Measuring Campaigns for Effectiveness
Companies invest in marketing for a variety of reasons, but fundamental to all of them is that they are looking for greater visibility and awareness. A for-profit business would look to ways to impact revenues or enhance the online reputation. They might look to the web to get more buyers of their product. Government agencies or non-profit organizations (NPOs) would look for results that demonstrate the campaign was in alignment with programmatic outcomes.
In this document we’ll look at some of the tools, tactics, and strategies of how digital marketing efforts can be managed and demonstrate a measurable outcome. We start with the acknowledgement that not all marketing outcomes are measurable and the measurement process itself is not an exercise to expose inadequacy, but rather an honest effort to communicate and align with agency clients on their goals and to support a team in achieving a success – however they wish to define it.
Marketing campaigns can be used to promote a product, a service, an event, or a brand. At its most basic level, a marketing campaign is a set of activities designed to deliver a desired goal using a combination of marketing tools, within a specified timeframe and within budget. This paper reviews a few tools, tactics, and ideas about how to use Campaign Measurement as an integral part of every campaign YBG proposes and pursues for a client.
These three topics provide a starting place to begin our discussion on measuring what success looks like in a digital campaign. Three things to uncover –
1. What’s a successful marketing campaign look like? What’s our ruler or yardstick?
a. Is it Quantitative – based on hard data, readily gathered?
b. Or is it Qualitative, based on softer metrics; that may be more difficult to establish?
2. How would metrics be used to improve effectiveness?
a. If we knew the resulting data, what would it mean and how might it impact an outcome?
3. Are there tech options we could consider?
a. Types of automation, integration or even AI-driven.
There are possibly dozens of things that you want to consider when measuring the effectiveness of a marketing campaign, but Return-On-Investment (ROI) towers over all the rest. Click through rates or response rates are great information to measure, but if they are not on the path to revenue for the business, then you might be looking in the wrong area of metrics. It might quickly become a discussion on ‘conversion optimization’ otherwise, the single most important measure of effectiveness must be impact on revenue. Of course, happy customers are the single most important aspect to any business.
There are two items that are important to review. first the decision to measure should be “baked in” to the organization – every effort should be made to include a set of metrics in as many campaigns annually as there can be. Second, add a line item in the proposal for the measurement of the campaign. From a client perspective, not agreeing to fund the measurement effort suggests that they may NOT hold the agency to a performance metric. It might be prudent to make the investment to measure it anyway - for internal use.
Concluding this section, it is our goal that the campaign as specific, measurable, and achievable as it can be and applies the next level considerations - within a reasonable timeframe and for a profitable budget within a specified time. The quality of the estimate and the projected ROI will improve over future iterations of the project.
In the next section, we will point out a few of the many campaign related tools that can help us plan, implement and measure campaigns.
There are many tools on the market that can assist with campaign tracking and ROI. These include Commercial, Pre-made, Campaign Measurement Dashboards from companies like:
· Klipfolio – $0-$300+
· Whatagraph - $200-$300+
· Databox - $0-$450+
Spreadsheets are incredibly powerful today. But they do require a good deal of knowledge and skill to develop and use.
These companies provide spreadsheet templates that can be applied to campaign measurement.
· Hubspot – Top rated company for marketing automation that provides free spreadsheet template for Google or Excel.
· Monday.com – A subscription-based collection of spreadsheet templates and integrations for a variety or tracking uses, including campaign tracking.
The more the ROI conversation becomes a part of the company culture, the more easily ROI-related metrics are identified and understood. We can conclude with three steps to an engaging campaign and how to measure the campaign ROI.
Set a clear call-to-action (CTA) and inspire, motivate, raise awareness, and get people to take the next step.
By meeting people where they are online and making it easy to take these actions, campaigns are more likely to generate engagement and overall interest.
Hashtags, bit.ly links or other trackable URLs, and in-app order or donate buttons make CTAs more obvious and help optimize, find more engaged audiences, and identify opportunities for future campaigns.
What are the Key Performance Indicators of ROI?
The KPIs report should give a clear picture of the dynamics of the crucial numbers to the business. Number of conversions and cost per conversion are two that we might want to consider. Our KPI’s need to be continuously tracked throughout the campaign.
It is important that we consider campaign costs in detail and include the costs needed to measure the actual costs after the campaign concludes. A partial list of cost considerations is shown below.
· Market Research
· Content Development
· Website & Landing Page Development
· Graphic Design & Branding
· Offer Follow-up
· Metrics Plan
· Project Management
Normally one can estimate the hours for these activities and assign an average cost/hour to come up with the estimated campaign cost.
Campaign Value is often more abstract than simple short-term revenue and the value often needs to be looked at in terms of the parameter that will deliver the desired results for our success. A few of these value propositions are shown in the list below.
· Message Exposures
· Sign ups
· Followers Obtained
· Sales or Donation Revenue
Using this approach of campaign cost and value, it is possible to develop multiple marketing campaigns and compare the estimated ROI for each so that marketing budgets can be allocated to the highest ROI campaigns first.
We have provided examples of campaign return on investment calculations and other resources for you in Appendix A.