Sales Empowerment Group Blog

Not all marketing is measurable

You know that Clark Griswold-esque house in the neighborhood? The one that's got a few blow-up snowmen in the front yard. Hundreds, if not thousands, of Christmas lights up every December. 

What's it like taking all of that down? Putting the lights in storage. Patching up ol Frosty the Snowman. Or what about January 15th, looking at the electric bill that's 10x the normal amount. 

Is there ever a moment when the person wonders, "Yeah, I don't know if this is worth it..." 

Chances are: Probably not.

When decking out a house for the holidays, you're not really thinking about ROI. There's no structured formula of, "Well, this increase in my electric bill corresponds to this increase in both me and my neighbor's happiness so it's worth it."

Not at all. It's an emotional decision. The person goes all out simply because they love to do it. 

All marketing teams have a few "Christmas lights" initiatives 

When you get a few creative employees together who love working for your company, you're bound to get a few "Christmas lights" ideas. Meaning: An idea that has a lot of passion, lot of fun, but not much of an ROI - or at least not an easy way to measure the ROI.

For example, let's say you had a holiday party. Melissa sings an epic karaoke rendition of Jingle Bell Rock. You record this on Zoom and the marketing team shares from the company page. Gets a bunch of likes and comments. 

What is the ROI of this video? Will a sale close directly because of it? Any new meetings? What if an employee spent an entire day editing the video, adding music, putting in some photos - was it worth their salary to work on that vs. doing their regular tasks? And how can we track this to see if we should be doing more Zoom karaoke? 

Even typing out those questions felt like a total killjoy. The conclusion, from an ROI perspective, is that sharing the Jingle Bell Rock video, just like decorating a house, had no positive bottom line impact. 

But that's not entirely true. There was an increase in camaraderie amongst employees. Potential recruits saw the video and thought, "Wow, that looks like a fun place to be." Potential customers hear your name on a cold call a week later and vaguely remember the LinkedIn video (even if this is at the subconscious level). All possible outcomes. And all very hard to tangibly measure.  

There are many examples of these "intangible impact" initiatives in marketing. Swag at conferences. T-shirts for employees. Direct mailers. A billboard on the highway. An ad in the newspaper or a magazine. Revenue teams run themselves in circles trying to find better measurements on these things that can't really be measured. Or at least not measured in the short-term. And, since it can't be measured, teams wonder if they are wasting money. Like the famous words of John Wanamaker, Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don't know which half." 

So then what should a marketing team do? Should they allocate X percent of the budget each year to things that can be measured and X percent to things that can't? Or maybe just go all in on the things that have a direct and clear ROI? 

An alternative to consider: Building a BDR Team

In our opinion, you don't want to get rid of your immeasurable marketing activities. The billboard. The conference swag. The Jingle Bell Rock video. These things do help build your brand over time. In the span of a year, maybe two years, your potential customers might go from saying, "Wait, who are you?" on a cold call to, "Oh yeah, I've heard of you guys." 

And who are the people who will hear that transformation over the phone? The BDR Team. They become your secret sales and marketing weapon. 

Here's what we mean. The BDR Team has very measurable and trackable results. This BDR set this many meetings, this many showed up, this many led to second meetings, this many closed as new sales. From this data, you can work backwards and get a pretty good idea of not only a target meetings per week quota but even create KPI targets on # of dials per day, emails, connections on LinkedIn. 

Because the measurements of a BDR team are so granular and trackable, it frees up your marketing team to take some more creative risks. To help illustrate this, let's look at two marketing scenarios, one where there is NOT a BDR team and one where there is an active one. 

Example 1 - Marketing team spends three months working on a great e-book. Really good content. They post it on the website, share on LinkedIn. After a month, the e-book has been downloaded eight times. One of those 8 reached out to setup a meeting. 

Example 2 - Marketing team spends three months working on a great e-book. Really good content. During those three months, the BDR team has been out prospecting. Building a base of 500 potential customers. Marketing team posts the e-book on the website, shares on LinkedIn. The BDR team reaches out to their prospects. Here's a new e-book we've published that addresses X problem. Not only do the number of downloads increase, BDRs are actively setting meetings from having this content. The result is much higher than 8 downloads and 1 meeting. 

Marketing takes time. Building a brand takes time. Even the biggest brands out there - Apple, Tesla, Nike - those didn't happen overnight. To give your marketing team time to create, to work on both their trackable and less trackable initiatives, the surprising place to get started is with your BDR team. Let your frontline of sales power the marketing efforts and, over time, the marketing efforts will start to help power the outreach of your BDRs.

Then, at the end of the year, throw up some lights and celebrate. Instead of looking at an electric bill, enjoy those end of year revenue numbers generated by great sales and marketing collaboration.

To learn more about our BDR program, as well as our Content Marketing bundles, you can contact us via this form or simply calling us at 312-283-4653. We also have more helpful blogs, e-books, and case studies to explore as well.