In every marketing program, whether traditional or digital, you must effectively measure the results of your efforts in order to identify and build on success or know which adjustments to make when it fails. So the looming questions is, what exactly should you be measuring?
Traditional measurement efforts used costly research techniques to learn more about market trends, market size, brand awareness and customer satisfaction. They also required companies’ utilize time-consuming data gathering techniques like customer feedback surveys or response cards that depended on a person’s willingness to offer information or participate in the information gathering.
In traditional efforts, you may have measured the response rate of a direct mail postcard or of a newspaper ad; you may have gathered insights about a PR campaign using “clipping services;” or you may have measured the expense of a trade show exhibit against inquiries or resulting sales.
All this information then needed to be tracked, attributed and measured, facilitated by complex databases or CRM systems.
The digital world has changed the game and has made data gathering far easier for marketing practitioners.
With so many transactions conducted online, businesses and research firms are able to collect data about leads and prospects without needing to make specific feedback requests. The data can be tracked and organized automatically using reporting and analytics software, requiring little or no manual data entry.
The problem online measurement has caused is that it creates an incredible amount of data; so vast that sifting through it for valuable, key metrics can be cumbersome and overwhelming.
Let’s face it, big data is…big…and complex
According to IBM, “Every day, we create 2.5 quintillion bytes of data — so much that 90% of the data in the world today has been created in the last two years alone.”
As a result, many marketers get hung up on vanity metrics like Facebook “Likes” and website sessions. But metrics such as these don’t actually provide insight into how effectively a marketing program creates awareness, engagement and conversion. According to an article by Hubspot, vanity metrics often have no benchmarking for performance. The focus instead is in comparing one company’s performance against another at a moment in time versus measuring a company’s own improvements or declines as a result of their own actions.
So what should you measure?
There are numerous metrics at all levels that can be evaluated and analyzed for every aspect of a marketing program or campaign. Dividing these into key segments can simplify and focus your reporting and lead to data-driven decisions to improve performance. While reporting and analysis can be overwhelming, remember, as Peter Drucker said, “What gets measured gets improved.”
Our measurement Monday series will guide you through some important metrics you should evaluate to better understand the performance of your blog, your website, your social media and your email marketing. We’ll also reveal some interesting ways to look at the data to help you dig deeper into the valuable insights it provides that can help achieve greater business success.