What is Outcome Marketing and Why is it Important?

Newton’s third law of physics tells that there is an equal and opposite reaction for every action. But that fact doesn’t just belong in scientific discussions. In fact, you probably see it applied more times in one day than you even realize!

Believe it or not, that includes your marketing strategy. For example, you often hope for a specific reaction from your target audience when you publish a blog post. When you post to social media, you excitedly count all the likes and shares and estimate how many you will get.

As you post and apply your strategies, the question is, do you want results or outcomes? There is a difference between the two and educating yourself about outcome marketing can help shape your strategy for months to come.

Look at the bigger picture.

Simply put, outcome marketing refers to the bigger picture. Analyzing an outcome requires you to lay out a narrative; a complete storyline from start to finish. It’s not about the details; it’s about analyzing the campaign as one working machine and understanding whether that mechanism propelled you forward or pushed you even further backward.

When you do this, it’s easier to see what directional changes need to happen so the brand can reach its long-term goals.

Measuring outcomes vs. results. 

An article in Business.com states that results and outcomes differ because a result is “a smaller piece of what you may review after a marketing campaign, such as a metric. An outcome, on the other hand, is a larger, more meaningful development – the full story of how a campaign affects your business and your bottom line.”

How does this help when you compare the outcome marketing approach to the analysis of the result? In this case, results mean all of the specialized benchmarks you can discover from a regular marketing report. For example:

  • Page views
  • Bounce rates
  • Clicks
  • Post engagements
  • Reach
  • Impressions

These all show success in one area of the campaign, down to an individual component and exactly how well it did in many ways. Tools like Google Analytics, Twitter Analytics, Facebook Insights, and basic reporting software can show you all of this and more.

And these are important, especially if you’re looking for quick changes you can make to the way you market a business or brand. If your post on social media didn’t get as many clicks as you hoped for, then you know to plan out some different content in next month’s calendar, or maybe even do a follow-up post that reintroduces the topic in a different tone of voice.

But if you want to know how your social media accounts are affecting your brand’s bottom line on a grander scale, then you might want to start dabbling in outcome marketing.

[Feeling overwhelmed with all the marketing lingo? Check out these other signs that it may be time to outsource your marketing!]

Getting started with an outcome marketing plan.

It can be challenging to restructure how you think about the feedback you receive on a marketing campaign. So, we recommend starting small.

Rather than making an abrupt transition to this planning method, ask your marketing team to begin by outlining each marketing campaign as a whole. This will be more manageable than everyone focusing on each part on its own. The idea is to see how each piece fits with the next and evaluate how they all work together.

Essentially, you’re looking at quality, not quantity. Sure, one PPC ad may have gotten a lot of attention, but did it help your business gain any longstanding clients? Did your brand build some solid relationships with your followers? By itself: probably not. But, when combined with the efforts of social media campaigns, savvy content marketing, and the talents of your sales reps, that one ad could very well have set off a chain reaction that culminated in a new working relationship. And if so, then your team can trace back and identify what didn’t quite pull its weight, then adjust or eliminate it from the campaign accordingly.

Fine-tuning your marketing strategy isn’t always a walk in the park but using the outcome marketing approach can sometimes help you see the forest instead of the trees.

From there, the idea is to better understand the campaigns as a whole and what they need to succeed. Contact Sage Island’s marketing experts if you want a few extra pairs of expert eyes on your next project!


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