What is Marketing Measure and Accountability?

Every channel, any device

Marketing has evolved from a creative discipline into a highly analytical and measurable function that delivers quantifiable business results. As a marketer, you don’t have the luxury of deploying campaigns without thinking about how you’ll measure the results. With the advent of new marketing analytics tools and systems, there is now a culture of accountability in marketing that brings a laser-like focus on justifying marketing spend and headcount.

Campaign analytics help you assess the effectiveness of your marketing efforts by systematically analyzing campaign success metrics. Now, marketers can justify the decisions and adjustments they make during campaigns because they have numbers to back up their actions. Metrics indicate how targets and customers are responding to marketing communications and messaging. These numbers tell you know what is—and isn’t—working as well as what should be changed, tweaked, or eliminated. Analytics help you fine-tune and optimize your marketing approaches and campaigns. In the end, the numbers will reveal whether your investment in marketing is a worthwhile endeavor.

How are things measured?

Today’s marketers analyze and measure all aspects of their campaigns. By creating a culture of disciplined campaign measurement, marketers have armed themselves with more objective data on the tangible success and impact of their marketing programs.

From search marketing and events to email campaigns and direct mail, the tactics used by marketers to drive lead generation will vary depending on each organization’s business strategy and goals. Depending on their channel mix, marketers may use any of a wide array of tools to analyze their campaigns and measure ROI. By developing a system for campaign measurement, you can systematically review the discreet metrics associated with each campaign and adjust or discontinue campaigns as needed.

Marketers approach campaign analysis differently depending on their media mix and business goals. In online marketing, cost per lead (CPL) is a governing cost basis for analyzing marketing ROI. Online marketers may use data from a CRM or sales force automation (SFA) system, in conjunction with a marketing automation platform, to analyze campaign effectiveness based on metrics such as email opens, click-through rates (CTR), form conversions, and revenue. Marketers measure each discreet metric to understand which campaigns deserve additional budget—and which don’t. In the case of trade shows or events, marketers may try to discern a cost per lead by analyzing the total event cost versus the number of leads generated.

Search marketing requires a different measurement process. Because online and search impressions are counted in clicks rather than eyeballs, you can use online marketing analytics tools to calculate the actual number of clicks or leads generated by a specific campaign. This results in a definitive marketing ROI and an objective measure of campaign success.

What campaign analytics should you pay attention to?

By using digital marketing methods, you have a more comprehensive and insightful way to measure and analyze your efforts. You can track every action prospects and customers take and determine their level of interest. Marketing teams rely on this real-time data to see which approaches are producing the best results.

Although the specific analytics you ultimately put to work will vary depending on your industry and marketing strategy, the following are core metrics that most organizations assess to determine the impact of their marketing:

  • Pipeline growth: You need to know how effective you are at generating leads and moving them down the sales funnel.
  • Conversion rates: How many people become leads? How many leads become customers? You need to keep an eye on this metric to fine-tune your campaigns.

When it comes to email marketing, many organizations measure:

  • Email opens: The number of recipients of an email campaign that actually opened the email.
  • Click-through rate (CTR): The percentage of those who opened the email and actually clicked a link or button within the email to take advantage of the offer.
  • Form conversion rate: The percentage of those who clicked through and actually completed a form.
  • Bounce rate: The number of emails that could not be delivered and therefore couldn’t be opened. A hard bounce means that the email address you sent to was invalid. A soft bounce happens when the email address is valid, but the inbox was full and couldn’t accept more.
  • Unsubscribe rate: The number of people asking to be taken off your email list.

The following metrics are useful when optimizing your websites and keeping track of traffic:

  • Unique visitors: The number of people who visit your site in a given time period.
  • Returning visitors: The number of people who return to your site within a given time period.
  • Page views: The number of pages that your visitors click on within a given time period.
  • Search engine traffic: The amount of traffic that’s driven to your site by search engines.
  • Bounce rate: The percentage of people who leave a webpage without clicking on another page or taking another action.
  • Inbound links: Also called backlinks, this is a link from another website to your website. Having many links to your website improves your search results.

For social media posts, you want to know how much interest and engagement you are driving. These metrics help provide a way to measure your success:

  • Reposts: The number of times your posts are shared.
  • Comments: The number of comments a given post generates.
  • Followers: The number of users who subscribe to receive your updates.

In your assessments, consider your metrics for mobile compared to your website. If your metrics are showing growth and conversions for one but not the other, you might want to look into how you have optimized your marketing for either channel.

Analytics and testing

Metrics and numbers can help when you are testing your websites, emails, apps, newsletters, ads, text messages, mobile apps, and any other marketing materials. The results will give you insight into what is resonating and connecting with your audience.

There are two basic types of testing: A/B and multivariate testing.

A/B testing ranks a control version A against a different version B to measure which one is most successful—based on a metric you have decided to measure. Of course, you do not have to stop at just an A and a B version. You can have C, D, and E versions. You can have as many versions as you like, though it might help to narrow your focus down to a smaller number. How many versions you use depends on your needs and resources.

Multivariate testing enables you to simultaneously test more than one element of an email, web page, or other digital marketing component. For example, you can measure which call to action and which headline gets the most clicks. The goal of multivariate testing is to understand which combination of elements works best.

Here are the most common elements that marketers test with this method:

  • Call to action (or the location of the call to action)
  • Design, copy, and offer
  • Headline, subject line, and images
  • Social media buttons (or other buttons)
  • Logos and straplines
  • Day and time that the email or text was sent

Testing relies on analytics. The numbers reveal what approaches are working. But it is up to you to develop insights into customer and prospect behavior based on the results and to take appropriate action by adjusting your marketing.

Accountability and effectiveness

Data is the lifeblood of marketing. The more information you have on your prospects, the better you can personalize your marketing and make it more relevant to them. Numbers show marketing effectiveness. Analytics will reveal the success of your efforts and justify the steps you have taken. As a marketer, you will always keep an eye on the numbers; they will act as a guide to help your marketing campaigns deliver more revenue.