How to Hold Marketers Accountable | Ep. #515

In Episode #515, Eric and Neil discuss how although marketing is fundamentally quite gray (“We’ll help get you some impressions.”), nowadays you are able to hold marketers accountable. Tune in to learn how to make things less ambiguous by assigning your team specific, bit-sized tasks and goals.

Time-Stamped Show Notes:

  • [00:28] – Today’s topic: How to Hold Marketers Accountable
  • [00:32] – Marketing is fundamentally quite gray (we’ll help get you more reach, some impressions, etc.), but nowadays you are able to hold marketers accountable.
    • [00:50] – However, it’s still easy to make things ambiguous and wiggle out of being held accountable.
  • [01:10] – As manager, you want to hold your team accountable, too.
    • [01:15] – Eric likes to hold his team accountable for just one priority metric, like a CPA (cost per acquistion) goal or a certain return on ad spend.
  • [01:45] – If you’re not tracking these numbers, it’s too easy to get off your goal.
  • [02:04] – Neil finds that if you give a marketer too many things to do, they won’t perform well, so he breaks down everything into small, bite-sized pieces for his team.
  • [02:19] – For example, at Crazy Egg, he has a team that just focuses on everything from visitors to putting in a URL/signing up. Then he has another team that focuses on everything from signing up to paying. Then he has another team that focuses on everything from payment to installing the product. Etc.
  • [03:15] – Give people one marketing task.
  • [03:54] – Eric recommends reading the book The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results
  • [04:30] – One metric that Eric looks at for the client fulfillment team is retention.
    • [04:55] – Another metric he might look at is traffic or email conversions for the blog.
  • [05:20] – It’s all about FOCUS, and the one thing that most companies get wrong: they want their marketers to be accountable, but they just say “Go market our business.” Instead, you should be assigning specific tasks to each marketer on the team.
  • [05:55] – When you use a “lagging” metric like revenue, that’s a little difficult for people to hit. Instead, from an SDR’s perspective, you should tie them to a more active metric than just sales appointments, like number of calls made per day.
  • [06:54] – That’s it for today! Go to for a special giveaway.

Leave some feedback:

  • What should we talk about next? Please let us know in the comments below.
  • Did you enjoy this episode? If so, please leave a short review.

Connect with us:

The post How to Hold Marketers Accountable | Ep. #515 appeared first on Marketing School Podcast.

Full Transcript of The Episode

Speaker 1: Get ready for your daily dose of marketing strategies and tactics from entrepreneurs with the guile and experience to help you find success in any marketing capacity. You're listening to Marketing School with your instructors, Neil Patel and Eric Siu.

Eric Siu: Welcome to another episode of Marketing School. I'm Eric Siu.

Neil Patel: And I'm Neil Patel.

Eric Siu: And today we are going to talk about how to hold marketers accountable, so this is really important, right? Because marketing is ... even in the past, fundamentally, is very kind of gray, right? Where it's like, "Oh, we're going to help you get some impressions. We're going to help you get more reach, duh-duh-duh." Nowadays, you're able to hold marketers more accountable, but it's still very easy, and we've seen this in the past from people that we've hired or other people that we've worked with. It's really easy for people to try to make things ambiguous and try to wiggle out of being accountable, right? So it's really important, especially if you're a manager or you are the leader of the company that you're able to hold people to very specific metrics.
This isn't even just tied to just marketers. It ties to people across the board. You gotta have some kind of system in place where you're holding people accountable, and here's what I say: I like holding people accountable to just one specific thing, so they're responsibility for this one metric. It's really easy to add a bunch of metrics to people, but they have this one primary metric, and sure, they can have some other metrics that are tied to it. So for example, for marketers, I like holding them to ... it could be a cost-per-acquisition kind of goal. They are tied to hitting that specific number.
Or maybe for e-commerce, it's a certain return on ad spend, or a certain return on investment. You gotta be looking at these numbers because the thing is, if you're not looking at these numbers like a hawk and you're not tracking them every single week, it's like, "Hey, you're off your goal right now. What can you do to get there?" And you're helping coach them, you're helping them get there, and they've tried to make some kind of excuse around it, then you're going to lose your shirt. Not only are you paying them salary, you're wasting your time and you're not going to hit kind of revenue targets for your company and you're going to go down.

Neil Patel: Yeah, what I ended up finding out is, when you try to hold marketers accountable, and you give them too many things, they're not going to do well, so what we do at our company is we break down everything into small bite-sized chunk. For example, with Crazy Egg, we have a team that just focuses on everything from visitor to putting in a URL and signing up, right? Because we first ask for a URL and then to sign up. Then we have another team that focuses on people signing up to paying, because just because they put in a name and email doesn't mean they're going to pay.
We have another team that focuses on everything from payment to installing the product and using it. Then, we have another team that specializes in from usage, because they're in a free trial, all the way to a completion of 30 days or 14 days or whatever test we're running, and actually paying for the trial and becoming a customer. So by breaking everything up into small teams, and you have different marketers and team members focused on a specific task, you're much more likely to grow.
The moment you end up doing it where people are doing a bit of everything, like, "Oh, Eric's going to drive traffic and he's going to optimize conversions, and he's going to make the blog really popular, and he's going to make us Insta famous," that's just too much stuff. Give people one marketing task. The best way to hold them accountable is not to just check in what they're doing and look at what their daily tasks are and look at the metrics. It's to make sure you're only assigning them one specific thing.
If you're not sure what it is, then one, look at your funnel and your analytics and see what's causing you to make money, and two, it has to be big enough. If it's something that doesn't really impact your revenue or lead count much or sales much, then that's not that important, but if it's something that can really drastically grow your business, as the traffic goes up or down, as the conversions go up or down or whatever it may be, that's what you should have them focus on.

Eric Siu: Yeah, and so I recommend reading the book The One Thing. This is good to make your managers read and then also yourself as well, depending on where you're at, exactly. Just a couple metrics I can share with you. Again, just backing up a second, when you're hiring people, the idea is you're hiring someone smart, right? So why do you want to micromanage them? Why do you want to get in their way? You give them one metric and you get the hell out of their way, and if they can't hit the numbers, okay, let's talk about it. If they can't hit the numbers again, okay, we might have a problem. If they can't hit it again, might be time to let them go. Neil's actually really fast at doing that.
So when I think about the agency, the one metric I look at when it comes to, let's say, the client fulfillment team, the people that do the work for the clients or the people that are helping manage the relationship. I look at retention, because if you can't retain the client, that means we're not doing a good job, they're not happy with the work, we're not helping them grow. We're basically not delivering, so if we're not delivering, we're not retaining them, simple. The agency's job is to be effective. That's one example.
Now, another example is, let's look at someone that's managing kind of the blog post publishing, right? Maybe they're just responsibility for traffic and you have someone else that's responsible for email conversion rates, somebody that's helping with the funnels. Just think about it like, what is the most important number that they can impact that really helps you move the needle, and then go from there.

Neil Patel: Yeah, it really is all about focus, and this is the biggest thing that companies go wrong with, and Eric and I can't emphasize this enough. Everyone wants their marketing department or specific marketers to be accountable, yet they just say, "Go market our business." Whoever's the manager or whoever's the CEO or whoever's in charge of that group, needs to specifically assign individuals one task. If you don't do that, you're going to have a hard time holding any of them accountable.

Eric Siu: Yeah, and the final thing I'll add is, when I think about sales ... so we're talking about marketers right now, but let's just think about sales for a second. A lot of people try to use these lagging indicators. I'm not saying lagging metrics are completely useless, but when you use a number like revenue, that's a little difficult for people to hit, but if you say ... okay, from a sales perspective ... a sales development representative or an SDR ... you say, "Okay, we want you to ... yeah, we want you to set appointments, for sure," but at the end of the day, you can't control the appointments. Maybe you tie them to something that is a more active metric, such as number of dials per day, or number of emails, right? Just basically their activity per day, and then you can optimize from there.
Yes, sure, you can also tie them to the metric that they're supposed to hit, such as a quota or number of appointments set. But sometimes switching it over into something that's much more active, it becomes a lot more actionable because then you're looking ahead and you're either hitting those numbers every single day or you're not. And because sales is such a very numbers-driven kind of culture, you're able to quickly decide who can actually make it and then who can't.

Neil Patel: Yeah, I have nothing else on my end, so ...

Eric Siu: Great, so before we go, we have the giveaway. Just go check it out. It's for a special giveaway just for you, and we'll see you tomorrow.

Speaker 1: This session of Marketing School has come to a close. Be sure to subscribe for more daily marketing strategies and tactics to help you find the success you've always dreamed of, and don't forget to rate and review so we can continue to bring you the best daily content possible. We'll see you in class tomorrow, right here on Marketing School.

We help great companies grow their revenues

Get Your Free Marketing Consultation