A lot of good work happens in the name of marketing, but only that which is aligned with a business’ strategic goals has the potential to create truly meaningful results. Otherwise, it’s easy to throw money at advertising, public relations, events, websites, and communications, but what does the ROI really mean? If purposes are not clear or actions not coordinated, quantifying ROI on supporting efforts tends to miss the mark.Does is matter how many people stopped by your booth at a trade event if you would have been better off promoting a white paper online? Does is matter how many people attended your webinar if there was no engine to effectively continue the engagement afterwards?

As a marketer, my observations lead me to discuss a number of issues facing businesses seeking to improve their marketing approaches to achieve better results.New technologies and platforms bring new opportunities which, in turn, bring new questions, choices, and issues to understand and address.My goal here is to share thoughts on how a strategic approach to marketing can help you take advantage of more effective and efficient models to help grow your business.

There are many ways to assess the effectiveness of your marketing efforts.In this post, I’ll list several for you to think about.As the editorial calendar rolls, I’ll look forward to discussing many of these as individual conversations.

As you consider your web presence, collateral, advertising, public relations, and communications programs, how would you answer these 7 questions? (You might think of this as something of a self-assessment.)

  1. Are you really making it easy for prospects and customers to find important information about your products and services?
  2. Are you making clear what the benefits of a relationship with you are?
  3. Are you communicating your differentiators – what sets you apart from competitors?
  4. Are you encouraging more interesting communication between you and your customers?
  5. Are you learning more about your target audience (priorities, needs, preferences, concerns)?
  6. Are your lead generation activities supporting your sales pipeline as expected?
  7. Are you enhancing your company’s industry stature?

I like these questions because their answers, while qualitative and sometimes anecdotal, are more tangible and perhaps, more meaningful, than arguing how best to crunch the numbers that underlie the quantitative metrics of typical marketing ROI.To a great extent, they reflect how well your marketing aligns with the strategic interests of your business.It’s not that I would advise you to ignore ROI. Quite the contrary: metrics matter, provided you are measuring the right things.

“Efficiency is doing things right; effectiveness is doing the right things.” Peter Drucker

My simple proposition is that unless you are comfortable with your answers, you have work to do. The good news is, there have never been better or more cost-effective options to support what you may need to do next.I welcome your comments, invite you to subscribe, and if you like – make contact.