The Importance of Marketing Benchmarks

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Posted: October 6, 2011 | Marketing Metrics

Benchmarks are a critical part of understanding how your marketing compares to other organizations.  They are what allow your organization to know if you are doing better than others, or to help identify where there needs to be improvements.   Without them you are left wondering if your marketing results are good, even if they are improved against prior year’s marketing results.  For example, without benchmarks it’s hard to know if the following outcomes are good or bad results?

  • 5% increase in leads this year with 7% increased spending
  • 20% click through on email programs in the insurance industry
  • 3% decline in sales during a recession

Benchmarks also allow us to create change in our organizations.  According to the American Productivity and Quality Center, benchmarking reinforces change because it:

  • Involves key stakeholders and process owners who can make changes happen if the benchmarks indicate they should
  • Identifies where there are gaps in process or performance
  • Highlights where opportunities lie
  • Identifies what is being done well so that these process can be repeated in other areas of the organization
  • Removes success barriers
  • Creates organizational best practices

At Marketo we care a lot about Benchmarks.  Though often they are hard to find, or when we do find them by participating in a benchmark survey, it takes weeks or months to get the results.  And when these results are presented back, they are often done so as generic survey results; which makes it hard to know where you land compared to best in class.  Finally, benchmarks are often presented without recommendations, making improvement a guessing game.

But is there better?

We think so!  Marketo is testing a new way of handling our benchmarks by creating surveys that allow for users to find out real-time how their results match up to others.  This real time comparison allows for marketers to learn where they are excelling and where they can improve without waiting for weeks to get back survey results.  This information is also being paired with best practices so you can adjust your plans based on what has worked for others immediately.

The first topic we are doing this for is email marketing.  You simply fill out the survey and voila! – you find out how you compared to everyone who has previously completed the survey.   Want to see how you do?  Complete the email marketing benchmark survey now and get instant results!

Maria specializes in Inbound Marketing for Marketo, leading efforts in adoption of social media channels for brand awareness and demand generation. She has worked in marketing for over ten years, and specifically in online marketing including social media, search marketing, and lead generation and nurturing for the past six.

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The Importance of Marketing Benchmarks

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