Without measurement, marketing would turn from a science to a mere theory. For many business owners, marketing is a dispensable expense – something that will only be accommodated when there’s flexibility in the budget. That’s because the return on investment on marketing efforts is, in many cases, unpredictable.
Some days, an ad is a homerun, garnering hundreds of interested new leads. Other times, the ad could be an apparent flop, seemingly wasting your time and money. While the intent of digital marketing is to increase profits, not every campaign directly leads to money in business owners’ pockets. Some campaigns run awareness for your brand and some focus on directing visitors to a specific blog. Both types of campaigns contribute to long-term profits, but immediate results can’t be as easily quantified.
Experts around the world rely on solid metrics to jump the ongoing hurdles of marketing uncertainty. We’ve asked 6 international marketing professionals to weigh in on how they measure online success.
FOUNDER | RIGHTMIND, INC.
We are not a traditional marketing agency, so our measurement of online success has more to do with prospect response than any particular numerical metric. We work with our clients to create both professional credibility and personal connection in their online and social media presence.
We feel that we have experienced success when a prospect reaches out to our clients and expresses both an interest in their product and services, and an appreciation for who are clients are as humans. We remind our clients that they aren’t business to business or business to consumer, but rather human to human.
CHIEF SOCIAL OFFICER | NO TIME FOR SOCIAL
Our goal for measurement starts way before we start running any digital marketing campaigns for clients when we initially meet to set the expectations. A conversation about what outcomes are expected lead us directly to what we are going to measure. Some of the specific measures we have had to track over the past 4+ years as an agency are:
- Cost per lead
- CPM (Cost to reach 1,000 impressions with an ad)
- Specific sales off a promotion (tracked though a Facebook store link)
- Sales off of a specific digital marketing coupon we created for a restaurant
- Calls to a specific tracking # only used in the DM promo we are running
Overall probably CPM as the baseline. If it is very high, every other outcome will usually be high as well. If we can keep CPM at or below $13 – $15, that’s best. There are times (video) when it is a lot lower and time (Facebook Lead Ads) that it could be a lot higher.
FOUNDER | FIFTY ONE DEGREES
Its easy to get confused when measuring online success. There are many things to think about, How many followers, engagement, page views, clicks – the list is endless. But really metrics only fit into 3 areas:
- Awareness – how many know about us and are visiting website and social media sites
- Subscription – how many are interested enough to give us their email address so we can continue to talk to them and
- Conversion – how many are buying.
For me the number one to think about is “How is helping the business grow and is it moving towards the overall objective?” It’s vital to have a clear idea of how each of these 3 metrics fit together and what it takes to move prospects through these 3 stages. Otherwise you are just measuring just vanity metrics
CHIEF EFFECTUAL OFFICER | JOZA MARKETING
For us at Joza Marketing, online success is always measured against our client’s own value-based goals that we help them define, since they’re usually missing!
We do this through 2-Day Deep Dive Strategy Sessions where we help them get crystal clear on where they want to go and how to get there, including defining their KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators). These are usually missing too, or ill-defined, but can include everything from new monthly leads and customers, revenues, rate of list growth, conversion rates, etc. These are specific to each business in terms of what can really move the needle for them based on where they are, their strengths and weaknesses, and the opportunities and threats they may be facing.
We analyze all of this for our clients, and at the end of our Strategy Sessions they have a detailed plan that maps out exactly what is needed to get them the online success that they deserve.
PRESIDENT & LEAD STRATEGIST | KLIK MARKETING
We measure the online success of our clients based on their sales qualified leads generated from our digital marketing efforts. We focus our efforts on moving prospects from awareness (cold traffic) to the conversion (marketing qualified lead) stage and track people as best we can through the process.
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER | WARFARE MARKETING
To understand success, it is important to understand the difference [between the task they need and the task they want]. Many clients come to us wanting our signature, daily Facebook posting, which we are happy to do, but we must educate them that this one aspect requires a greater system to be successful.
Success is the ability to educate the client in the needs of their particular marketing machine and deliver the desired results in the manner that matters most to them at the point in the journey their clients are at that moment.
We build machines online; complete, holistic, seamless machines. Depending on the client and their particular selling model, the success of the machine is measured differently. For some it is butts in seats while others are direct revenue increases.
We also try to prepare our clients for success so they can begin to implement operational and logistical needs of more clients. In one case, we were able to double enrollment at a prestigious preschool in 5 weeks. This sounds great, but it meant that they needed to hire more staff, increase supplies and reorganize the existing classroom structure.