Why marketing measurements matter, and which should you use?
Few marketers would invest time, money and effort in a campaign without stopping to measure its effectiveness. But how exactly do you measure campaign success?
No longer enough to simply count the email click-throughs or social media likes, measurement is about developing a nuanced, valuable understanding of the reach and scope of a given campaign. Just because the likes are rolling in and your marketing emails are cleverly avoiding the junk mail box, these are not necessarily the most effective indicators of success. Ensuring that you get maximum value from your efforts, are able to draw insights that can inform your next strategy move, and effectively calculate the costs involved are all valid reasons to measure your marketing initiatives, and there are a number of metrics you can choose.
How to choose the right metric?
There are a number of methods that can be employed to measure success factors, and choosing the right one for your aims, and also for the platform in question, can make sure that you are monitoring progress as effectively as possible. Here are a few of our favourite metrics for measuring success on a variety of platforms.
Matching goals with email metrics
A recent whitepaper by Bronto, an international commerce marketing automation software company, (distributed by Marketing Week) argues that much more than previously, ‘today’s commerce marketers have the ability to measure and benchmark a wider range of results, such as average order value, customer lifetime, value, carts recovered [and] subscriber growth through new channels.’
Bronto suggests that the first step towards effective email marketing measurement is to define your goals, and then align the metrics that will best demonstrate this success. For example, if the goal of the campaign is to increase revenue, key metrics could include:
- Revenue per campaign
- Revenue per email
- Average order value
- Revenue over time
Alternatively, if engagement is the focus of your campaign, metrics such as how many emails the customer in question has or has not opened, the average number of orders they have made per three months, and whether they have or haven’t downloaded the mobile app, could be good indicators of how frequently and with what depth the customer is engaged.
Calculating the financial and temporal cost of content
Creating content can be time consuming and costly, but because of its continued importance as the method of choice for many marketers to increase brand awareness and build customer loyalty and trust, it is indiscriminately followed by many a brand. But how do you decide which content is bringing the best ROI?
MarTechAdvisor recently created a handy infographic which compartmentalises each marketing goal, and pairs with it the most useful measurements to keep track of. When it comes to content creation, some of the most important metrics include:
- How long does it take to move from content idea to publication – creating a timeline of these processes could show how (in)efficient your content creation process is, and make potential areas of improvement visible.
- Work out the backlog – deciding how often to publish is important to know you’re not over-flooding your customer with information, nor starving them of the content they’re looking for. The infographic suggests dividing the ‘average number of days between posts’ by the ‘average number of days since a customer’s last visit’ to work out how much, or indeed little, of your content is likely to remain unread and therefore not fulfilling its full value.
- Watch the costs – although keeping your content creation in house could seem like an effective way to save money, remembering that the amount of staff hours dedicated to any given piece still constitutes an expenditure is important in working out the cost-benefit analysis of your content and for planning future budgets.
Multiple channels mean mobile metrics matter
Although there can be a temptation to discount mobile as a peripheral platform in your digital arsenal, ignoring the metrics that mobile generates is a big gap in your marketing measurement that can lead to limitations in your strategy.
For Mobile Business Insights, this is an important lesson to remember when planning your marketing measurements. It is argued that ‘marketers who were labelled as leaders in their field were 75 percent more likely than others to have moved to a more holistic measurement model in the past two years and 83 percent more likely than their peers to include cross-device data in their modelling’.
It has been widely discussed that many consumers use mobile as a research tool, often doing the majority of their product research or browsing using their smartphone, before transferring to a desktop or laptop device to make a final purchase. This makes calculating the return on mobile particularly tough, as the engagement doesn’t necessarily translate into sales on this platform.
Although estimates do not bring a perfect solution to this challenge, ‘researchers found that leading marketers are 71 percent more likely than “mainstream” professionals to regularly use estimates to bridge these gaps between direct measurement and analytics.’ By working with the best dataset available and extrapolating the findings, it is possible to gain a better understanding of how customers interact with mobile and the impact this is having on your strategy as a whole.
Whichever platform you are focused on, finding the right metric and measurement technique to monitor this platform, and in turn feed insights into the bigger picture, is vital if marketers are going to more successfully navigate the multi-channel world that is marketing in 2017. Choosing wisely, monitoring continuously and demanding value are the orders of the day, and there a wealth of methods to choose from to suit the needs of your brand.