Whether you are the type of person who reads every article that AdAge publishes or have all forms of ad blocking technology known to man installed on your devices, marketing is something no entrepreneur can live without.
No matter what you think of advertising, you’ve undoubtedly seen marketing campaigns that impress you with their wit, targeting, or something else. On the other hand, you’ve undoubtedly seen many campaigns that leave you wondering, “What were they thinking? ”
When it comes to your own marketing campaigns, the ability to understand whether or not they are producing meaningful results is crucial. Quality marketing can generate a big ROI, while lousy marketing is just another way to waste money. By measuring your campaigns, you can determine if they are doing what you need.
1. Set the right goals
You can’t do a lot of measurement if you don’t know what you want to measure in the first place! And while you might be fed up with hearing about SMART goals, they’re still relevant here, too.
Like any other goal for your business, the quality goals for your marketing campaign should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. Goals that match these criteria give you clear performance benchmarks for your campaigns, such as increasing your lead count by 10% by the end of the campaign.
While increasing sales or leads are obvious goals for a campaign, they are not the essence of marketing. Some campaigns focus entirely on increasing web traffic, while others focus on improving conversion rate.
The right goals are what will benefit your business the most. It should not only guide what you want to achieve with your marketing campaigns, it should also influence the content of the ads. Setting thoughtful goals will dramatically improve your marketing success.
2. Make sure you know how to collect data from your target platforms
Digital marketing tools have given entrepreneurs more options than ever to market their business. Perhaps more importantly, the vast majority of these tools provide data insight to help you measure performance.
While Facebook and Google are getting the most attention for their analytics offerings, other digital marketing platforms also provide tangible, actionable data to help you track clicks, conversions, and more.
When deciding which platforms to use for your digital marketing campaign, naturally you will want to focus on the platforms that your target audience is actually using. But before you launch your campaign, you should also make sure you understand how these platforms report marketing data.
Your ability to access – and understand – this information will be essential in deriving useful information about the success or failure of your campaign. Don’t forget your own website, either. Tools like Facebook’s Pixel allow you to embed code directly into your website for more efficient tracking.
3. Have a plan to leverage your data
All of these numbers won’t mean much to your business if you don’t know what to do with them. Like Ohad Ben-Artzi, co-founder of Vidliz, explained to me in a recent conversation, “The need to manually verify your ad data can be remarkably inefficient. Either we forget to check as often as we should, or we don’t know how to interpret the data when we see it. Machine learning algorithms are making huge strides in automating much of the work of identifying a campaign’s strengths and weaknesses and making key improvements to increase its effectiveness. But we still have to take charge. Using your marketing data correctly is how you will achieve your goals.
You can learn a lot from your marketing numbers. Obviously, you can get an idea of the relevance of your campaign. A / B testing can go a long way in helping you determine which phrases, images, or targeting options work best with your audience. Whether a particular ad is a complete failure or a major success compared to others in your campaign, you need to carefully examine to determine what the differences are.
Of course, your campaign data can also tell you a lot about the health of your website or your business itself. If you get a lot of ad clicks, but few leads or conversions, your landing page might not be optimized for the campaign. You’ll have to dig deep to find the disconnect between your ads and the rest of your content.
These kinds of ideas will not happen by accident. You must have a plan to analyze your marketing campaigns before they go live. Whether you log in weekly or at the end of each day, regularly evaluating campaign results will help you make crucial adjustments for the next round.
From this next campaign, you will get new information, and the cycle continues …
Marketing measurement leads to success (real, repeatable)
When you can effectively measure the results of your marketing campaigns, you will quickly see if they are delivering the results you want. Sometimes your results will help you make some minor adjustments to make a campaign even more effective. Other times, you might find yourself returning to the drawing board.
Regardless of what the numbers tell you, measuring your marketing campaigns already gives you a head start. By helping you make smarter decisions for your future campaigns, you’ll be in a better position to attract and retain quality customers.