Marketing & Communications

How to Measure Your Marketing Efforts to Maximize Growth and Yield the Greatest ROI: Part 3 of 3

By Christina Motley • March 18, 2014

Christina Motley
Christina Motley, On Point Marketing

In Part 1, The Emergence of the Chief Data Officer, I mentioned my belief that all marketing efforts are measurable and data is a must-have marketing tool for every association. In Part 2, How to Mine Data to Improve Your Marketing Strategies, I discussed a few specific methods to analyze data most associations already have access to in order to gain insights that provide guidance so you can make smarter decisions to positively impact the continued and future growth of your association. Here, I will expand even further into the types of data, provide specific ways to measure your branding, social media and public relations marketing efforts and highlight the benefits relying on data to make informed marketing decisions for optimum results.

Types of data

Being a marketer today is more challenging than ever for many reasons. For starters, marketers and business executives face changing priorities, global competition and continuous technological advancements. In many cases, these professionals also must manage business objectives that fall outside of what we once knew as traditional marketing activities. The pressure is rising and the stakes are higher than ever. Executives must demonstrate to their shareholders—be it members, sponsors, board of directors or other constituents—a real return on their marketing expenditures.

That said, data is not new. I believe because of the digital age, there’s more data at our fingertips than ever before. Here’s a partial list of types of data that exists or can be captured to help associations determine their greatest value, competitive advantage and influence their marketing efforts moving forward. Some of these you may know. Others may be new. All are relevant.

  • Informal & Primary Research
  • Informal & Secondary Research
  • Brand Attributes
  • Competitive Analysis
  • Demographics
  • Formal Research
  • Generational Characteristics
  • Geographic Data
  • Google Analytics
  • Industry Overview
  • Key Performance Indicators
  • Keyword Research
  • Marketing Audit
  • Pricing & Services
  • Product Roadmap
  • Promotion & Distribution Channels
  • Social Media Analytics
  • SEO Tools
  • SWOT / PEST Analysis
  • Target Segmentation

Measuring your marketing efforts

To survive today and be fit for the future, it is my belief all types of organizations—associations included—must measure their marketing efforts. It takes time and requires a business acumen. But measuring results also advances marketing efforts, enhances credibility, broadens capabilities, allows for agility and provides accountability. To me, that sure sounds like a formula for success.

While there are many ways to capture and measure data, I believe one of the simplest methods is that of using scorecards. In the first article, I shared a lead generation scorecard as an example. Here, I will share complimentary links to scorecards you can use as a starting point to measure your measure your branding, social media and public relations marketing efforts. For additional complimentary best practice marketing tools and resources, you can register for the resource section of Tools include:


Benefits of data-driven decisions

Data is meaningless unless it is accessed, reviewed, analyzed and conclusions are developed about areas for improvement. Data provides information that when used properly can provide actionable insights.

Here are some of the ways I believe, as an integrated marketer and three-time successful business owner, that relying on data benefits all types of organizations, including public, private and nonprofit across all industries.

  • Valuable Business Asset
  • Must-Have Marketing Tool
  • Expands Knowledge
  • Validates Business Model
  • Identifies Competitive Advantages & Differentiators
  • Formulates Marketing Strategies
  • Helps Determine Marketing Platform
  • Drives Messaging Platform
  • Provides Benchmarks for KPIs
  • Tracks Performance Measurement & ROI
  • Reveals Gaps
  • Allows Adjustment
  • Informs Mission-Critical Business Decisions
  • Impacts Bottom Line


In conclusion, the decision is up to your association’s executive leadership team. Where do you begin? I suggest creating a small action team of individuals and member volunteers in your association, who share the belief that data is a valuable asset, and who express an interest in reviewing different data points to learn more about the association, its membership and its marketing efforts. Start small, break the data into bite-size, manageable chunks that will help you identify opportunities for small wins, point to any gaps or missed opportunities, and find areas for improvement. This strategy will eventually enable you to begin to address the big picture or association’s long-term vision rally support from others, and it may even lead to larger marketing or data-driven initiatives.

I hope you’ve found this series helpful and welcome your comments and feedback. Feel free to send comments to me directly at [email protected].

Christina Motley is the CEO of her third successful business. Her team partners with national clients, including member associations and nonprofit organizations, to deliver Chief Marketing officer (CMO) on-demand and on-point marketing strategies. A dynamic speaker and published author, Christina’s newest book, Leadership Philosophies from Unsung Leaders, will be released later this month and pre-orders are being accepted at She is a member of the Association Executives of North Carolina and serves on its Communications Task Force.