From the very beginning of the modern marketing era, one constant factor in advertising and a marketer’s broader efforts to connect with consumers was the inability to know, with any degree of certainty, the real impact the efforts had on a company’s success. Identifying the most or least valued media channel or message was a gamble or, as some would express, a crapshoot. Efforts to evaluate and optimize marketing spend were often futile as the vehicles needed to measure campaign performance accurately and objectively were virtually non-existent. For nearly the entirety of the 20th century, John Wanamaker’s quote, “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is, I don’t know which half”, was considered a wise and accurate assessment of advertising and marketing. With the coming of the digital age, that all changed dramatically.
Today, we are able to measure and analyze the performance of promotional efforts in great detail and generate seemingly magical discoveries of consumer identities and behaviors. Often the debate now revolves around how much data may be too much data, and what all the numeric representations on the page reveal about how a particular marketing strategy is performing. Not all metrics are important to all marketing efforts.
Marketing Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) allow a business to accurately measure the gravitation towards a strategic marketing objective. Focusing on the right metrics and choosing the most suitable marketing KPIs for your business is essential for a strategy to succeed. Knowing which metrics to focus on is key to gaining insights that can help understand effectiveness.
“Even if you understand that ultimately you’re trying to build a brand, it’s very hard for digital KPIs not to be a slippery slope,” says Jerry Daykin, EMEA Senior Media Director at GSK Consumer Healthcare. “Nearly all digital campaigns show click-through rates, cost per click, cost per engagement. And if that exists, inevitably you start optimizing for it [and] you start asking your agency to improve it. And before you know it, you’re going down a slippery slope of chasing clicks.”
Multiple surveys over several years have repeatedly indicated that click-through rates and other vanity measurements have little or no relevance to revenue. Focusing on likes, followers, and going viral on social media channels is counter to an organization’s goals and objectives. The best KPIs are those that are relevant to business growth such as sales metrics, user and customer acquisition, quantity and quality of leads, customer lifetime value, share of voice, and brand awareness metrics. Sales metrics are precise and easy to measure as you know the exact value. User and customer acquisition is a long-term play but is an advanced indicator of future growth. Brand awareness measures how familiar your brand is to its target market.
Measuring the level of success of a content marketing strategy requires measuring how many viewers read the content and how much time they spend on understanding the message. Pageviews and the average time a user spends on a page will indicate which sites are most engaging. Retention rates will indicate how well the content retains visitors and how many will likely return for another experience in the future. This metric can also yield vital information on the quality of the functionality of a website. Bounce rate is an important measurement of how many visitors leave a website without exploring the site beyond the first page.
All metrics are vital to understanding the performance and value of any marketing campaign, but not all metrics are important to all marketing strategies. Don’t drown in the numbers that measure beyond the strategic objectives.
At Junction Creative Solutions, we understand the importance of measuring the progress of digital marketing strategies and how to identify and evaluate those metrics that specifically address each client’s goals and objectives. For more on how Junction can help measure and optimize your strategy’s success, call 678-686-1125.