You’ve Come Along Way Baby? 5 Steps For Measuring Success

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My son was in the midst of his nightly “get out of bed and bug the bejesus out of me” game. His bedtime routine borders on an hour. First he needs a drink of water. Then he needs another hug and kiss (insert guilt because how can you turn down affection?). Next his band-aid falls off. Oh wait, now he can’t find his Goofy doll. His eyes burn when he closes them. I finally understood the book “Go the F to Sleep”. I was on the verge of ripping out my hair. Later I was archiving old photos and came across some of his baby pictures. I flashed back to sleepless nights, diaper bags, and baby proofing. A delayed bedtime routine certainly seemed insignificant. Truth be told, I had lost some perspective.

It wasn’t until later in the week, when I was working on a monthly report, that I noticed I had once again lost sight of progress. I tend to be hypercritical. I push hard and desire perfection. These expectations are often felt by the teams I work with. I recognize the incredible talent within our department and never want to settle for less. This attitude usually results in disappointment. I feel like we’re never doing enough. But as I analyzed our marketing performance I was amazed at what our team had accomplished. I measured the increase in engagement month over month and year over year. The quantity, but more importantly the quality, of our marketing had improved. Our marketing effectiveness and database health with stronger. Lead hand off had accelerated. We had tested, measured, and experimented with content delivery. When benchmarking against the industry it was easy to see, we had come a long way.

It’s human nature to focus on the negative. The following are 5 steps you can take to measure success.

1. Goal set. Simple, yet often people begin a project without a goal in mind. I’m astounded at the amount of work done just for the sake of doing something. Little consideration is given to whether it’s where resources and effort should be invested. Define what you want to do, and why.

2. Baseline. Understand where you are so you can measure progress. Additionally, a baseline allows you to set expectation. If a typical campaign yields a 10% engagement rate, don’t goal set with a 75% engagement rate as an objective. Be aggressive, but realistic.

3. Set milestones. While the big picture is important, you need to celebrate intermittent accomplishments. Recognize the completion of deliverables and communicate those successes to your team.

4. Learn from the past. I’m a huge proponent of project after action reviews. Discussing what can be sustained and improved for each project is necessary. Gather feedback from all project stakeholders.

5. But focus forward. Don’t get bogged down with thinking about what failed. Document, and share, lessons learned so future projects can benefit.

How do you measure, and celebrate, accomplishments?


Marilyn Cox

Marilyn Cox is the Director of Marketing for Second City Works - the B2B division of the famed Second City.

You know the buzzwords; inbound, outbound, content, demand gen, lead gen, martech, social media, account-based, advocacy, customer success, sales enablement, and analytics.She studies it, plans it, executes it, experiments with it, and loves it.

Through discovery, creation, and innovation she's learned to say "Yes, And".Like business, her career is one big improvisational act.

She leads all aspects of the brand and culture, developing and executing a clearly defined, integrated marketing communications strategy.Marilyn is responsible for planning, organizing, staffing, training, and managing all marketing functions to achieve objectives of growth, awareness, customer success and making work better.

Marilyn exists to empower sales and support the customer. When not geeking out over marketing analytics, she can be found daydreaming about her unrealized dream as a professional wrestler with the WWE.

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