited a site but then did not buy.

As US Secretary of Defence Donald Rumsfeld famously and tortuously told the press, there are known unknowns, and there are unknown unknowns. In other words, sometimes it’s more important to discover what you don’t know, than simply measure what you do know.