Travel back in time with me. We’re going to your middle school science class. You are sitting in your uncomfortable chair, with that tiny desk, listening to your teacher go on and on about the scientific method. And you’re thinking, “I’m not going to be a scientist. When am I going to use this?”
The answer? Now!
In your modern day career as a marketer, your inbound strategy requires a scientific approach. (As a refresher, the scientific method is a body of techniques for investigation phenomena, acquiring new knowledge, or correcting and integrating previous knowledge.)
Much like scientists, marketers’ hypotheses are proven incorrect. Like when you create a newsletter and it doesn’t perform. Such discoveries prompt us marketers to further explore our options in the journey toward finding the perfect formula for our inbound marketing channels. This scientific method approach produces measurements and results that are likely to garner success in the end.
In fact, HubSpot’s “State of Inbound 2015” report revealed that marketers who check their metrics three or more times per week are over 20% more likely to achieve positive ROI than marketers that do not. That is, marketers who methodically test their campaigns have a better chance of achieving ROI from inbound marketing efforts.
The Hubspot report also revealed other factors that influence positive ROI in marketing departments across the globe. For instance, companies with sales and marketing departments that create service-level agreements (SLAs) gain higher ROI than the ones that skip this step. Indeed, 47% of companies that have an SLA increased ROI, compared to only 35% that increased ROI without an SLA.
To that end, documenting your company’s inbound marketing procedure by creating a sales and marketing SLA that clearly outlines goals and duties to be executed by each department (and doing it as methodically as possible) will help keep both departments aligned. As well, it will provide a clearer view of the elements that might need to be updated or changed over time to improve your results.
Another way that marketers can become more methodical (hence, successful) in their approach to inbound marketing is by identifying variables that are negatively affecting their overall results. For instance, the HubSpot report shared that more and more marketers are finding paid advertising such as print, outdoor and broadcast to be overrated and ineffective. To that end, discover and eliminate the variables of your marketing strategy that are proving to be more of a cost center than an ROI producer.
So tell your inner 8th grader that the time spent in science class wasn’t wasted. Marketers who aren’t afraid of a little experimentation will reach the top of the class. So, get out your safety goggles and your beakers, start measuring more metrics, documenting your procedures, and removing those that are ineffective.