Marketing doesn’t have to be unpredictable. It’s no secret customers base their buying decisions on their experiences. And since online experiences are a huge part of that equation, it’s more important than ever to invest in analytics – and measure the real impact on your bottom line.
4 Steps to Measure Your Marketing Efforts
- Establish a baseline.
- Set goals linked to specific objectives.
- Define your KPI and tools needed to measure them.
- Analyze the results.
1. Establish a baseline.
Before setting goals, review results of your past marketing efforts. It will help you see any deficiencies in your analytics capabilities and think about long-term objectives. Ask the tough questions. Instead of just looking at which marketing channels are the most cost effective, drill deeper into which channels have led to more conversions and the amount of sales directly resulting from marketing. You can also look at:
- How are different traffic sources engaging with your website?
- Where is the traffic coming from?
- Which keywords drove traffic to your site and which ones led to conversions?
- What channels have been the best performers?
- How long is the sales cycle?
- What is the current customer online experience?
- Who are the primary and secondary personas?
- Is my sales team getting qualified leads?
- Are my marketing efforts in line with our priorities?
- Is our share of voice too thin?
Once you have a solid information base, you can set goals for your future marketing efforts, decide what you want to measure, and what type of analysis will be done.
2. Setting specific goals and objectives.
What does success look like? The answer lies within your specific goals. Think about milestones that occur before a lead becomes a sale and before a visitor becomes a lead. Some examples may include:
- Form completions
- PDF downloads
- Generating calls
- Webinar sign-ups
- Engagement with content
- Multiple pages viewed by each visitor
Got your list? Now you optimize campaigns and custom experiences around these objectives.
3. Define KPI and invest in tools to measure them.
“Conversions” are the typical term used to define the desired end result, but they aren’t enough. To define the right key performance indicators (KPI), you also want to identify touchpoints along the way. Decide whom you want to drop off (and when) and whom you want to nurture along, and then make sure you have the right tools to measure them. With the right technology, you’ll see what actions are being taken, when, in what order, and how long it took from beginning to end. Map your user experience from content to final destination, and identify any inefficiencies that you can eliminate before launching your campaign.
You need the right tools to collect the right data. Test your design by asking, “Are we measuring what we set out to measure?” Consider the value in both quantitative (volume of clicks, calls, open rates) and qualitative (types of leads, social sentiment, behavioral motivators) results.
4. Analyze the results.
Partner with someone who specializes in marketing analytics to analyze your campaign. The analyst can shed insight on the true value of the results, not just hand you a CTR report. Even if your goal was awareness, an impression report is meaningless unless you know something about the people you reached. Marketing analysis reveals if you are on track to reach your goals, make adjustments if needed, answer tough questions and explain successes and failures. Specific KPIs will give you what you need to know, such as cost-per-lead, lead-to-close ratios, customer retention rate, and customer value. But additional information can also be shared such as how many new people visited your website, why they came, where they came from, what they did while they were there, and the driving force conversions and possible answers for non-conversions.
By following these simple four steps, you can remove the unknowns and take control of your online marketing success.