More Accurate Measurement: Selecting Relevant Marketing Metrics
11.19.2015 / Posted in Articles, Measurement
Was your last marketing campaign successful? How did it impact your business? What could you tweak to make it even more effective?
If you can’t definitively answer these questions, chances are you are either unfamiliar with marketing metrics or you’re using the wrong marketing metrics.
Savvy marketers use specific metrics to measure the success of their campaigns and other initiatives. Once limited in terms of the metrics available to them, marketers in today’s technology-flooded world are overwhelmed with ways to measure their outcomes – ROI, conversions, time spent on a website, email open rates, phone calls, and scheduled meetings are just a few of the options to be considered when deciding how to measure a campaign’s results.
With this plethora of metric types, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with the options. So, how do you know that you’re choosing the best metric for your company?
Best Practices for Metric Selection
There are not universally “good” or “bad” metrics, but there are metrics that are right or wrong for your particular organization. When determining the best way to measure your marketing efforts, select metrics that:
- Tie-in with company goals. Think about what your company hopes to achieve through marketing and choose metrics that will help you determine if you succeeded. If your end-goal is increasing awareness of your brand, you could track the number of people who watched a promotional video or how many followers you gained on social media. If your primary goal is to drive leads, however, neither of these metrics will adequately show if you achieved your goal.
- Relate to company values. You may also want to consider selecting metrics that will help you determine how well your company is fulfilling its values. For example, if your organization places a high level of importance on customer service, you may want to conduct a survey to better quantify whether customers feel that they are receiving quality service.
- Are easy to understand. Aside from measuring results, metrics should be used to guide decision-making processes within your organization. Metrics that are too complicated will be hard for management to adequately understand and act upon.
- Can be replicated. In order to be able to track progress over time it is important to select metrics that you can measure again at a later date.
- Show your company from different angles. It’s important to choose varied metrics that will allow you to gain a more global understanding of what’s going on with your marketing pieces and campaigns. Otherwise, you may draw the wrong conclusion because you’re missing part of the story. For example, say you’re running two ads. Ad A has a conversion rate of 10% and Ad B has a conversion rate of 15%. Looking only at conversion rate, it would appear that Ad B is the more successful of the two. If, however, assisted revenue from Ad A is $30,000 more than that from Ad B, you may need to reevaluate your conclusion.
- Look at the big picture. Using metrics that are too nuanced won’t give you enough relevant information to make strategic decisions. For example, tracking the session duration of new visitors to your website from LinkedIn won’t give you a sufficiently global view to make educated decisions about whether or not your marketing is having the desired effect (unless you really only care about attracting new visitors specifically via LinkedIn).
Aside from best practices, it’s also important to be aware of traps that companies often fall into when selecting ways to measure their marketing efforts. If your chosen metrics have one or more of the following characteristics, take a step back for a second to make sure that they are actually providing useful information.
- Measuring what is easy to track. Technology provides numerous metrics at the touch of a button. On social media, for instance, you can track engagement rates, “likes,” retweets, change in followers, and post reach, to name a few. While all of these are extremely easy to track (after all, they’re right there in the insights or analytics section of your social media page), they don’t necessarily give you the information you need to determine if you’re marketing efforts have been successful.
- Using metrics that look good. Be wary of metrics that look impressive on the surface but don’t actually provide meaningful information as to whether or not you’re meeting your marketing goals. For example, if your company is focused on increasing sales, don’t only report the number of impressions a given ad receives. Impressions don’t equate to sales, so while a lot of people may have seen your ad and that number may “look” good in a report, this metric doesn’t tell you if you’re meeting your goal.
- Tracking a metric just because a competitor is. Every company has different business goals and business structures. What’s relevant to one of your competitors may not be relevant to you. Make sure your metrics tell you what you need to know about your marketing efforts.
Now that you know the dos and don’ts of measuring marketing initiatives through metrics, you’re ready to track the success of your campaigns.
Still need help? Call FrogDog today!
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