Stop Guessing; Start Measuring
Imagine you’re training for a marathon.
Maybe you go for a run every second day for about an hour or so, completing about 12 kilometres, give or take.
You’ll quickly realise this won’t get you very far.
In order to complete the marathon, you have to be able to run longer, run faster, and build up muscle to prevent injury. To be successful, you need a plan for improvement – and a way to measure this.
This is true for many parts of life, be it in sports, education, or your professional life.
The crux is to first find out how to define the indicators you want to measure and second, how to identify a way to measure these. That is, build yourself a measurement plan.
The Digital Marketing Measurement Model
In digital marketing, this is more important than ever. The great thing about the world of digital in comparison to traditional offline marketing channels is the fact that you can measure everything – but many marketers struggle at collecting, analysing, and interpreting data in a way that would help them make well-informed decisions on their campaigns.
On his popular blog, Avinash Kaushik introduces us to the Digital Marketing and Measurement Model.
Implementing this will make sure you have a proper structure and purpose for your marketing campaign, rather than just basing assumptions on guesswork and hoping that something might work by chance.
Let me talk you through the Digital Marketing Measurement Plan with an example.
Macro Perspective: What is the Purpose of your Campaign?
Let’s say we’re an online whisky retailer, offering a wide assortment of high-quality whisky, a subscription scheme, and tasting events.
In order to implement a data-driven approach, you have to start identifying key factors following a top-down approach: start with broad questions and dig deeper as you go along.
The first, very general question you have to ask yourself is: Why are we doing this digital initiative?
You should be able to answer three key points:
Acquisition, Behaviour, and Outcomes.
These refer to the acquisition of traffic for your website and the channels you would like to involve to generate this traffic, as well as the behaviour you anticipate for visitors of your website to show, and the overall outcomes you desire for your campaign.
The Deeds: Why, What, How, Where
Once you have clarified the overall purpose of your campaign, you can get started on the details.
Avinash Kaushik suggests a 5-step process:
- Identify the business objectives
- Define goals for each objective
- Identify KPIs
- Set targets
- Identify valuable segments for analysis
This forces you to clearly identify the goals of your campaign, how you break them down into KPIs (which are the metrics indicating if you are working towards your objectives) and pin down the actual numerical values you would like these KPIs to reach in a specific time frame (targets).
Make sure these targets are actually achievable for your goals to be SMART – specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-based.
If we take the example of our whisky business, this measurement model would look like this (click to enlarge):
Why You Should Use the Digital Marketing Measurement Plan
Planning your marketing campaign in a structured and data-focused way will make your life much easier and help you to actually track and understand the metrics that really matter for your specific case. Now that you have a rough idea about how the Digital Marketing and Measurement Model works, let me show you how this can benefit your marketing efforts.
- Holistic View
As you are following a top-down approach considering the overall business objective, you are automatically taking a holistic perspective on the case. Include your business’ decision-makers into the process to ensure your business objectives reflect the general strategy.
This will also bring everyone on the same page and make reporting to the board easier, as the link between business performance and marketing will be much clearer.
One big advantage of using this model is, obviously, the fact that you can break down your marketing goals into digestible, measurable metrics. This process of identifying KPIs and targets can be very difficult, especially if you’re dealing with “soft” KPIs such as brand awareness or trust. Nevertheless, try to be as precise as you can as this model stands and falls with you identifying the right metrics.
In order to measure your KPIs and segments, you need appropriate tools and skills – there are many ways of tracking your website traffic and campaign efforts. Some of the most useful tools for marketers are listed here, but to start with we recommend including a GA code anywhere you possibly can. TAG EVERYTHING!
- Strong Focus
Even though the process of identifying and documenting your marketing goals and KPIs might take some time and effort, it will pay off as you will automatically stay focused on what really matters.
After having drafted the Digital Marketing Measurement Plan for your campaign, you can work on a marketing strategy that will help you achieve your business goals by tackling the KPIs allocated to each goal. As you have broken down the rather abstract goals into measurable pieces, it will be much easier for you to identify suitable marketing techniques to meet the targets you’ve previously set without getting distracted.
This helps you channel your marketing efforts in the right direction without having to compromise time and money on vague experimental approaches that might or might not trigger the effect your business actually needs!
- Options for Improvement
If you don’t set any targets, you won’t know if you’re successful. In order for you to assess if your marketing campaign or individual techniques were causing the desired effect, measuring results alone won’t be enough – you also have to compare them to concrete numbers you’ve set to measure their success.
This will give you a detailed idea of segments that need improvement for you to meet your targets and help you allocate your resources in an optimal way to get the best out of your marketing campaign.
Over are the days of sleepless nights before the next daunting marketing presentation in front of the board! As you have included the board into the decision-making process and communicated how the overall objectives will tie in with your marketing activities, your audience of senior company members will be able to relate more easily to your report and understand how marketing helps their business grow.
As you will have a lot of valuable data that can be compared to previously set targets, progress can easily be communicated and areas of improvement effectively highlighted. As you will be able to base your arguments on convincing data, budgetary negotiations are likely to be easier (especially as you will now be able to spend it more effectively!).
(Still nervous? Check out our tips on giving great marketing presentations)
All of us are, of course, using data and metrics in our day-to-day marketing, but there is a great chance to get lost in the sheer amount of data and details, losing the eye for the overall goals that actually matter.
The process of mapping out a detailed, measurable marketing model helps us build marketing campaigns contributing to overall business objectives and make well-informed decisions based on valuable data. Get in touch with our experienced digital marketing team today to get started.