Metrics based marketing is a must. But what metrics? Whatever you measure will improve, but it may not accomplish your objective. Back when I worked for a large computer company, we did a new product launch, but the sales numbers were just not there. To gain exposure, we decided to exhibit in a major show. The VP of sales complained these shows were useless because they would not get traffic in the booth and couldn't get leads. If only he had these.........
Ah, a challenge. So we hired a demonstration company, ordered cases of t-shirts and produced lead sheets. We also approached our key partners and acquired complimentary products from them. Every hour of every day during the show, we gave away t-shirts to all, and a complete server based networking system to one lucky winner. Every hour. By the middle of the first day, attendees were spilling over into the aisles, while our sales force cowered in the corner. We developed 1,200 leads from the show.
Which were still sitting in a box two months later. The VP of Sales explained they just didn't have the time to follow up on them. Sad but true. Turns out the real problem was the sales force knew how to move product through 2-tier distribution, but this product was aligned with direct distribution. When we re-aligned to the correct channel, we moved 10,000 servers in short order.
In the end, our marketing metrics were met, but didn't accomplish any bump in sales. Which brings me to another principle: People don't know what they need, and whatever they tell you isn't true. More on that in the future.