Tracking the right metrics is crucial. Marketing campaigns take a lot of brainstorming and planning before the campaign goes live. The execution phase isn’t a walk in the park either.
After all this, how does one go about measuring the effectiveness of the marketing campaign? How can you tell which areas need improvement and which ones you should pay attention to because they convert more? One word: analytics.
Having ongoing analytics helps you create an overview of the general state of the public’s perception of your brand, the impact of your targeted marketing campaigns, or whichever other metrics have been prioritized by your company.
The following is a brief overview of how your company can start measuring metrics that matter.
1. Set your marketing goals
Goals are essential for any marketing campaign, but that’s a lot more so for businesses that have analytics as the central focus of decision-making. A goal is a specific, measurable, time-bound metric that is used to guide where a marketing campaign ought to go.
If your first thought for a marketing goal was ‘more sales,’ that doesn’t cut it. Marketing goals are normally described in the company’s marketing strategy and should be something concrete, specific and measurable. There are questions left lingering – ‘how many more sales?’ and ‘in what time frame?’
A better way to state it would be ‘1,000 sales ending January’ for an SMB or ‘50% more sales to millennials in the year ending June 2020.’ It should be as specific as possible if you want more broken-down metrics.
2. Identify your key performance indicators (KPIs)
The first time relying on analytics data is exciting because it provides an overwhelming amount of information we would otherwise not have access to. This excitement wanes over time because much of that data can’t be applied to make daily business decisions. People are normally affected by this phenomenon because of their failure to define the right KPIs for their businesses.
Every marketing campaign should have specific, measurable performance indicators. These do just what their name suggests – they are the metrics that can be used to determine whether your campaign was a success or not.
For instance, a brand whose goal is to increase brand awareness might define one KPI as the number of impressions or click-through rates. If it passes a certain threshold, that aspect of the campaign can be considered a success. These go hand-in-hand with your goals. Other common KPIs include view count, traffic, unique traffic and time spent on your site.
3. Establish a base for your analytics
Before you start measuring any metrics, it’s important to understand how far your marketing campaigns have gotten so far. This will serve as the reference point for all the data you collect.
Most of the work will be up to you. Once you’ve determined which KPIs are the most relevant, size them up alongside your goals to establish what a ‘successful’ marketing campaign would be.
Compare your past marketing campaigns against these metrics to determine whether they were successes. Your ‘base campaign’ could either be the most successful in the past or simply the last one. Create a plan to review business plans at the end of every financial year to remain on top of short-term goals.
If you’re a completely new business with no past data or just one that never recorded any data, to begin with, a good place to start would be identifying industry benchmarks.
These are randomly-selected pieces of data that reflect how different companies in a certain sector performed. Rival IQ is a social media analytics company that occasionally gives access to industry-specific data.
4. Integrate the right tools
Unfortunately, not all analytics tools are built equally. Some give you access to more data than others, while others provide more insight.
All those fancy graphs you see on analytics dashboards may seem like an overkill, especially for SMBs, but being able to understand them will add more value than you could imagine. Pick tools that provide you with the data you’ve defined as part of your KPIs.
5. Turn data into actionable information
Data storytelling is ‘seeing’ the story that’s told within data. At the end of every month, quarter or year, write a report on how your marketing campaigns were carried out and what the results were.
Rather than filling a spreadsheet with numbers and graphs and then leaving it at that, try and really understand the data. Learn how to read different graphs and learn how to plot new ones from data harvested from tools like Google Analytics.
If there’s nothing you can learn from the data after all this, you’ve either been measuring the wrong KPIs or you haven’t measured the results in
No company should enter the new year without an actionable plan that will allow them to harvest the most useful make useful business decisions. Metrics allow you to view the results of and improve various aspects of your marketing campaign.
Tobias Foster is an experienced journalist and editor working with top digital publications. His 5-year experience in the industry has helped him to have a solid grip on marketing and business areas and come up with winning articles. His current assignment is with an assignment writing service that provides business management research and review papers.