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A detailed guide on how to measure digital marketing performance

Marketing is a powerful tool that can help boost your sales, expand brand awareness, and turn users into loyal customers. Brands invest huge amounts of money into their marketing efforts, and as the marketing budget rises, so does the need for better allocation of that investment by continuously tracking and measuring how marketing campaigns perform. So let us delve into the world of digital marketing performance metrics. 

Digital marketing performance measurements to keep in mind

Marketers need to keep track of many performance metrics. Of course, not all metrics are relevant to all campaigns, and some of the metrics are of great interest not only to the marketing team but also to sales, administration, and business too. Here is a walkthrough of the most significant digital marketing performance measurements to consider.

Content-related

  • Goal completion is often tracked using Google Analytics. It is a metric that quantifies the effectiveness of the content you publish. It indicates whether your content engages your customers successfully by turning them into conversions or…not. Goal completion varies widely as it depends heavily on the brand’s needs. The goal could be to get the visitors of a website to subscribe to a list, fill in a form, download an ebook, sign up for a trial version of a product, book a service or make a purchase. In some cases, solely keeping users jumping from one page to another could be a goal itself if a page generates revenue from ads.  
  • Content Engagement indicates how well your content performs and how it is received by your audience. On social media, the number of shares, likes, and comments can provide marketers with great insights. On blogs and webpages, content engagement is the visitor’s journey around a website, whether they stayed on one page or proceeded on to another, to consume more content. Whether they interacted with the content they came across e.g. by clicking on it, filling in a form, subscribing, or not. In email marketing content engagement is about opening the email, replying to it, and even sharing its content on social media or with a friend.  Content engagement is a versatile metric that shows if the users find your content appealing and worth resharing. 
  • Average Time on Page can be easily tracked using Google Analytics, and as the name reveals, it shows the average time that users spend on a certain webpage. When studied closely, it can provide valuable insights to marketers as they can tweak the web pages accordingly to get their message across effectively. 
  • Bounce Rate reveals the percentage of visitors who viewed your website but left without performing any further action on it. Visitors who did not navigate to another page and dropped out without performing any further activity. 

Marketing-related

  • Conversion rate of Marketing Qualified Leads (MQL) to Sales Qualified Leads. Marketing qualified leads are the number of leads marketing efforts yield that is considered mature enough and qualified enough to be turned into successful conversions. The rate of this conversion from Marketing Qualified leads into Sales Qualified Leads (into customers) is an essential digital marketing performance measurement.
  • Impressions. This is a popular metric that helps measure digital marketing performance and falls within more than one category. It indicates the total number that social media posts, a website, or an ad that has been viewed by users. It is a measurement that quantifies the visibility of your marketing efforts and indicates the impact of a social post, an ad, or a webpage.   
  • Click-Through-Rate (CRT). Ranking among the most significant of metrics to measure digital marketing performance, the Click-Through Rate is connected to almost every marketing effort. From the different marketing channels and social media platforms to email marketing and, of course, landing pages, the CTR is all about quantifying the number of clicks your marketing efforts receive. Tracking the CTR metric in your campaigns is one of the best ways to monitor their performance and to check whether the content created resonates with your target audience. Higher CTR numbers are indicative of a brand that has reached its audience on the right platforms, using the right language to address the pain points of the audience effectively.

Sales-related

  • Customer Lifetime Value (LTV) helps make projections regarding the total revenue that can be earned from one customer. This way, a brand can quantify the value that specific segments bring to the business. It can also be guided towards investing in concise ways of bringing in more high-value customers. Marketers can utilize the data collected and based on the online behavior of the specific segments to design an efficient strategy with careful planning and concise marketing actions.   
  • Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC), as the name reveals, estimates the total cost of acquiring a new customer. In fact, marketers can measure the LTV to CAC rate and make estimations about whether the lifetime revenue of a specific segment goes higher or lower than the cost of acquiring customers from that segment. 
  • Return on Ad Spend (ROAS) is closely linked to revenue growth. More specifically, it can accurately estimate the revenue that can be made for the amount of budget invested in advertising. It manages to estimate the investment down to the very dollar. Then it quantifies a comparison between the amount spent and the amount of revenue made and comes up with some helpful and eye-opening findings. When combined with customer lifetime value, the findings of ROAS can direct marketers to make informed decisions for future budgets and for building more efficient strategies. ROAS can guide online shops and eCommerce brands to invest their budget more efficiently and wisely.

Valuable tools to measure digital marketing performance

After analyzing the most important metrics, we can take a look at the tools to help measure digital marketing performance. As there are numerous tools available, we will break them down into categories and focus on some of the most popular and useful tools.

  • Marketing data analytics tools are essential to marketers as they track, measure, and often forecast the performance of a marketing campaign. These tools can provide detailed and valuable reports that allow marketers to gain a better perspective of their marketing efforts. This category includes social media marketing analytics, lead generation and attribution, SEO analytics, and email marketing too. Google Analytics, Cyfe, Mixpanel, and even Mailchimp analytics are some of the tools that marketers can use. 
  • Marketing attribution tools provide helpful insights into the effectiveness of marketing platforms and channels on business metrics. The latter includes the acquisition of quality leads, the conversions made, and the revenue metrics. Hubspot and Dreamdata are two of the tools that can be used by marketers to measure the digital marketing performance of their campaigns. 
  • Marketing reporting tools are significant because they help collect, analyze and report back the data generated by the marketing campaigns. They keep track of all the marketing processes, gather the data, and report it in a user-friendly, interoperable, and easy-to-integrate way. An example of a popular choice in this group is Coupler.io, a reliable data analytics and automation platform that offers a handy data integration solution. It automates data flows from the apps you use helping you calculate the key metrics and showcase your data in auto-updating reports and dashboards. More on this in the next chapter.
  • Data visualization tools interpret the data collected into analytical visual graphs and dashboards. Marketing data visualization  tools turn the flow of data gathered into insightful and detailed reports. And as the load of data streams in from multiple channels, keeping track of their performance is far from easy. Looker Studio, Looker, and Tableau fall into this category.  

Things to consider when deciding on a tool

There are tools that are dedicated to reporting a specific metric, and there are tools that provide an end-to-end process of tracking, monitoring, and reporting. This does not make the decision of finding the right tool easier. On the contrary, such a decision is rather complex to make. You need to consider a range of factors and opt for tools that  

  • allow for multiple users, as that will make your team’s life easier and facilitate better collaboration. 
  • are budget-friendly yet provide you with practical options, such as allowing extra integrations and additional users without extra charges. 
  • can keep track of multiple sources simultaneously. In cases when marketing campaigns run on multiple platforms, marketers need to keep an eye on all the channels. Thus, opting for a tool that can track, monitor, and manage omnichannel campaigns is the best way to go. 
  • enable the tracking of the continuous flow of data from the marketing campaigns and delivers the report in a systemized way so that it can generate actionable insights.

A popular choice for digital marketing reporting is Coupler.io. This tool offers the ability to automatically export data from many of the business apps you use – such as HubSpot, Mailchimp, Google Analytics, Facebook Ads, and many more. 

You can pull data from different apps and combine it together into meaningful reports and dashboards. Or, if you prefer, hire Coupler.io experts to build any custom solution for you – such as dashboards, automated data flows, or entire data infrastructure. 

Here’s an example of an ad reporting dashboard that could enhance your reporting. Feel free to play with it or copy it for your use.

measure digital marketing performance

How to measure digital marketing performance effectively

Before embarking on your marketing campaign, there are a few things to consider. Not only do you need to know the right metrics to track your success accurately but you must also set your goals wisely so that you have a clear idea of your objectives. 

In order to stay focused on your marketing efforts and their success, you need to set SMART goals. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound, and these are significant factors contributing to your campaign’s success.      

  • Specific: You can’t go about orchestrating a marketing campaign without setting a clear goal. The goal should be the focus of your marketing efforts, and all your actions should be leading to achieving it. When it comes to marketing efforts, setting a goal is the way to measure your campaign’s success. 
  • Measurable: You can’t define the success of your efforts if you have not decided on measurable goals. Deciding on the numbers that constitute success, setting benchmarks and impactful milestones is a good way to go. 
  • Achievable: Setting realistic objectives is of primary importance for a campaign’s success. Achievable goals go hand in hand with your team’s size and budget. As these are two factors that significantly affect a campaign’s outcome and its achievability.
  • Relevant: Having the bigger picture always contributes to a campaign’s success. A marketing campaign should not be detached from a brand’s vision and practices and other goals. On the contrary, it should be integrated into these objectives and aligned with other relevant goals of the business. 
  • Time-bound:  Setting a realistic time frame for your campaign is as important as setting a goal. This is because it enables you to map out the actions needed wisely, keeps you focused and organized on the goal, and can help you have a 360 view of the marketing plan executed.  

In addition to the SMART goals, consider also creating a Marketing Measurement Template. 

After settling down on your campaign’s goal and the metrics you need to track, it is advisable that you create a measurement template populated with all the relevant information. It should include the goals that you have set, a concise overview of the marketing actions taken, and the results they yielded. 

The metrics should be included too, and the performance of the campaign should be further analyzed. Breaking it down into the things that work best and the things that did not. Including any valuable lessons learned. 

This type of template is quite versatile and it can be further shared within all the relevant teams of a business. It can be extracted as a report and sent out to sales, administration, clients, or shareholders. 

Measuring digital marketing performance – success stories

Tracking and monitoring the performance of a digital marketing campaign is of great significance. Being able to do that allows for tweaking for optimization, rendering a campaign more impactful and successful. There are many examples of how digital marketing performance measurement can lead to success, and here are a few such examples and success stories. 

  • Return on Ad Spend (ROAS) up to a stunning 3,197%. For Natural Nutrients, a brand selling a range of natural sports nutrition and organic vitamins, minerals, and supplements, the challenge lay in growing the business and increasing revenue. With a carefully orchestrated campaign, utilizing, among other tools, the power of Google Analytics to measure  digital marketing performance, the marketing team managed to create highly KPI-focused ROAS that was constantly tweaked for optimization. This campaign not only achieved a stunning ROAS of up to 3,198 %, but it also boasted some additional success factors, namely, a rise of up to 69% in impressions and 5,800 % in revenue. 
  • Achieving 250,000+ total impressions and 17,900+ total engagements in a month. Semrush, a well-known SaaS platform was looking to leverage the power of Twitter and aimed at going viral with its content. By focusing on the creation of content that was humorous and would resonate with its audience, the marketing team built a microcontent strategy. It made the most of the internal analytics of the social medium itself, as well as a number of marketing analytics tools and social listening tools as well. They created content that not only managed to strike a chord with the brand’s audience but also went viral as it directly resonated with the pain points of a specific segment. This campaign yielded a massive 250,000+ total impressions, 17,900+ total engagements, and a 7% Average engagement rate within the first month of its launch. 
  • Boasting an activation growth from 28% to 65%. Tradezella, a trading journal helping people build healthy trading habits required help to bring the product closer to its audience and boost its sales. They reached out to Coupler.io to help the brand dive deeper into data. With the use of various analytics tools, including marketing and financial, the data was gathered and systemized. Then, it was utilized by the brand’s marketing team to orchestrate campaigns that would focus more on achieving a higher engagement rate, yielding higher impression numbers and more marketing-qualified leads that would turn into sales-qualified leads. This performance-tracking, data-driven approach generated a noteworthy activation growth that went from 28% to 65% while retaining 2.5 times more customers. 
  • Increase of 28% to Final Conversions. Groupama, a well-known insurance brand was looking to expand its brand awareness and generate high-quality marketing leads that would eventually become sales leads. After orchestrating a detailed omnichannel campaign, the marketing team utilized an end-to-end tracking solution to monitor the performance of the campaign and to power a seamless experience for the user that would eventually turn into a customer. This generated an 11% conversion rate that turned first-time visitors into subscribers (marketing-qualified leads) and a noteworthy 28% increase in final conversions, turning the marketing-qualified leads into sales qualified leads.  

Why should you measure digital marketing performance?

Measuring the performance of your carefully-orchestrated digital marketing campaigns is imperative. It enables you to tweak accordingly to create a bigger impact, allows for data-driven tactics to be applied, and in general, leads to wiser business decisions. 

This means that by measuring the digital performance of your campaigns you can allocate your marketing budget efficiently, investing in marketing efforts that can improve conversions and boost sales. 

You can pick the right channels and platforms that will help you reach your target audience, engage with it successfully, and eventually turn those users into customers.

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