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Tuesday, June 16, 2009


In the midst of a rather overwhelming collection of responsibilities and tasks, I have a story due on Friday for the SMPS Marketer on the challenges of metrics within AEC marketing. The time researching this story (and preparing the bi-weekly newsletter) resulted in my failure, for the first time in more than a year, to post an updating blog entry yesterday.

Nevertheless, the metrics story is proving interesting, because the indications are that virtually no marketing in the field is calculating even the simplest metric -- the "hit rate", that is, the number of successes you achieve in RFP/tender bids, or for that matter. Sally Handley (right) told me that she perceives only 10 per cent of marketers are bothering.

This fact is one level not surprising, but on another is truly disturbing. If virtually no one in the industry is measuring how well they are doing, how well can anyone know the answer to the question: "Are your marketing initiatives effective?"

There are some good reasons for this measurement failure.

Lead times are long. It is hard to capture information for something now that you will only see results 18 months to two years from now. You need to put effort into gathering data without immediate results.

Many marketers neither have the budget nor management support for measuring results.

Some of the most important marketing achievements are truly hard to measure with validity. For example, if you network, does "collecting a business card" count; or is your success developed though the subjective process of relationship development. (I shudder to think of the limited immediate benefit of blogging and writing for The SMPS Marketer, but I know these activities indeed are productive, over time, in hard business, but equally if not more important, new opportunities for growth.)

I've gathered loads more insights from the interviews today and will share them in future blog entries.

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