Measuring Digital Marketing: Make it Work

Nov 16, 2015 Susan Marshall

Marketing, Visibility

Did you know that only 6% of marketers believe that their organization is successful in tracking ROI? But the truth is that modern marketers have to operate in the era of big data, where effectively tracking and interpreting data before starting a campaign is important. Devising a marketing campaign requires vision, creativity and a deep understanding of the brand’s objectives. However, the process is incomplete unless the marketer has the skills to leverage the right kind of data towards achieving those objectives.
One of the amazing attributes about digital marketing is that everything can be measured, tweaked, and measured again. On the other hand, other more antiquated marketing tactics like direct mail, radio advertising, or even word of mouth referrals are incredibly hard to track. The dollars you spend are chalked up to “branding”, but are difficult (if not impossible) to measure. Some of those marketing tactics are effective, and just because you start applying digital marketing to your mix doesn’t mean you should stop other forms of marketing. But approach digital marketing with an eye for measurement and optimization. While it may sound overwhelming, it doesn’t have to be.

Focus on the Big Three

Measuring the success of digital marketing can seem overwhelming, yes. Some demand gen marketers spend their entire days measuring and tweaking! That same level of data is available for your company, too, but it’s easiest to measure when broken down into several larger categories. Gartner helps us think about measuring digital marketing in 3 big buckets (via @Gartner_Inc):

Action

Action metrics are straightforward: an action is taken which results in a business outcome. Think “number of clicks that lead to purchase” and “number of coupon downloads from Facebook.”

Engagement

Not all engagements are equal. A person who completes a one-minute video and leaves a comment has shown more interest than one who simply likes two Facebook posts, although both people performed the same number of actions. Not all platforms are equal; for example, watching a brand’s video on auto play without sound is far more passive than starting a video and watching it to the end. However, there is no standard method or widely used tool to compare engagement platforms with events. We propose a simple guiding principle, across formats and platforms: What people value is what they give time to. Use time as a proxy for interest.

Perception

Perception metrics measure the impact of exposure to a marketing message or other brand content. Perception metrics often cover the top of the purchasing funnel and are measured using indirect methods such as surveys, branded searches and social listening. A measurable change in upper-funnel metrics — for example, when awareness goes from 71% to 75% — can be cascaded down through conversion to approximate the impact of the change on the bottom line.
Measuring the effectiveness of your digital marketing efforts doesn’t have to be complex or overwhelming. Start by gathering information around action, engagement, and perception and once you understand how your prospective customers and customers are engaging with your company and your digital marketing efforts, then you can begin to dig deeper, revise your budgets, and experiment with new channels.
Platforms like Torchlite can help brands starting out or accelerating digital marketing by helping them know what to track for starters, then help them understand how their campaigns are performing over time. Want to get started? Visit: www.blog.torchlite.com.
 
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