How to tell whether your marketing campaign is effective
John Wanamaker is reputed to have said, “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.”
But Wanamaker didn’t have access to the same tools as us, and one of the big advantages of today’s digital marketing industry is that it’s super easy for people to monitor their metrics and to determine how their campaigns are running.
Because of that, they’re also able to refine their marketing approach and make sure that everything they do is measured and improved upon. Measurement is only half the battle, but it’s also a challenge to do it properly.
So if you’ve created a successful marketing strategy, and you’ve been wondering how to measure marketing campaign effectiveness, you’ve come to the right place.
Let’s dive on in and get started.
How to measure the success of your marketing campaign
There are multiple steps towards measuring the success of your marketing campaigns, and it’s important to ensure that you follow each of them as they all rely on each other. You can think of it as like making a cup of tea. If you forget to boil the kettle or you don’t put the teabag in, the rest of the process isn’t going to work.
Here are the steps that you’ll want to follow.
How to measure the success of your marketing campaign
1. Set up your analytical tools
The first thing that you’ll need to do is to set up the analytical tools that you’re going to use. This is the software that plugs into the back end of your website and tracks what your visitors are doing when they stop by.
Google Analytics is one of the most popular analytical tools, in part because it’s free. It’s also easy to use and easy to set up, and you can use it to track everything from where your visitors are coming from to whether they’re converting into leads or customers.
Without setting up your analytical tools, you’ll have no data to analyse – and without data to analyse, you’ll have no way of measuring the success of your marketing campaign.
2. Establish your KPIs
With your analytical tools in place, the next step is for you to establish your key performance indicators (KPIs). These are the metrics that you’ll track to determine whether your marketing efforts are being successful or not.
To get this right, you’ll also need to identify what your marketing goals are so that you can figure out which metrics to track. Some of the most common goals and accompanying metrics include:
- Reach: Unique visitors, traffic sources, etc.
- Sales: Conversion rate, total conversions, average order value, etc.
- Leads: Completed contact forms, newsletter signups, etc.
- Engagement: Average time on site, average number of page views, etc.
3. Take a benchmark
Now that you know how you’re going to measure the success of your marketing efforts, you need to take a benchmark. The idea of a benchmark is to identify what the numbers look like before you ever launch a campaign.
Once you have a benchmark, you can launch your campaigns and keep an eye on the way that they affect your figures. Without a benchmark, you might think that your campaigns are doing well, but you’ll have no way of knowing whether the numbers would have looked just as good without you spending a single cent on marketing.
4. Measure your results
As you’ve probably guessed from our last point, once you’ve taken your benchmark, you’re ready to start measuring the results that your campaigns receive. Compare the new performance with your benchmark to get a true idea of how well your marketing campaigns are doing.
You should also be sure to factor in any other outside effects. For example, if you sell Christmas cards, there’s no point taking a benchmark in July and then using that as a basis to measure a campaign that you run at the start of November.
Measuring your results is interesting because it’s as much of an art form as a science. If it’s something that you struggle with, you may be better off bringing in outside help from a seasoned analyst.
5. Make changes
Measuring your results is all well and good, but observation without action won’t get you anywhere. You need to make a habit of launching campaigns, measuring their results and then making changes as needed to further improve them.
When it comes to those changes, you have three main options, depending upon the overall performance. If you’re unhappy with the results, you can either pull the campaign or make significant changes to try to improve it. If you’re happy with the results, you can increase your budget in an attempt to get more bang for your buck.
One final thing to mention is that it’s always a good idea to run some tests. You can use a concept called A/B testing (and also multivariate or split testing) in which you pit two slightly different versions of your campaign against each other to see which one works best. The highest performer can become your new default and then you can go on to test something else.
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The secret to effective marketing
Now it’s time for us to let you in on a secret. Even though we’ve talked about how measuring your marketing efforts can help you to determine whether your campaigns are profitable or not, that’s only one piece of the jigsaw puzzle.
Not all of your marketing is about getting a quick return on investment. You can think of a lot of your marketing as being like pushing a snowball down a hill. It’s hard work to begin with, but as it starts to gather momentum, it takes off on its own and starts to deliver ever-increasing results.
Because of that, you need to remember that a lot of marketing is long-term. For example, both search engine optimisation (SEO) and social media require you to invest time up front and to wait a while before you start to reap the rewards.
You need to think in terms of the bigger picture, rather than focussing on the here and now. Developing an effective marketing campaign is like completing a jigsaw puzzle, with each different strategy allowing you to put another piece into place.
This means that the real secret to effective marketing is to work on investing in longer term strategies like content marketing and developing an email list whilst simultaneously focussing on shorter term approaches like digital advertising and influencer outreach.
Best of all? You’ll know when you get it right thanks to the techniques that we’ve already outlined.
Now that you know how to measure the effectiveness of your marketing campaign, you’re ready to put what you’ve learned into practice. Remember that simply checking the metrics isn’t enough and that you also need to take action to use what you’ve learned to improve your approach to marketing.
With that in mind, you’re going to want to put in the work to figure out whether your marketing campaign is effective, but then you’re going to want to consider either tweaking it, increasing your budget or pulling it completely.
Still need some help measuring the success of your marketing campaigns? Reach out to us, as a marketing broker we can put you in touch with an agency that can help you to get the job done.