‘If the statistics are boring, then you’ve got the wrong numbers.’ Edward Tufte
Many people in the marketing industry describe data as ‘the new oil’, a commodity that will keep the wheels of big business turning in a new, online world. In many ways they’re right. Big Data reveals more about customer habits and behaviours than ever before, equipping marketers with unprecedented amounts of information to tailor campaigns and speak to people on their terms. But as we try and swim in the Big Data tsunami, are we tracking and analysing the right kind of information? Last week we talked about the tools you can use to measure your data. This week we’ll explore the kinds of data you should be measuring in the first place.
Align Your Metrics To Your Campaign Goals
Knowing which metrics to measure depends on the goals of your campaign. If your objective is to increase brand awareness and reach, Facebook likes and Twitter retweets can be insightful. But if the objective is to generate revenue or increase subscriptions, it’s no good knowing how many times your post was shared on Facebook. It’s important that your campaigns support the broader goals of the business. The metrics you use are the quantitative roadmap you need to work out if you are achieving them.
Total Visits and Web Traffic
As we’ve discussed before,your website needs to be your star marketer. To find out if it’s drawing customers or collecting e-dust, you can also measure total visits to any location relevant to your marketing strategy, such as a landing page for a pay-per-click campaign, says Forbes SEO expert Jayson DeMers. “Measuring your total number of visits will give you a ‘big picture’ idea of how well your campaign is driving traffic,” he says. “If you notice your numbers drop from one month to the next, you’ll know to investigate one of your marketing channels to figure out why.” “In a healthy, steady campaign, you should expect your total number of visits to grow steadily.”
Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC)
When deciding what metric to measure, it’s easy to get lost in a digital puzzle of open rates and click-throughs, but it’s important to keep your eye on the prize: how many customers are you attracting with your campaign? Knowing how many leads are converting to customers, and more importantly, what it costs to acquire those customers, makes sure marketers are getting bang for their buck. To determine your CAC for a marketing campaign divide your total Sales and Marketing cost by the the number of new customers acquired during that campaign. In an interview with Docurated, Joseph Hirschhorn Howard, Senior Marketing Manager at Masslight, said CAC was his most important metric. “This simple statistic will help you evaluate the overall rate of growth of your business. If the cost to find, convince, and onboard new customers is too high, your business won’t be viable in the long-term.”
In simple terms, ‘Bounce Rate’ is the metric that shows how many people visit your website, blog or landing page, then leave without clicking on a page link, sharing or taking any other meaningful action. Generally you want your website’s bounce rate to be as low as possible. High bounce rates could indicate that there is a problem with your website’s design, layout or copy, says HubSpot’s Ginny Soskey. “When you're investigating bounce rates, make sure you're also looking at the page itself to see if there are additional metrics that'll give you a fuller picture,” she advises. “Take a look at time on site and the device people are using – you may uncover patterns with these additional metrics that could inform how you fix the bounce rate problem (if you need to fix it at all).” “If you have a high bounce rate only on mobile devices, for example, you probably have a poor mobile design – so you should look into getting a website redesign that's responsive.”
Conversion Rates. Conversion Rates. Conversion Rates. Nope it’s not a typo. I wrote it three times because that’s how important conversion rates are to understanding your marketing data. This is the key metric that compares your marketing efforts with the key objectives of your campaign. The resulting data proves your Return on Investment (ROI), which we already know is essential to the C-Suite and CFOs when determining your company’s budget. “Ultimately, the goal of content marketing is to compel sales conversions and drive revenue. So it’s important to correctly attribute the role of our content in the sales process,” says LinkedIn’s Megan Golden. “Proper tracking of lead capture to conversion can help you prove ROI and determine which types of content are most effective." If you want to secure a bigger slice of the budget pie at your company, start tracking your conversion rates.