Home > Marketing > A Simple Measure of Marketing Many Businesses Miss

A Simple Measure of Marketing Many Businesses Miss

a-simple-measure-of-marketing-many-businesses-miss

How did you hear about us?

The answer to that simple question can provide tremendous insight as to what marketing investments, strategies and tactics are yielding results.

While many businesses don’t ask this question, they do ask so many other questions. The registration form for gated content, such as white papers or webinars, are great examples.  These forms are often quite lengthy and require ‘just-in-case’ information the business doesn’t even know yet how it’s going to use.

Many digital savvy marketers will point out in lieu of such a question, a variety of web metrics are inherently available through tagged-links, analytics and marketing automation.  That’s usually true, but it doesn’t provide a long view or historical reference.

how-did-you-hear-about-usx600

These metrics are usually geared towards campaigns or initiatives.  More importantly, they don’t account for *offline* word-of-mouth – where research suggests the vast majority of word-of-mouth happens.

Embedding that question in the very fabric of a business will provide revealing information over time:

  • How do most of your prospects find you?
  • Does this change over time?
  • Of the deals your business has closed, how did those customers find you?

Don’t miss these related posts:
Marketing ROI: You Can’t Buy a Beer with an MQL [UML]
Marketing: Investment, Cost or Profit Center?
5 Categories of  PR Metrics Pros Should Measure


Training the entire workforce to think about measurement requires both conditioning – so that it is instinctive across all business functions not just marketing – and developing a system to support the data collection.  It doesn’t have to be complicated: a simple field in the CRM system will do.

With the means to capture the answers, the question can be asked of both new and existing customers to develop a baseline.  At a minimum the question ought to be asked:

  • On every web registration form
  • During the first sales conversation or even renewal
  • After a customer support interaction (if appropriate)
  • Any time marketing or PR interviews a customer for content
  • At tradeshows and client conferences

With a little organizational discipline, marketing will soon aggregate enough data to have a pretty clear picture of how the business gets found.  The next step is to set about doing more things to facilitate just that.

I’d welcome the opportunity to hear how you found this post in the comments below.


Does your agency know how to measure results?
From web analytics to surveys – we know how to measure, iterate and improve.
Here is a summary of the services we offer and the best way to contact us.
And don’t miss a post: subscribe to this blog by email here.


If you enjoyed this post, you might also like:
We Should Measure Content Marketing by Relationships

Photo credit: Flickr, Neil Cummings, Standard Measures (CC BY-SA 2.0)

You may also like
Earned Media Putting Quantifying the Value of Media Relations
Earned Media: 3 PR Studies Quantifying the Impact of Media Relations on Sales [UML]
PR Measurement A Pulse Check on How Communicators Show Value
PR Measurement: A Pulse Check on How Communicators Show Value
5 Fundamentals of PR are Still Essential
Amid the Rapid Pace of Change, These 5 Fundamentals of PR are Still Essential
How Creative Agile and Metrics can Sing in Marketing Harmony
How Creative, Agile and Metrics can Sing in Marketing Harmony [UML]
Read previous post:
The Dynamic Web Pop-ups, Persistence and SERP [UML]
The Dynamic Web: Pop-ups, Persistence and SERP [UML]

There’s a tag I’ve kept on this blog over the years called “dynamic web.”  It’s a personal interest in just...

Close