Marketing campaigns may have different goals, such as raising brand awareness, boosting sales or increasing event attendance. But all campaigns require a company’s resources, whether that’s money from the marketing budget or employees’ time and expertise. When resources are on the line, leaders want to know that the ways they’re spending them are worthwhile.
However, determining the effectiveness of a marketing campaign can become challenging if leaders don’t know what to measure. While stating your overall goal is a good start, objectives must be specific enough to tie back to data you can collect and analyze. Whether that feedback consists of numbers or consumers’ perceptions, linking it to campaigns can help determine whether you’re using your resources wisely. Here are some ways to measure marketing campaign success.
1. Start With Historical Metrics
When you launch a campaign, you want it to perform better than the last one. Sales directors want to improve on last year’s numbers, and marketing leaders want to show they’re increasing return on ad spend. However, you need a benchmark to know what you want to improve and by how much.
That’s where past data or metrics come in. You might start with e-commerce analytics to reveal online store traffic volumes and conversion rates. Perhaps your website traffic from previous pay-per-click ads is respectable. However, the past year’s data shows that traffic is flat, and you’d like it to increase. You can use traffic volume as your benchmark and see whether your current pay-per-click ad campaign moves the needle.
You can also measure changes in conversion rates. Are your online ads leading to store conversions or sales? Maybe your data shows that pay-per-click ads aren’t a huge driver of e-commerce sales, but you want to change that. You experiment with a different look and feel while changing the text on your call-to-action button. If online store sales increase from visitors who click your new ads, those changes indicate campaign success.
2. Consider More Than Numbers
Metrics are necessary to measure marketing campaign effectiveness. That said, some goals are difficult to quantify and require qualitative data instead. For example, you might want to launch a rebranding campaign that seeks to change consumers’ perceptions of your company and its offerings. Instead of measuring conversion or click-through rates, you’ll want to track perception changes among your target audience.
For qualitative measurements, you can compare customer survey comments or use sentiment analysis with focus group results. Specific survey tools, such as the Net Promoter Score, can help quantify and track certain qualitative data. A Net Promoter Score typically measures shifts in customer loyalty, but including sections for comments can also reveal the overall sentiment. You can also compare your company’s score with industry or general averages.
Increases in positive consumer sentiment and customer loyalty after a rebranding campaign can point toward success. However, it’s important to factor in other changes during that time. For instance, did a previous survey show problems with more than consumer perception?
If your business also fixed confusing billing or promotional practices, see whether survey comments mention these changes. Also, consider whether your rebranding campaign emphasized these improvements. If so, you can place more weight on the campaign’s influence.
3. Use Digital Marketing Attribution Models
Marketing leaders increased their spending on digital advertising by 15% this year compared to 2021. The reasons behind this shift toward online marketing include the ability to track the performance and influence of specific digital assets. When you spend money on radio or TV spots, it’s more difficult to attribute those ads to leads and sales. But online dashboards and tools can show which digital assets prospects and customers are seeing and interacting with.
This data allows you to use digital marketing attribution models to determine how assets perform. Your social media posts and ads might be what most leads initially see. From there, they go to a landing page on your website. A percentage of visitors take further action by clicking through to your online store. However, some of your blog posts also move leads through the sales funnel. You discover that a higher percentage of visitors are converting from those posts.
Different digital marketing attribution models may link your campaign’s effectiveness to your landing pages and blog posts versus your social media ads. That’s because those are the last assets people touch before converting. Other attribution models will consider each digital asset’s influence. Using mixed models may help you determine that social media is the best channel for creating awareness and attracting leads.
However, say your blog posts outperform your landing pages in conversions. You might get a better return by linking your social media ads to your blogs. Measuring differences in social media campaign conversion rates will confirm whether this is a more effective strategy.
4. Look at Customer Retention Rates
Marketing campaigns targeting existing customers usually aim to drive additional sales. Email and mobile app messages are typical examples of campaign tactics that leverage personalization and existing customer data. In most cases, email and mobile marketing use past browsing and purchase information to make highly targeted offers.
A customer may have viewed specific products on your website last week. While they didn’t buy those items, they spent considerable time looking at them. Your next email or mobile app message could highlight a sale or special offer on those products.
If the customer follows through with a purchase, that shows your targeted campaign efforts were on the mark. But if that person unsubscribes from your email list or deactivates their mobile app account, your messages have had the opposite impact. You’ll know that either your strategy or messaging needs revisiting.
Measuring Marketing Success
Marketing may do more than drive sales, but sales numbers often determine its effectiveness. Linking the correct data and results to different campaigns can prove ROI and influence—or lack thereof. Marketing leaders can do this by looking at historical benchmarks and other metrics. But because campaigns may have both immediate and long-term impacts, leaders should also include customer loyalty and sentiment shifts in their final analysis.