Measuring the success of your digital marketing campaigns is a relatively straight forward process, however it’s one that’s becoming increasingly convoluted with metrics. The confusion with how to measure success comes from trying to pair the wrong metrics with the wrong stages of a customers journey. Now the terminology ‘customer journey’ can be very much taken literally and overused in marketing, but in essence it’s a decent indicator to be using when trying to measure your success at different levels.
This is where an audience have just been made aware of your brand, having never heard of your previously. For example they may have seen your brand mention on a website they frequently visit or they may have been exposed to one of your social advertisements. The common mistake made here is expecting this audience to convert into a customer straight away and therefore measure your activity at this stage by direct conversions.
This audience have only just become aware of your brand at a top level. Their initial reactions maybe something like ‘Oh they do cool trainers, mine are OK for now though’. A very small % may react like ‘Oh they do cool trainers, mine are ruined and I need some new ones so i’ll have a proper look’ – this is an example of an audience segment that are likely to go straight into decision making and compare you to other brands they have been looking into. The vast majority of people exposed to your brand will just be at a content browsing stage and you shouldn’t be measuring this on direct conversions.
What you can do however, is track whether any of this activity has eventually led to a conversion. You can do this by tracking assisted conversions in Google Analytics, by using UTM codes you can see which activity has driven assisted conversions i.e. a user has landed on your site from this activity and then come back at a later date to convert.
Assisted conversions are a much more realistic way of tracking the impact that awareness phase activities have on your bottom line. If we ran a campaign that drove 20,000 hits the clients website from paid social media, we wouldn’t report on its effectiveness until after 60 days in order to get a clearer picture of assisted conversions.
Channels for awareness = Anywhere your audience is online – targeted social, digital PR, influencer marketing
Measurement metrics = Reach, engagement, assisted conversions
I see this stage as the ‘Questions that need answering’ stage. Basically, every question the potential customer has that needs answering before they come to a buying decision takes place in this phase. Questions might include, do they sell what I need? Are they trustworthy? How does the process work? What are their credentials? How do they compare with their competitors?
A certain amount of this stage will take place on your website itself and a proportion will take place off your site on third parties such as review and comparison sites (Maybe). Whether you have an established website or not it’s a good idea to put yourself in your customers shoes when it comes to your content strategy. List out everything a potential customers would need to know before they would purchase something off you. Cover as much of this off as you can on your website, then think about how you might be perceived on third party websites and whether this will impact customer decisions.
If you have a particularly long buying cycle i.e buying your product is big decision for a customer to make which makes this phase longer, then you should consider retargeting them. Even if your product or service is a fairly impulsive buy, retargeting through Facebook or Google can help ensure your brand is front of mind when they do eventually come to a buying decision. People are busy after all and may well forget the name of the company they researched a month ago. You can do this by dropping tracking pixels onto your website or the pages of your site that you are driving traffic to from your marketing campaigns.
Channels Website, comparison sites, review sites, social retargeting
Metrics – Traffic, on site stats, repeat visits, engagement with retargeting, Lead forensics data, outbound responses, positive reviews, assisted conversions
This is where the potential customer has made the decision to buy a product. The only thing standing in there way here is probably your site architecture and e-commerce setup (If you have one)
This is the stage where you should really be looking into how well your pages convert and your drop off rates at checkouts etc. Areas that may impact this process are things such as clunky checkout process, poorly laid out product pages or baskets, limited payment/delivery options.
Metrics – Direct Conversions/Assisted conversions, drop offs at carts, bounce rate at product pages, conversion rates
Channels – Product pages, checkout carts, landing pages designed to convert