I had an interesting conversation with a client recently, they were a numbers person, and wanted to truly understand the impact that their marketing investment gave them. This is a great question and one that has inspired me to write this article about the tools you can use to measure your marketing success.
In truth it is tricky. Often there are so many different influences at play with any business but in particular for a small business, so isolating the response of one investment can be tricky. Never the less it is important to try to identify what is working and what is not, so that you can optimise your approach to connecting with your target audience. Ultimately, as a business your aim will be to increase sales, but there are many other measures of success you should be paying attention to. After all, small, positive actions eventually lead to the big wins. So, how can you keep track of your ongoing marketing success? Here are some things to consider:
Metrics to measure marketing success:
- Social engagement: think about this in terms of numbers of followers, in addition to engagement with posts (likes, re-tweets, comments, video views). When people share your content, it will expand your reach and potentially get your brand in front of new customers. And, as your fan base gets bigger, your organic and paid-for content will be seen by more potential customers.
- Website visits: this can be broken down into six sub sections: unique visitors, page views, search engine traffic, bounce rate, conversion rate and inbound links.
- Click-throughs: measure the number of click-throughs your email campaigns, blogs and social content receive to understand whether you are targeting the right audiences with the right information. If very few people click on an email or link, there is room for optimisation!
- Search Engine Optimisation (SEO): if your business website moves up the rankings in searches, it’s a win.
- Phone calls: ensure your phone number and email address features prominently on your website, social pages and print advertising – and keep track of incoming calls using call tracking software
- In-store visits (if relevant): Research suggests that today’s customers are likely to combine online research with in-store visits. A clear indicator of your marketing success should therefore also be measured in actual footfall to your physical premises e.g.: If you are a car garage then it is likely that people will have narrowed down their choice to one or two cars and then go to test drive rather than visiting lots of car garages up front.
- Customer surveys or research: you could also think about implementing a short ‘how did you hear about us survey in purchase confirmation emails, or at the till in your store. Or conducing quantitive research or focus groups to gain feedback on a new product or service.
And, of course – an increase in product or service sales.
Tools to measure marketing success:
There are a number of tools that you can use to assess your marketing success:
- Google Analytics: is a free web analytics service which lets you create reports on, track traffic to your website, while profiling your site visitors. Use it to measure SEO success, e-commerce performance and advertising return on investment (ROI).
- Email campaign reporting: track, test and analyse the success of your emails with the likes of campaign monitor. These kinds of tools are great for measuring click-throughs, and A/B testing subject lines to see which ones most appeal to your audience, Mail Chimp is a great tool to help deploy and track performance.
- Call tracking software: helps you discover which of your marketing efforts are driving phone calls and conversions a great example of this is Media Hawk.
- Facebook for Business: if you have this type of account you will be granted access to a range of analytics tools that can help you track how well your advertising campaigns are performing.
- Facebook Insights: or, if you don’t have a Facebook for Business page, you can still use Facebook Insights to keep on top of post and page interaction.
There is a lot to think about but it is really key to put some measures in place to assess changes in behaviour. Another consideration is creative, why not promote a special offer or limited action e.g.: workshop sign ups to your potential audience, you know then that the up take on these items is just limited to a particular campaign or activity.
It is key to assess marketing success so you know what to do more of and where to focus your time on the stuff that drives you a response.