We have all had that gut-wrenching moment when someone outside of the marketing department recognizes a problem we should have seen. From email click-through rates to lead conversions to bounce rates and keyword rankings, there are literally thousands of key performance indicators (KPIs) and marketing performance metrics that have to be tracked on a daily basis.
Unfortunately, marketing teams rarely have enough bandwidth and resources to find the trends early enough to take action and impact performance in real-time. By focusing on performance marketing management, the marketing team is able to align roles, activities, and goals directly to revenue.
While this is not an easy strategy to implement, it is possible for any team by taking a structured 5-step approach. If you are looking to achieve a predictable, scalable, and repeatable model of marketing success, performance marketing management will help enable this.
What is performance marketing management?
Performance marketing management is a management strategy that drives a culture of analyzing, optimizing, and executing marketing campaigns and tactics that drive revenue. This is also known as "Revenue Marketing".
In order to effectively drive the adoption of the performance marketing strategy, a team will gradually evolve within the 5 phases of performance marketing management. This is not a "one and done" strategy, it involves a relentless pursuit of marketing excellence, tough decision points, and a team that is committed and accountable to revenue.
5 Phases of Performance Marketing Management
Phase 1: Evaluation
Most marketing teams have an abundance of data in siloed sources such as their CRM, Email Marketing Platform, Google Analytics, and various ads platforms like Google Ads. Some teams may have collected this data in BI tools like Tableau or reporting tools like Data Studio.
Regardless of where your data is stored the evaluation of this data is a critical success factor for an effective performance marketing management plan. And, let's be honest, you probably have 50 tabs open right now of reports you haven't looked at in weeks.
This can be quickly overwhelming so we have collected the top 100 marketing kpi's every marketing team should track. After you have collected the data and the metrics you want to track you will need to understand your current baseline based on the last 90 days of this metric. For example, you can evaluate a metric like Quality Score (google scripts like this are great for this metric) within Google Ads.
It is important to understand how each metric impacts marketing performance.
The Google Ads quality score has a direct correlation to your Google Ads ROI so this metric is a great example of how small improvements in the performance metrics will have a massive impact on your marketing performance.
The quality score metric is a rating of each keyword from 1 - 10 based on your landing page, click-through rate (CTR), and ad relevance. To put this in simple terms, the quality score measures how likely the user will find this keyword relevant enough to take action.
Good quality scores are rewarded by Google with cheaper clicks (=better ROI!) and high impression shares (=more opportunity!). If you can improve a quality score from 1 to 10 it is the difference between paying $2 per click or $20 per click...for the same keyword! There are very few strategies that allow you to spend 10X less for 5X better results.
If you can improve a quality score from 1 to 10 that is the difference between paying $2 per click or $20 per click...for the same keyword!
This phase can feel painful, but I can assure you it will pay off in later stages to be as critical as possible. Every marketing team has underlying problems so evaluating the data and understanding where you stand today will pay off in the future stages of this plan. This is a foundational activity to achieving success later on.
Phase 2: Alignment
Now that you have likely spotted anywhere from 10 to 100 metrics you would like to improve the planning stage begins. But, before you start planning it is massively important to ensure full team alignment, not only with the marketing team but the sales team (and any other team connected to revenue.) This "buy-in" and transparent communication may feel unnatural but it is part of sales and marketing alignment.
The sales team will appreciate it and you will gain a lot of trust by explaining a potential opportunity was recognized and your team will be working towards resolving it. It is recommended to have, at a minimum, a bi-weekly review call with sales so you can provide this level of transparency - and don't worry, you will soon be reporting on all the marketing success and revenue impact so these meetings tend to be much more about growth than finger-pointing.
Build a playbook of success for each channel owner or marketing campaign type. There is no reason to re-create the wheel for every metric and campaign. Leverage checklists to ensure all the necessary work can be completed without the risk of anything slipping through the cracks. Each marketing metric likely has anywhere from 3 - 10 best practices that can help improve the performance metric so these checklists will help keep the team organized and productive in later stages.Here is an example playbook for reference.
Phase 3: Activation
Launching products and campaigns can be exciting and this phase of performance activation is no different. This is your official performance marketing launch. The team should feel excited and well prepared for improving the metrics they have defined and committed to. Based on the analysis and collaboration already achieved the team should be ready to "activate" their plan.
It is recommended a performance marketing activation plan should include:
- Clear Tasks - Tasks should have owners that are accountable with realistic timelines based on the checklists and playbooks previously created.
- Realistic Goals - it is not likely that you will improve these metric 500% percentage overnight but 5% improvements every week for a period of time will quickly turn into big gains in revenue performance.
- Automated Reporting - visibility is an important element of your plan. You should receive automated reports and alerts on the performance metrics.
Phase 4: Execution
Congratulations if you have made it this far into launching your performance marketing management plan! Things should actually become a lot easier in this stage, not because it is less work but due to the fact that everyone is aligned with clear direction and a formal path to reaching their performance targets.
This phase involves a day-to-day commitment to ensure the plan is being executed. Months, quarters, and years slip away quickly and marketing team leaders have to play the role of marketing project manager, leader, and coach simultaneously.
In order to execute marketing channel owners and marketing leaders need visibility into the metrics in real-time with automated alerts based on performance trends both good and bad. This is not the phase you want to have a surprise result 30 days later. To learn more about this, check out how Revlitix can help.
Phase 5: Optimization
At this point, you should be seeing marketing performance continue to scale up and your team should have picked up some meaningful wins along the way. You should see the culture of the team shifting to a marketing performance culture focused on revenue. Best of all, the head of sales is now your best friend and the finger-pointing is virtually non-existent.
BUT, the work is just beginning. Metrics will trend negatively just as fast as they trend positively. While 5% wins every week may become less frequent, you can always find another 1% gain and 1% gains every week will exceed 50% growth every year! If you haven't noticed by now, Phase 5 is just an ongoing flywheel of the first 4 phases of performance marketing management. So, in order to optimize, repeat the evaluation, alignment, activation, execution steps each day.
Marketing Performance Management (MPM) Tech Stack
There has never been a better time to be a data-driven marketer focused on revenue marketing. We have every tool available to us to run effective, efficient, and productive teams but not all tools are created equal. Here is a collection of MarTech tools (many are free, so no excuses) that I find the most impactful to build my performance marketing management culture with:
- Data Studio
- Google Analytics
- Google Search Console
- Google Sheets
- Google Ad Scripts
But, who wants to spend 1,000's of hours implementing all these tools and hoping you got it right? Revlitix has combined the power of all these tools and automated the entire process so you can focus on execution and Revlitix can focus on your next best action.
The bottom line is marketing is constantly evolving and focusing on performance marketing management ensures your strategy evolves with the needs of your market.