Digital Marketing and Metrics: Numbers You Need to Know

January 17, 2017 Doug Milnor

Digital marketingThere is no shortage when it comes to digital marketing metrics you can analyze. After all, one of the distinguishing characteristics of digital marketing is that performance can be measured in almost every aspect of your campaigns.

While that is a good thing, sometimes it can also be somewhat overwhelming. On which metrics should you be focusing? In other words, what key performance indicators (KPIs) should you set and measure consistently?

Understanding KPIs

Simply put, KPIs are a set of quantifiable measures that a company uses to gauge its performance over time. These metrics are used to determine a company's progress in achieving its strategic and operational goals.

In the realm of digital marketing, KPIs are designed to help you evaluate the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns over time. Commenting on the use of digital marketing metrics, Hubspot observes: "Using marketing analytics allows marketers to identify how each of their marketing initiatives (e.g., social media vs. blogging vs. email marketing, etc.) stack up against one another, determine the true ROI of their activities, and understand how well they're achieving their business goals."

The benefit of analyzing such metrics is clear. When you use metrics to identify where strengths and weaknesses lie in your marketing campaigns, you can make adjustments as needed to improve current campaign performance and inform future marketing strategy.

Marketing Metrics Beyond Website Analytics

It is, of course, important to track website analytics. But tracking that alone will not really give you a full picture of your buyer journey or the performance of your content across multiple platforms. Since digital marketing involves more than just your website, your analysis of performance must also involve more than website analytics.

Metrics that Matter

That being said, what metrics matter most to digital marketers? That depends largely on the objectives you are trying to reach. Your KPIs should be pre-determined based on the goals of your marketing campaigns.

Here, though, are some basic metrics that matter in almost all marketing campaigns:

Total visits: One of the primary goals of any marketing campaign is to increase traffic to your content. This includes both website traffic and traffic to other content locations you own, such as landing pages or social media content. Analyzing total visits to all your content locations gives you a big-picture look at how well your campaign is driving traffic.

Channel-specific traffic: This is an important metric because it provides you with intel about where your traffic originates. Unless you have an unlimited marketing budget, you need this information to determine where your marketing dollars should be allocated for most impact.

Total conversions: Traffic is great, but conversions are better. For instance, which would you rather have: 1,000 website visitors who land on your pages and then leave without taking action, or 100 visitors who convert? The answer is clear. Lead generation is important, but generating high quality leads trumps generating high volume leads every time.

Cost per Lead: This metric is essential to figuring the ROI for your marketing efforts. It helps you determine where and how to allocate your marketing budget and informs future campaign strategy as well.

Cost per Account / Customer:  Being able to track all the way through to a final sale is important to understanding how various channels and tactics are performing for you.  Usually this requires some form of CRM to track movement across the entire pipeline.

Customer retention rate: Keeping customers is cheaper than acquiring them in the first place. Keeping an eye on your customer retention rate will reveal much about how "sticky" your product or service is, and how valuable your customers are as compared with the cost of acquiring them.

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The Takeaway

These are just a few of the digital marketing metrics that provide insight into the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns overall. There are many other metrics that also provide valuable information. Would you like some help in determining what KPIs you should be focusing on, or in analyzing the results of your current campaigns? Request an assessment today to begin a conversation about which marketing metrics you should be capturing and what you can do with the results.

 

 

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