Commentary

7 Digital Marketing Metrics That Matter Most

Measuring digital marketing efforts typically focuses on impressions, clicks, "likes" and conversions. Those metrics are  important, but consider other key measurements for a more robust, well-rounded picture of your marketing campaigns and to determine next steps in driving marketing results.

The digital marketing metrics that matter most include:

Time

You’re spending large amounts of time on your organization's digital marketing efforts, but when was the last time you actually calculated your team’s time allocations? Many marketing departments have never done this, yet it gets to the heart of your productivity. For example, is your team currently overcompensating on social media due to all the buzz, yet not allocating sufficient time to conversion optimization? Is your team allocating any time for longer-term, game-changing initiatives, or instead just working day-to-day?

Awareness

Have all of your priority audiences heard of you? Have you broken out your target audiences into multiple segments and measured your awareness among each? You may be well known among a certain group (e.g., married women) but completely invisible to another (e.g., single women).  These insights should guide the allocation of your awareness-generation efforts.

Mission

Jim Stengel, former CMO of Procter & Gamble, recently launched a book, Grow, where he explains that companies aligned with a higher purpose fuel greater growth and create more valuable companies.  At Patagonia, for example, every decision must pass an environmental impact filter.  What's your company's mission?  What do you believe in?  What do your key audiences feel passionate about?  How do you communicate your values, beliefs and passion? Are you tracking, measuring and reporting on your company’s commitment to your mission (such as gallons of oil saved, number of meals donated to the hungry, volunteer hours by staff) to demonstrate purpose. 

Intent

The intent of someone reading your blog post could be vastly different than someone downloading your latest whitepaper, watching your YouTube video, or emailing your sales team.  Are you truly satisfying intent? Perhaps you can offer a take-away for someone reading your blog, such as a downloadable whitepaper. Satisfy intent differently on your Facebook page by providing fans with exclusive behind-the-scenes access to your brand. Consider the intent behind each touchpoint and measure different, trackable deliverables accordingly.  

Sales and Behavior

Revenue numbers are important, but measuring the behavior underlying the revenue (and the most profitable sources of revenue) is critical. What steps do your best prospects take? Track each step in the process -- not just final conversions -- then measure your conversion rate, cost per conversion and profit for different funnels, which will ultimately help you increase both sales and profits.

Attribution

Are you accurately measuring the value of each marketing component in your customer’s purchase path? Many marketers only consider the last click in the path but, typically, users come into contact with multiple brand touchpoints prior to a conversion, so measure the entire process. Attribution management and analytics software can help.

Advocacy

Many companies strive to grow Facebook “Likes," but it's more important to fully understand who actually likes you. Certain companies have relatively few Facebook “Likes” but generate huge amounts of business through word-of-mouth. Measure your advocates, word-of-mouth recommendations and customer satisfaction scores, and then go out of your way to give extra value to your advocates. In addition, test and measure specific ways to increase these advocacy numbers.

 

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2 comments about "7 Digital Marketing Metrics That Matter Most".
  1. Karen Ticktin from brandthis , April 11, 2012 at 9:32 a.m.
    With 92% of consumers reporting that they trust the recommendation of a friend, facilitating and fostering genuine advocacy is clearly a silver bullet. That said, in the social media space, this is more of a slow burn. It is not a DM play but rather the building and nurturing of real and meaningful 2 way relationships between brands and consumers.
  2. Mikko Kotila from Statsit , April 14, 2012 at 1:54 a.m.
    Trusting a recommendation doesn't necessarily correlate with purchase behavior. Especially in the world where everyone has thousands of "friends". These types of studies with 92% trust rate completely ignore the the huge bias that comes with asking such a question. Of course I trust my friends more than I trust media or a corporate website telling me why I should by their products. When it comes to "genuine" advocacy, some research suggests that consumers are not able to see the difference between genuine and marketing comm messages in online product reviews. Nor is the consideration of the difference a significant part of the cognitive load involved in reading a review.