How Are You Measuring the Effectiveness of Your Consumer Marketing?

We asked Jason Smylie, executive vice president and CMIO (CMO and CIO) at Capriotti's Sandwich Shop, "What are some of the ways you measure the effectiveness of your brand's consumer marketing efforts?" Here's what he had to say.

One of the most widely influential business thinkers, Peter Drucker, once said, "What gets measured, gets managed."

This sage advice applies to every field, but often is tricky for marketers. Many people are under the assumption that marketing is an intangible field where results are esoteric and unidentifiable. With so many variables affecting customer traffic, how are we to know whether it is a marketing campaign that is making a difference or something as simple as a sunny day? Operators too often analyze a marketing campaign's success by how it felt rather than looking at data. This is a dangerous line of thinking that leads to undisciplined planning, missed opportunities, and wasteful spending.

Assumptions may be necessary to measure some marketing efforts. A successful marketer takes the myriad of factors into consideration and presents an honest assessment of a return on investment for each of their campaigns. Some important questions to consider are:

  • What were last year's sales compared with the period you are analyzing?
  • What else is going on that might be affecting sales?
  • How might operations be affecting your marketing efforts?
  • Was the promotion executed as planned?
  • Have all costs been considered? What hidden costs may have been overlooked?

At Capriotti's, we look at different measures depending on the market dynamics. In newer markets we measure trial, market penetration, and overall customer satisfaction. Our guests are randomly surveyed and asked if they've been to Capriotti's before. It is vital to know our trial rates when we are running promotions to bring new customers into our shops.We also ask questions about customer satisfaction to see if there are opportunities to improve our guest service and taste of especially for a new shop.

In our more developed markets, we track frequency (visits per month) and transaction size to see if our promotions and programs change our customers' behavior. Most important, we measure ROI for each of our promotions by analyzing sales lift compared to costs.

In this day and age it is also vital to measure social media marketing efforts. We focus primarily on social media channels such as Facebook and Twitter to listen for chatter about our programs and to analyze key metrics such as fan growth and engagement. We integrate all of our marketing campaigns into social media and, where possible, measure the incremental sales that are a direct result of our efforts online.

Jason Smylie is executive vice president and CMIO at Capriotti's Sandwich Shop. Contact him at 866-959-3737 or

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