For the longest time, businesses have traditionally taken a spray and pray approach to marketing but in this digital age, enough data is already being generated to empower marketing leaders to make well-informed decisions.
In this article, I argue that brands and businesses take a deeper data-driven approach to their digital initiatives, rather than aiming for quick wins by cutting corners. A strong focus on analysing and interpreting data generated from digital marketing programs goes a long way in optimizing the marketing budget for maximum business returns.
Did you know that digital marketing is the most measurable form of marketing? Digital marketing analytics takes the guesswork out of determining whether your marketing is actually working. By measuring your digital marketing campaigns in real-time, you can see which tactics are working and which are not.
There are a plethora of metrics to track – clicks, bounce rates, conversion rates, page views, website visitors, likes, shares etc., however, it is important to note that not all metrics might matter to your business at the same point in time.
While some metrics are just good to have, others are must-know and at a glance, these metrics can help you make decisions that will in turn help improve the impact of your overall marketing campaign.
This brings us to identifying and tracking the metrics that drive impact on digital. At this juncture, it is important to note that in order to identify the right metrics, you must have a clear goal and a picture of success in mind.
You must clearly articulate exactly what you’re aiming for and let your digital marketing expert translate that into trackable metrics on digital.
For example, an FMCG (fast moving consumer goods) brand aiming for awareness is better off tracking reach, viewable impressions and brand lift rather than clicks for its awareness campaign.
A professional services firm aiming for more business leads is better off tracking the rate at which their contact form is filled out and submitted rather than the total number of website visitors.
This is not to say clicks are not important for the FMCG brand or that total website visitors are not important for the professional services firm, but that the metrics that drive impact goes beyond what we tend to see on the surface level.
The metrics that will drive impact for Brand A may not necessarily drive impact for Brand B, hence I recommend that in order to identify the metrics that matter the most to your brand or business, consult with a specialized agency partner or digital marketing expert with a track record of excellence.
However, on a general note, let’s take a look at 3 of the most popular surface-level metrics and their accompanying impact metrics. I highly recommend these metrics for brands and businesses. If you are involved in execution, learn more about these and if not, request a report showing your performance on these and other identified metrics from your agency partner.
From Community Size to Reach
Gone are the days when having 1 million Facebook fans meant you could freely reach all 1 million of them organically on a daily basis.
With Facebook’s latest algorithm change to the newsfeed, many pages are reaching less than 20% of their fans and this same trend applies to Twitter and Instagram.
So my question is, what’s more important? Tracking month on month growth/decline in community size or month on month growth/decline in total reach on social? Think about it.
From Video Views to Video Retention
Your 60 seconds TVC (an audio-visual advertisement aired on free or subscription TV stations) has been published on Facebook and YouTube.
A lot of money has been invested in media buying and you report 1.5 million views to the business and the team celebrates the achievement.
On the flip side, consumers viewed the TVC for the first 5 seconds on average whereas the key message of the TVC was revealed in the 40th second of the video.
Video retention matters more than ever before because of shorter and shorter attention spans.
Begin measuring the duration of your videos that consumers actually watch and let the learnings drive your video content strategy.
From Impressions to Viewable Impressions
I remember when I ran my first google display campaign.
Impressions were rising like magic. In a single day, I would report up to 10 million impressions but this was not making any difference to the business.
I soon realized that an impression is counted each time my ad is shown and this could be a fraction of a second.
So how can you tell if people are actually noticing your Ad? Consider tracking viewable impressions.
An ad is counted as “viewable” when 50% of your ad shows on screen for one second or longer for Display Ads and two seconds or longer for Video Ads.
Ensure your agency partner does not report only impressions but drills down to viewable impressions where applicable.
The above list is by no means exhaustive. The focus for a fast-moving consumer goods business differs from that of a professional services firm which in turn differs from the focus of a technology startup and so on. At the end of the day, value for money invested in digital is what matters most.
Your ability to identify the strategies and tactics that drive revenue or desired results for your business or brand depends on your willingness to test, measure and do more of what works.
Consider an orchestra, one instrument is never sufficient on its own to create the effect that orchestras are well known for.
Same applies to digital marketing. It’s not enough to have your creative and copy on point, measurement matters just as much as execution.
Identifying the right metrics to track is a step you should take if marketing success is your end goal.