How you can use efficiency control to better achieve marketing objectives
Consumer insight and analysis of various elements of the marketing mix will let the marketing controller optimise the resources (people and investment) and deliver impactful innovations.
Using the marketing profitability analysis I wrote about the earlier article, the company will find out which products, regions, and markets are earning poor profits. Then the question that arises is whether there are more efficient ways to manage the several areas of marketing, including advertising, sales force, sales promotion, and distribution for these poorer-performing entities. To perform this task of Efficiency Control, some companies have a marketing controller who performs sophisticated financial analysis of marketing expenditures and results. Armed with compelling consumer insight and analysis of various elements of the marketing mix, the marketing controller can optimise marketing resources (people and investment) and deliver impactful innovations to market.
In today’s digital world, this is probably the most basic area to measure and analyse. For all advertising monies spent, digital as well as non-digital, it is important to keep track of the following statistics:
In order to improve advertising efficiency, some of the things the management could undertake are as below:
- Better job of product positioning
- Defining advertising objectives
- Looking for better media buys
- Pre-testing and post-testing of advertising messages
Some of the key indicators that sales managers should keep track of are as below:
By looking at the above analysis, the key sales management questions - such as those listed below, will be answered:
- Are salespeople closing enough orders per 100 calls?
- Are they producing enough new customers and retaining older ones?
- Are the salespeople making too few calls per day?
- Are they spending too much time per call?
When a startup, SME or enterprise starts to analyse the sales force efficiency, they shall be able to find areas for improvement, which could often lead to further studies, especially related to productivity.
Management should record the costs and sales impact of each sales-promotion device used for stimulating buyer interest and product trial. The management needs to keep a watch on several statistics. Some examples are given below:
- Number of enquiries from a demonstration
- Percentage of products sold during price-off promotion
- Cost per sales lead generated from a trade show
- Percentage of cash refund offers (Rebates) redeemed
A sales promotion manager can analyse the results of different sales promotions and recommend the most cost-effective sales promotions.
Searching distribution economies is important for companies of all sizes. The type of distribution that a company adopts depends on the type of the product, target market segment, competitive landscape, product price, company’s resources, etc. There are several tools available to analyse and improve inventory control, warehouse locations, transportation modes, local delivery costs et al. A company could track measures such as:
- Time taken to execute orders
- Number of billing errors
- Percentage of orders filled correctly and on-time deliveries
- Cost of logistics as a percentage of sales
What channels you develop - and how and at what stage of your product life cycle you develop them - is fundamental to the success of any company today. In case of software product companies, there are considerations like B2C (Business to Consumer) or a B2B (Business to Business), SaaS or On-Premise.
As most SaaS companies don’t physically distribute a product, their channels are somewhat indefinable and need creativity to apply. As an example, one can create a private-label version of their service and offer it to large partners to offer to their customers. One can also create a packaged offering by joining forces with other companies to offer a larger suite of services. SaaS companies can also work with the “Trusted Advisors’’ channel, which shares the same end-customer by providing them tools to help them do more of their core business.
Efficiency control improves the efficiency of your marketing department by improving the ability of various marketing activities towards achievement of their objectives. These controls also help in reducing overall marketing expenditure. In my fourth and final article on the topic of marketing controls, I will share details on strategic control, the most important control which every company should put in place at the start of the year.
(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)