I spent the last week assembling my end-of-year marketing department report at work. Throughout that process, I was constantly reminded that the discipline of marketing is one that should be driven by metrics. That's not necessarily a problem. I'm actually proud of our ability to deliver quantitative measurement of our performance. When the board room asks to compare campaigns effectiveness, I'm eager to show the charts and reports with numbers of leads, the lead status and stage and the percentages converted to opportunities. Metrics guide our department into making intelligent decisions.
What No Metrics Can Explain
There is one reality about measuring marketing department performance though that can't be denied. You can build the ROI reports, you can run the multi-touch campaign attribution analyzer (thanks Marketo!) and you can look at the numbers until your eyes go crossed. The problem is, it never feels like the whole story. The influence of the overall experience with your brand won't completely tie back to marketing spend. I haven't been able to stuff that into a column chart yet.
I credit Jerry Rackley from Demand Metric for finding this quote. He referenced it in his 5 Questions the Chief Marketing Officer Should Ask presentation. I'm warming up to them again as a brand just when I thought they had moved on to marketing departments bigger and better funded than my own.