Marketers and strategists often say a campaign doesn’t end when it’s over. A campaign ends after you’ve taken a hard look at the data to see where it was successful and where your team can improve next time. And even then, the campaign isn’t really over, it’s just serving as data for the next one. To engage in this analysis, teams use marketing performance management (MPM) to justify their decisions and make better ones with the next project.
Today, we’re looking at what MPM is and how setting up a plan for your brand could take your marketing to the next level with the help of data and analytics:
Marketing performance management (MPM) is a process that uses technology to help marketing teams collect and analyze data, predict trends, and optimize campaigns. Typically, MPM uses a combination of software programs and other services to help you determine the success of your marketing campaigns. The framework provides companies with the tools they need to honestly and accurately evaluate and change marketing campaigns. Using MPM helps increase the quantitative or numerical data you have for each campaign.
Image via MarTech
According to MarTech, there are three key areas of MPM to engage with throughout the process. They include:
All three areas work together to create an analytics cycle for any campaign. Without one of these components, you’d miss critical data that helps prove the work of an individual campaign or your overall marketing team.
Within the three key areas of MPM, there are two levels: foundation and strategy. Each has its own key elements that make up each side of the process. They include:
The foundational segment of MPM gets its name from the components that lay the foundation for learning as much as possible about your marketing campaigns. These areas include:
A data repository is an infrastructure made from several databases that collect, manage, and store data sets. In marketing, your data sets are your analytics from every campaign or marketing study. They also include any information you collect about your content, competitors, or industry. Having a data repository, or a designated data storage space makes it easier for your team to find the information they need for strategy and analysis, and use it.
Data repositories also serve as an archive of information about past campaigns, making it easier to do comparisons, make models, or influence the choices you make for campaigns going forward.
BI tools are software programs that collect large amounts of data from a variety of sources. These sources could include files, images, videos, emails, and documents. The tools help prepare data for analysis and make it easier to assemble data visualizations, reports, and dashboards with information from across platforms and channels. But keep in mind that BI tools are not the same as analytics tools. These programs simply collect and sort data rather than draw conclusions about it.
An analytics workbench, or simply analytics tools, gives you access to real-time data for all your campaigns and channels. Most analytics workbenches give you access to data metrics like page views, ad clicks, conversions, and sales. Workbenches differ from BI tools and do more than just collect and sort piles of data. They show you how specific campaigns and actions affect your marketing performance.
Analytics programs are part of the foundational side of MPM because while they do help you see results on a campaign-specific basis, they don’t draw any conclusions or comparisons among data sets. That happens with human help in the strategic phase.
Strategic MPM focuses on using data to create an action plan. With information from the first phase, you’ll have what you need to create reports and document proof of your marketing efforts. Take a look at some components of the strategic side of MPM:
One of the most helpful components of MPM is how it breaks down what analytics your team needs to see by role. Every team member doesn’t have to have access to every dashboard or data set. You can set it up so that they only see the information they really need, rather than being overwhelmed with too much data.
Role-based data access is a strategic element for two reasons. First, MPM doesn’t give every marketing employee the keys to the kingdom. A contractor or an intern won’t have the access to go in and potentially change or blow away large data backups as they could without unrestricted access.
Second, this function allows team members to only see what they need to keep their focus. Instead of getting distracted by data that are irrelevant to their part of a campaign, they can only see what they need to see. Then, they can collaborate with other team members with different access to get the full data picture.
Key performance indicator (KPI) dashboards help you see how the data collected from your analytics programs apply to your company KPIs. This information tells you how well you’re achieving your goals by looking at measurable milestones for each one that you can achieve with a campaign or marketing initiative.
Most KPI dashboards have interactive tables, charts, and graphs to make your performance easier to analyze. They also collect and review data from a variety of sources so that you can see how campaigns perform across platforms and channels rather than in isolation.
Data visualizations are graphic representations of a numerical data set. Some of the most common data visualizations you may see for marketing include bar graphs, pie charts, and scatter plots. These graphics take all the information you collect from the foundational phase of MPM and draw conclusions about performance.
Related: Data Visualizations vs. Infographics
MPM uses modeling and simulations to help make decisions or predictions about upcoming marketing campaigns and tactics. This process uses the data collected from all resources and past campaigns to make educated guesses about what could happen in future campaigns.
In marketing, either your strategy team, machine learning tools, or a combination of both create the models and simulations. The process requires building a model of a certain scenario, such as an upcoming campaign. Then, you simulate how that model plays out based on different factors influenced by the data points. Changes to certain factors of the model affect how the simulation plays out. Conducting modeling and simulations helps marketers see potential advantages and pitfalls involved with upcoming campaigns without taking an actual financial or brand reputation hit from them.
MPM is a way for your team to justify why you do what you do. It gives you an in-depth look at where you’re putting your budget and resources for specific campaigns and marketing efforts and how effectively you’re evaluating the outcomes. Without proof that marketing is getting the company closer to its goals, high-level stakeholders may not see the value the same way your team does.
For example, if your C-suite doesn’t see the value in social media marketing for B2B brands, it’s difficult to prove a campaign’s worth to them without data. MPM is also an excellent strategy for consistently proving the worth of long-term marketing efforts. Take search engine optimization (SEO), for example. SEO techniques can actually take up to a year to show actual results. That’s a long time for you to promise the C-suite that “it’ll work, just wait!” But with MPM, you can show them incremental growth over time, not just the jump to get to position zero in a year.
While it’s always important to prove what your team can do and why it’s valuable, it’s even more important in times of recession or budget cuts within your company. If you have the data to prove the marketing team is generating leads and sales, and contributing to growth, you could save your department from layoffs, cuts, or other adverse effects.
Besides proving your marketing team’s value and worth to key stakeholders, there are other benefits of using marketing performance management as part of your department strategy. Check out just some benefits of integrating MPM:
MPM makes it easy to see what type of returns you’re getting out of every campaign. There’s no guessing or wondering because you’ve collected a wealth of data for each one. You can use MPM to track the individual success of one campaign or channel, or you can use it to track overall department ROI across all your marketing efforts. In either case, MPM helps your projects prove their own worth in a way the C-suite or other key stakeholders can’t dispute.
Thanks to the help of data visualizations and dashboards, MPM helps you track your marketing performance in real-time. You don’t need to wait until a campaign is over to see how it performed. Instead, look in on the performance of things like your coupon campaigns or mobile advertisements at any time. Discover how they directly relate to some of your most important marketing metrics, like page views, conversions, or sales.
Real-time tracking brings a level of transparency you may not get with all analytics frameworks. When you’re looking at data in real time, there’s no way to sugarcoat it or spin the numbers a certain way to look better than they are. You’re either meeting your goals or you’re not, and the data doesn’t lie.
Because MPM uses modeling and simulations, it’s a helpful way to find additional marketing rewards for your company without the risks. Simulation lets you try out a calculated risk in a fictional setting so you can see whether it’ll succeed or fail in the real world.
While simulations aren’t perfect, and unexpected factors could affect real-world outcomes, they’re good for risk analysis. The more you can prepare your marketing campaigns for how outside forces like a recession or a change in public opinion may affect your brand, the easier they’ll be to mitigate. Without risks like money loss or wasted time, you can try out different potential scenarios to see which ones bring in the most returns for your company.
Anyone on a marketing, sales, or strategy team can use MPM for their role. The way they use it and the capacity in which it affects their day-to-day work may vary. For example, social media managers may use basic forms of MPM to track how specific posts perform. Then they use that data to determine what changes to make for upcoming posts. The adjustments could be the times they make a post, the content they share, or the way they link or make a call to action within a post.
Marketing strategists may use MPM in a more high-level capacity to track performance across multiple campaigns and channels within the company. It’s not just about watching social media performance, but also SEO and PPC advertising, among other campaigns. Then, these strategists must look at performance across the company and see how they affect brand goals.
From here, strategists can determine which areas of marketing are bringing in the most revenue and which ones they could scale back on to save money. With the help of role-based data access, you can use MPM seamlessly, with access to as much or as little data as you need to get the job done.
There isn’t a “best” time to use MPM for your marketing campaigns because the cycle is a consistent process. So no matter which part of a marketing campaign you’re working on, you’re doing MPM. Research, planning, and implementation are just as much parts of the process as reviewing analytics and drawing conclusions. This means collecting data and making decisions about your marketing efforts will be an ongoing process. And it’s always a good idea to audit and improve your MPM tracking methods and update your tools when you need to so you’re getting the most accurate data in everything you do.
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