Data is your best tool for measuring your marketing, but it can be a challenge figuring out what to measure and how to measure it. A metric like monthly web traffic can give you a brief glimpse of success or failure, but you'll have to dig deeper to truly understand what's working and what isn't.
Data: conclusive, irrefutable, and enlightening.
Businesses rely on data to make decisions about almost everything. Launching an ad campaign, investing in new R & D, or redesigning a website all take careful consideration of the numbers. Digital marketing data is just as informative as data from any research study. Measure marketing metrics in real time to understand your data.
If your business has a website, you probably have access to these types of metrics. Business people sometimes glance at them during the day to see how much traffic they’re getting. Marketing data can offer us more than a brief insight into who's on our website, however. By identifying which metrics matter and checking them regularly, you can measure marketing metrics to save time, energy, and money.
What to Measure
Among global respondents to a CMO Council survey, most professionals measure marketing metrics like conversion rates, page views, and form submissions. You may want to measure these metrics and others. However, the metrics you measure should be informed by your marketing goals. For example, if your goal is to get more traffic on your website, then your number of visitors per month might be a good choice. Here are a few marketing goals that most businesses strive for:
Boost Lead Generation
Before you turn someone into a customer by making a sale, you have to get them to lead status. To see if you’re reaching your lead generation goals, you can measure your number of completed forms, content downloads, email subscriptions, and blog subscriptions.
Brand awareness represents the likelihood that potential customers recognize the availability of your company. Website traffic, page views, content shares, and social media engagement reveal levels of brand awareness. You can also create unique pay per click campaigns that target specific groups of individuals. Measure the reach of these advertisements and you'll have a good indicator of your exposure.
Get More Engagement on Social Media
The more people you have engaging with your posts on social media, the more likely one of them will convert. Increasing engagement also builds brand awareness. Measure it by tracking your shares, likes, blog comments, and followers.
How to Measure
Once you’ve decided on your metrics, work out a plan for how you’re going to measure them. Depending on the size of your business, this could be a simple as nominating a member of your team as the metrics person and meeting with them regularly, but a better strategy might be to involve your entire team. There are a few steps you can take to get the most out of your metrics and not waste time in the process:
Collect Data Automatically
The way in which you collect marketing data may depend on the tools you use. Some tools allow you to collect data automatically in a dashboard format, but other tools might require individual oversight. If you can, establish graphs and measurements automatically using metrics tools. Automated data won’t need to be presented as a slide presentation if it is easily accessible online. If you can’t automate, you can have a team member collect and format the data so that it can be absorbed by the rest of the team.
Analyze Data regularly
You can make constructive decisions about your marketing efforts if you know what your metrics mean. If you intend to measure marketing metrics, you have to take the time to analyze the data you’ve collected. Do it regularly. For example, schedule a weekly or monthly meeting to look at data with your team. Additionally, you could assign this job to a single person. If there is a change in one of your marketing trends, you’ll want to know about it as soon as possible.
Use Data to Take Action
One you’ve measured your data and analyzed it, you should have a good idea of how well your marketing efforts are performing and where they may need to improve. Armed with a clear view of your campaign, you’ll be able to take necessary steps to make it work for you. Taking action and making changes based on your data analysis should be an integral step in every marketing campaign. Just like your regular analysis sessions, taking informed action should happen regularly.
Sometimes the changes you need to make are small ones. For example, if your data is telling you that you are getting a large number of pageviews on a blog post but no one is clicking on the CTA at the bottom, there could be a problem with the body of the blog post or the CTA itself. You could make a small modification, like changing the CTA’s color and design, and see how it fares. Perhaps the CTA just isn’t right for that blog post, or perhaps the content within the post itself doesn’t relate enough to the content that the CTA links to.
Measure Marketing Metrics to Improve Your Business
According to a survey by the American Marketing Association, over a third of U.S. marketing professionals said it was a challenge to measure marketing metrics and use the data constructively. The challenge lies in learning what data to measure, how to measure it, and how to use it to increase ROI. By capturing relevant marketing data and analyzing it regularly, your company will know how to use your metrics to make impactful marketing decisions.
Your data can also teach you about big picture issues. If you’ve made sweeping changes to your marketing approach or you plan to in the future, consult your metrics. If you conduct two separate but similar marketing campaigns over time, your metrics will show you which one was more effective. Further investigation will disclose what made the campaign successful, which can help you create better campaigns in the future.