This post is the third in a series, in which I discuss the three basic elements of any digital marketing program: Landing Pages, Traffic Drivers, and Measuring the Results. The good news about digital marketing is that there is a wealth of data available for analysis. The bad news about digital marketing is that there is a wealth of data available for analysis. Where do you start?
Forgive me for stating the obvious: you start at the beginning. And the beginning of every marketing campaign, digital or otherwise, is the definition of objectives. What are you trying to accomplish, and what are the business goals by which you will define success? Are you seeking to increase levels of brand awareness? A greater number of consumers engaging with your brand? Or maybe you happy with the number of consumers that are engaging with the brand, but you want to deepen the level of engagement to build their loyalty and advocacy? A clear definition of success is the first step in measuring results, because you need to set up the mechanisms to track the results that will answer your questions.
Measuring the results of traffic drivers is primarily a game of numbers: how many consumers saw the tactic, and how many did what you were seeking to accomplish with the tactic. Just because I’ve termed this group of tactics as “traffic drivers” doesn’t mean that the number of click-throughs to the landing page is always the primary objective. If a brand is seeking mass awareness, you may be more interested in the number of impressions, the reach and frequency delivered to your potential consumers. When that’s the objective, the bulk of marketing campaign dollars may be spent on online and offline broadcast vehicles. But if bringing traffic to your landing pages is the brand’s primary objective, measurements should focus on identifying the most efficient tactics that generate click-through from target consumers. When possible, marketers should seek to align offline and online measurements to get a true picture of campaign results; Microsoft has developed a white paper on this topic.
Measuring the results of landing pages focuses on consumer behavior once they arrive on the page: what they did, how long they stayed on the page, how they moved through the variety on content options provided to them. Did they come back later? Did they share links with others? Did they respond to an offer or download content? There are lots of things the marketer can measure, but the focus should be on only those actions that are relevant to the brand’s objectives. The most common tool used for measurement of web page activity is Google Analytics; Facebook applications (but not the brand’s Facebook wall) can also be monitored using this tool.
It is easy to become overwhelmed by the volume of data available. To tame the monster, identify the three most important questions that you need to answer about your campaign. Clearly stating those questions up front, before the campaign begins, allows you and your agency partners to build the tools that will allow you to answer those questions once the campaign is underway.