There are 2 main types of marketing a company can do. Brand/Awareness Marketing and Direct Response Marketing.
Brand/Awareness: The Goodyear Blimp flying above a stadium hoping that when the 100k fans that are there cheering on the team need a tire they’ll remember them is brand marketing. The dollars spent are building the brand and name recognition which isn’t bad, but it doesn’t mean that there would be a direct correlation of revenue to the marketing dollar spent.
Direct Response: direct response marketing, on the other hand, presents an offer to a particular group of people and expects that some of those people will buy during the sales cycle. It is measurable and concrete. The goal is to make more profit than you spend in marketing dollars.
Also, a company can be a direct response organization and still not be working toward the right goal. Determining what success looks like upfront is important. For an agency that offers SEO, they might define success as a top 10 ranking for a term the client wants. For us, we look at overall traffic growth and revenue from that traffic as the success metrics. It’s always about results and results almost always map back directly or indirectly to sales or quality leads that turn into sales.