With all the available marketing channels we tend flood ourselves with too much data and statistics around our products, brands and campaigns.  Although it’s important to be tracking and analyzing as much data as you can you have to prioritize what key metrics align to your strategies in order to properly measure how effective you campaign is.

The past few years has seen an explosion of analytics for several reasons.  First and foremost the web has made it quick and easy to gather data for anyone from a single blogger to the largest companies and governments.  But even with an easy capture, all the data in the world is just that, data.

Strategic planning that defines your goals is the first step to defining your metrics.  “What are you trying to accomplish?” can be the simplest questions to ask.  By vetting and grouping the responses into definable and achievable objectives will define your project metrics as well as ongoing measuring.

For instances if you are trying to increase awareness of your product to get more customers your goal is too broad.  What kind of customers?  Everyone wants more revenue and wants every marketing dollar spent result in a profitable customer relationship.  You must further define what you want to accomplish with short and long-term expectations.

For instance, if your marketing campaign is going to employ email marketing the first objective is to get the recipient to open and read the message.  The second objective is for them to click on your link to a landing page.  And the third objective is for them to convert.

Now here is where it can get tricky.  You must define your conversion funnel; the necessary steps are to convert a prospect to a lead and a lead to a sale.  If you have an ecommerce site it can be identified online with the final result being a purchase.  But what are the steps to the purchase? How many visits result in an abandoned shopping cart?  Are you getting the clicks to the landing page? Are special offers being used or ignored?

So each of these steps has a metric from the number of emails that are actually received and opened to how many click through to the landing page.  Once on your site, how many visitors put items in their shopping cart?  If they purchased did they buy the item your promoted in the email or did they buy other items?  When purchasing did they use any special offer codes or coupons?

From a long term view, how are you going to market to the different types of customers with the next email campaign.  For those that did not open, are you going to adjust your subject line to increase open rates?  Visitors that clicked through but did not purchase may get a better incentive.  Those that abandoned their carts may be prompted to revisit and complete their purchase.  And finally those that did purchase can be offered different incentives based on what they bought.

Each of these steps should have a defined measure in the plan that aligns to the goals and objectives of the campaign.  Now instead of getting more customers and more revenue, there are several achievable goals of increasing delivery and open rates, increasing click through and cart abandonment thereby increasing sales and revenues.

By defining each measure and metric in the planning stage you have the ability to increase the likelihood of achieving your overall goal.  Each measure should be aligned to a specific action item or deliverable in the plan and vice versa.

Brian McDonald

Brian McDonald started Square Jaw Media to document strategies and techniques he had used over his experience working in marketing and communications since 1990. During this time Brian wrote about many of the exciting Raleigh social media events where great knowledge was being shared and tries to share some of the tips and tricks. . Read Brian's full bio.