What I am about to say now might not be pleasing to your ear. I might even face a lot of pushback from marketers and agencies. Most of the time I try to explain this; the usual answer is business-oriented phrases like “every campaign might not have direct sales actions”.
Now, I find such an answer really confusing, given the fact that everyone in every company faces a lot of sales stress, marketing budget on hold or cut expenses. Moreover, as a marketer, your day to day discussion with the top management often revolves around this seemingly simple yet troubling question- “how to get more sales?”
So, how come every campaign should not have a direct impact on sales?
The simple point is that you need to “invest for results”, and by results, I mean actions. If there is no desired action from the customers’ end following a campaign, the simple truth is that there are no results. “Awareness, Impressions, Views or reach” are just fake jargon, especially for digital campaigns. That is why I call these words “the hallucinations”.
Do not get me wrong! I am not against brand awareness or branding. Branding is surely welcome as a cherry on the cake after you achieve your goals, but it should not be the first objective of your campaign.
I’m not here to discuss sales target or campaign planning but wish to share a few thoughts about the right metrics to formulate for your digital campaign and how to use them.
“Invest For Results” is the key for every business, especially in this era of digital marketing, and focusing on this from Day 1 when planning your campaign is vital.
First of all, be very clear about the goal of the campaign and then find the proper metrics for this goal. “Increasing brand awareness” should not be the first campaign objective since we have already discussed that results mean “Action”. If there is no action, you cannot say that you have achieved any goal.
So the metrics you use should track your campaign all the way from inception to conversion. Every dollar spent on advertising should directly or indirectly lead to some kind of action, which differs from business to business. Let’s discuss some of the major metrics that you may consider for your next campaign.
1- Source of Traffic: Stop looking for the number of sessions or visits to your website and start focusing on the source of traffic. By source, I do not mean only the channel, but the content that directs users to your website and then converts and delivers results. Try to identify the headline or the message communicated to your customers, which has resulted in visits and conversions.
2- Website Engagement: Your focus should not be on the number of visitors to your website. Instead, you should check their engagement quotient. Ask questions like
- How many pages your visitors reviewed on your website?
- How many minutes did they spend on your website?
- What is your bounce rate?
- Which content on your website drive more results and more conversions?
Track your customer behavior on your website, and analyze the flow till conversion.
3- Conversion tracking: It is imperative for you to keep an eye on aspects like the number of conversions per channels, the conversion rate per channel and the cost of conversion per channel. Apart from tracking the channels, you should also identify the content that drives conversions. Once the conversion tracking system is properly set up, you will get a lot of insights about your customers and their behavior.
4- Social media engagement: It’s not the time to worry about the total number of fans or followers. Instead, you should focus on the percentage of fans or followers who engage with your content, and then track the content that triggers the desired action. Social media marketing is mainly about engaging your customers and not about increasing the number of followers.
5- Video marketing: This type of marketing is becoming very popular and very important as well, but again your analysis should not be confined to the number of views. The relevant questions to ask are-
- How many viewers complete the video till the end?
- How many completed only 25% and then dropped?
- What was the reason they dropped?
- What do the viewers do after watching the video?
- Do they visit your website? If yes, what is the percentage?
You should find the answers to all these questions over and above recording the number of views.
Email Marketing: In this case too, you should refrain from measuring the number of emails or the size of your database. You should think in terms of action, that is, what’s your open rate? Which link do they clicked? What are your email links, click through rate? What is about conversion rate from email? And so on.
Does it make sense?
Do you recognize the value of these metrics over and above the numbers you used to have in your report like impression, reach, views or visitors?
Yes, the numbers are good, but they should create value by helping you make decisions and support business objectives.
On a final note, I would like to say that it is not an easy task, and finding an action for each campaign is quite difficult. But you have to make a beginning and change the way you are planning your campaign. Only then you can create the value we just discussed.