July 20, 2016
Marketing Metrics which matter most (Part 1)
When engaging in a particular marketing activity, each activity should have a goal attached to it. Examples of goals are: to increase sales, to increase brand awareness, to generate new leads, or engagement and customer retention. For each of these goals, there are several metrics that can be monitored.
Increase in sales – Selling is the ultimate goal of operating a business. The sales performance for both online and offline activities – whether it is increasing, on a plateau or not meeting targets – should be measured. This should be done periodically and measured against previous months or against sales made on the same period in the previous year/s. Online sales will be easier to measure as e-commerce websites have the ability to track revenue through e-commerce tracking. On the other hand, offline sales might need to be monitored manually.
Increase brand awareness – Brand awareness can spark curiosity among potential customers. This may encourage them to get more information about your business. For online activities, the metrics to keep an eye on are website traffic, page views, downloads, mentions on social media and referral links. Offline, you can measure foot traffic, prompted awareness and unprompted awareness.
Generate new leads – If the end goal is sales or brand awareness, leads are generally a secondary goal in order to fill the sales funnel or indicate interest in your brand offering. To determine the number of leads generated, you can look into form submissions, email sign-ups and phone calls.
Customer retention – It is more expensive to acquire new customers than it is to retain them. Thus, your business will benefit from having loyal customers. To be able to track your customer retention, you can use metrics such as renewal (membership or subscription) rates, re-orders, and re-visits to the website.
Engagement – By getting a sense of how customers perceive your product and/or service, you will have an opportunity to see what is currently working in terms of your marketing efforts and what needs to be improved or removed. Blog comments, the number of inbound links, likes, shares, etc. can give you such insights.
As discussed above, tracking the results of traditional marketing activities is more difficult than monitoring the output of marketing activities done through online channels. To be able to gauge the success of offline marketing activities, here are a few ideas.
Landing pages – When advertising via traditional channels (via print or television), include a different URL for each channel that potential customers can visit. You can then track which of the channels are the most effective by the amount of page views generated on each unique URL.
Discount codes – Discount codes are an effective way to track which offline marketing activities and channels are most effective. To monitor which of these bring in the most revenue, designate a different code for each marketing activity and track through your POS the performance of each.
Hashtags – Including hashtags in your offline marketing campaign gives your audience a chance to use them across social media platforms. You can then monitor on social media where and how the hashtags are used.
Survey – A short survey, whether conducted online or offline, asking customers where they first discovered the brand will give you an idea of which marketing activity or channel has the widest market reach.
Key performance indicators or goals should be set prior to launching a marketing campaign. For each of the marketing activities in the campaign, goals should be set. Corresponding metrics should also be assigned to each of these goals. The results from the metrics should then be compared against your target goals as well as numbers from previous marketing activities. Over time, the data that you will gather from all of these will paint an accurate picture of where your business stands in the minds of your customers. This will then allow you to make better-informed marketing and business decisions in the future.
Watch out for an upcoming article, which will delve into the meaning of key metrics by channel type.