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Which marketing metrics should you prioritise in 2017?

10 January 2017
by Adam Oldfield

If you had all of the time, resources and technology in the world, you’d no doubt analyse every piece of marketing intelligence you could get your hands on. After all, the majority of modern decisions we now make as marketers are underpinned by data, learnings and insight.

But many marketers are constantly forced to clock-watch, teams are incredibly over-stretched and marketing platforms differ in terms of the quality of data they can uncover. So, when it comes to making savvy use of time, resources and tech, which marketing metrics should you prioritise in 2017?

We’ve picked our top three, to get you started…

Segmentation stats

Don’t be fooled by the misconception that too much segmentation can overcomplicate life as a marketer. It’s actually the absolute opposite! Yes careful segmentation takes time, but the deeper you segment, the easier it is to run effective campaigns from day one, and the more likely you’ll be to uncover data to support or disprove a hypothesis. You don’t have to engage with all segments at once, but granular segmentation will help to identify where opportunities exist within the base, even if you don’t do anything with them, just yet.

Once you’ve segmented, it’s important to monitor how each segment evolves over time. This is when you need to identify top-level stats, relevant to that segment, such as list size growth, average lead score, and the ‘temperature’ of the segment’s engagement/ satisfaction. Know what you want to happen to the segment, and analyse the direction of progress. It is fine for the list to diminish if the segment represents a lapsed customer group, for example, but generally speaking, you should be aiming for the list size to increase (alongside engagement scores).

Then, drill down further, into stats such as average open rates, average revenue generated, CPAs and so on. But again, analyse metrics at segment level, not overall. Segment-specific insight will give you a much more meaningful understanding of your customers or prospects, than you could obtain from broad brush data from the likes of Google Analytics.

Machine learning

Regular visitors to the Force24 blog will know that, back in September 2016, we began a study called Project Cognitive. We recognised the imminent explosion of machine learning and set out to introduce the power of such intelligence to the marketing profession.

That’s why we commenced a vast research task to identify previously unacknowledged patterns within marketing automation activity. We have followed these patterns to understand whether a certain style of communications achieves a better response rate, for instance. We’ve also looked at timings, sectors, message tone – the list of variables goes on. Then we’ve triangulated the data and used bespoke (and top secret) algorithms to extend our learnings. This means we can apply and test our hypotheses on larger pools of data.

And the result? As the project has evolved and our insight has deepened, we’ve achieved more open rates, more clicks and more conversions. Overlay the generic Project Cognitive stuff with sector-specific detail, and the outcome is even more powerful.

The assignment isn’t complete just yet, but already clients are approaching us specifically for this science-driven approach to marketing campaign optimisation. Watch this space – and contact us if it’s something you want to explore!


This perhaps seems an odd metric to advise a marketer to measure – any marketer worth their salt will have a keen eye on ROI (return on investment).

But, marketers can really only start to focus on ROI when they devolve themselves of other distractions within their profession.

In a small marketing team, for instance, it is understandable that one person takes on the role of designer, wordsmith, tech guru and spreadsheet ninja. But the chance of that marketer then finding the time and headspace to think strategically, is slim.

We’re not naïve enough to think that budgets are unlimited, so we know it isn’t possible to simply increase the marketing headcount or outsource all of these tasks to an agency. But innovative tech does exist within the marketplace, to empower marketers to do their jobs better. To free up their time so that they’re creating a perfect email in minutes, rather than an OK email in hours. To mimic human conversation with thousands of customers and prospects, in seconds, so that engagement and satisfaction levels soar without even breaking a sweat. To proactively monitor, tweak and optimise digital campaign spend, at a customer level, so that investments are maximised without endless number crunching.

When the life of a savvy marketer is simplified, they’re released to think about the bigger picture. That’s when they can truly be creative. That’s when they can genuinely focus on ROI.

The time to ensure this focus, is now. Due to increasingly stringent measures being imposed by ESPs, for instance, email will be a channel of diminishing returns in 2017. Marketers will therefore have to work harder to reach the inbox, they’ll have to understand what goes on behind the send button, and they’ll have to be smarter when it comes to the frequency, content and engagement success of every single message.

Marketers aren’t expected to know everything of course. That’s where we come in! But marketers must make the step to realising that, with specialist partners on board (who don’t break the bank!), the world really is their oyster.

Want to give it a try? Contact us for a free demo.

Photo of Adam Oldfield
Adam Oldfield
Managing Director & Founder

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