Measuring the Customer Journey : A CMO Peer Group Discussion – November 1st, 2016

Customers go through a journey from understanding your brand to researching problems, solutions, purchasing, retention and ultimately advocacy.  Marketing has a role to play in almost all of these stages. With a finite amount of people, money and time, how do you know how much to invest in each stage?  What measurements can you use to determine the right amount of investment?  While simple funnel metrics are interesting, they really only focus on the middle part of the journey. In this CMO roundtable,  Bryan Semple, CMO at SmartBear Software led the group in a discussion of how to measure each stage of the journey.  Although we didn’t get to every stage, the discussion around 3 different stages resulted in key takeaways for the group:

1. Engagement and awareness.  Although it was admitted that measuring awareness is nearly impossible the key takeaways are: referrals are the most important metric, keep your PR analytics tool and add GA measurements to length of visit, brand terms, etc.  Also, read this article from Avinash Kaushik, “Brand Measurement: Analytics & Metrics for Branding Campaigns.” It’s a few years old but still very relevant.

2. Adoption/Retention/Cross-sell/Expansion:   The metric on this one is easier – what % of your customers have XX number of products.  And in theory we should be able to figure out cross-selling but the crowd agreed, mining this data is not always easy.

3. Advocacy:  Everyone agreed there is an allure to advocacy and that having these trusted relationships are gold.  However, they’re not easy and they can’t be manufactured using a tool or software.  It’s an area where teams are adding time, attention and additional resources.  Folks agreed that community is a way to cultivate your advocates and then get them out of there one by one. No tools or tricks will work unless you have a brand where people are willing to put on your t-shirt!

A few other resources for you: Clay Christianson’s HBR article “Jobs to Be Done” (maybe it’s no longer about personas). And to recite Avinash, remember, Engagement is not a metric, its an excuse!

Our next meeting is going to be held December 14th just prior to heading to the MassTLC CXO holiday party.  More to follow but mark your calendars!

Thanks to Bryan and SmartBear for hosting and to DemandBase for sponsoring MassTLC’s sales and marketing community!

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