Does marketing have the same glamour or appeal in the tech services industry, as it does in the retail or consumer product industry? While a P&G can measure the power of marketing based on how & where their products are placed on the shelves of the retailers, do the tech services companies apply the traditional Ps of marketing in their business?
My endeavour through this series is to launch a crusade of sorts to earn marketing its rightful place in the corporate echelons of the tech services industry. And I think the secret mantra is "measurability".
Measurability not only improves accountability but is also key to answering key questions like "Do I add another sales body or do I invest $200k in marketing instead?” Should we spend $200k in being a platinum sponsor at multiple events such as NASSCOM & Gartner to name a few or should we host our own analyst day?"
While these decisions are being taken rather routinely on a day to day basis, would measurability increase an element of objectivity and decrease ‘adhoc’ism?
In this issue and ones to follow, I have discussed various marketing elements & activities and ways to measure them. I have started with "Industry events". They define marketing in most tech services firms. Does a platinum sponsorship at an industry event necessarily fetch you a 3x return over a silver sponsorship? It certainly costs 3 times more. Should you take the middle ground and settle for gold? Well, let’s see how to lend objectivity to this.
There are 2 key objectives most firms hope to accomplish - one is increasing their overall brand awareness and the other is generating leads.
Here are the suggested metrics to measure impact:
1. Footfall Index: # of people registered at the event to the number of people who stop at your booth. This metric really helps you assess the available market and the interested segment. However based on my personal experience, the goodies that a company doles out at an event can draw people who may not be interested in what your company but merely interested in the gifs or the giveaways. So, this metric in isolation means nothing.
2. Relevant Audience Index: # of people with buying power (CIOs or VPs of IT or CFOs...) to the total number of people who stopped at your booth. This is a critical metric and is the reason why we participate in events. Having scanners and ability to electronic tap the information of the attendees as they visit your booth gives you a real time feel for the whether the right people are indeed stopping by.
3. Lead Index: Number of people who suggest a follow up to the number of people who were relevant. This is the index of market demand. Helps you assess and tap the needs of the clients.
4. Recall Index: # of people who respond to a follow up email or follow up action to the number of people who stopped at your booth. This is a metric that you typically collect after the event, preferably within a week of the event.
5. Sales Index: The ultimate conversion of leads to sales.
While 1, 2 and 4 can be an effective measure of your brand, 3 and 5 measure the sales effectiveness of marketing.
However, measurement has to be approached as a continuous process and over time. Absolute measures in the absence of baselines & benchmarks do not mean anything. The effectiveness of an event is not known at the completion of the event but once the sales index is measured perhaps six months down the road or a year down the road. Hence measurement has to be supported by the right sales processes and tools.
Tune into the upcoming issues for discussions on the right processes, measuring other marketing activities, benchmarking and whether a Chief Marketing officer's compensation should be based on revenues from new logos and accounts added?
This exclusive guest post was written by Sushma Rajagopalan who heads Global Strategy and Corporate Development at Larsen & Toubro Infotech.
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