Marketing campaigns can have different goals, such as increasing brand awareness, boosting sales, or increasing event attendance. But all campaigns require a company’s resources, whether that be money from the marketing budget or the time and expertise of employees. When resources are at stake, leaders want to know that the way they spend them is worth it.
However, determining the effectiveness of a marketing campaign can become challenging if leaders don’t know what to measure. While setting your overall goal is a good start, goals should be specific enough to link to data you can collect and analyze. Whether that feedback is numbers or consumer perceptions, linking it to campaigns can help determine whether you are using your resources wisely. Here are some ways to measure marketing campaign success.
1. Start with historical statistics
When you launch a campaign, you want it to outperform the previous one. Sales executives want to improve on last year’s numbers and marketing leaders want to show they’re increasing return on ad spend. However, you need a benchmark to know what you want to improve and by how much.
That’s where past data or statistics come in. You could start with ecommerce analytics to reveal traffic volumes and conversion rates of online stores. Perhaps your website traffic from past pay-per-click ads is respectable. However, data from the past year shows that traffic is flat and you’d like it to increase. You can use traffic volume as your benchmark and see if your current pay-per-click ad campaign is moving the needle.
You can also measure changes in conversion rates. Are your online ads driving store conversions or sales? Maybe your data shows that pay-per-click ads aren’t a big driver of e-commerce sales, but you want to change that. You experiment with a different look and feel as you change the text on your call-to-action button. If online store sales increase due to visitors clicking on your new ads, these changes indicate a success of the campaign.
2. Consider more than numbers
Statistics are necessary to measure the effectiveness of marketing campaigns. That said, some goals are difficult to quantify and require qualitative data instead. For example, you can launch a rebranding campaign that aims to change consumer perceptions of your company and its offerings. Instead of measuring conversion or click-through rates, you want to track the changes in perception among your target audience.
For qualitative measurements, you can compare comments from customer surveys or use sentiment analysis with focus group results. Specific survey tools, such as the Net Promoter Score, can help quantify and track some qualitative data. A Net Promoter Score typically measures shifts in customer loyalty, but including sections for comments can also reveal overall sentiment. You can also compare your company’s score to industry averages or overall averages.
Increases in positive consumer confidence and customer loyalty after a rebranding campaign can indicate success. However, it is important to consider other changes during that time. For example, has previous research raised issues with more than consumer perception?
If your company has also resolved confusing billing or promotional practices, see if survey comments mention these changes. Also consider whether your rebranding campaign has highlighted these improvements. If so, you can give more weight to the influence of the campaign.
3. Use digital marketing attribution models
Marketing leaders increased their spending on digital advertising by 15% this year compared to 2021. The reasons behind this shift to online marketing include the ability to track the performance and influence of specific digital assets. When you spend money on radio or TV spots, it’s harder to attribute those ads to leads and sales. But online dashboards and tools can show what digital assets prospects and customers see and interact with.
With this data, you can use digital marketing attribution models to determine how assets are performing. Your social media posts and ads may be what most leads see initially. From there, they go to a landing page on your website. A percentage of visitors take further action by clicking through to your webshop. However, some of your blog posts also move leads through the sales funnel. You discover that a higher percentage of visitors convert from those posts.
Different digital marketing attribution models can tie the effectiveness of your campaign to your landing pages and blog posts versus your social media ads. That’s because these are the last assets people touch before converting. Other attribution models consider the influence of each digital asset. Using mixed models can help you determine that social media is the best channel to create awareness and attract leads.
However, let’s say your blog posts outperform your landing pages in conversions. You can get better returns by linking your social media ads to your blogs. Measuring differences in conversion rates from social media campaigns will confirm whether this is a more effective strategy.
4. Look at customer retention rates
Marketing campaigns aimed at existing customers are usually aimed at driving additional sales. Email and mobile app messages are typical examples of campaign tactics that leverage personalization and existing customer data. In most cases, email and mobile marketing use previous browsing and purchase information to make highly targeted offers.
It may be that a customer viewed certain products on your website last week. Although they didn’t buy those items, they spent a lot of time looking at them. Your next email or mobile app message may highlight a sale or special offer on those products.
If the customer goes through with a purchase, it shows that your targeted campaign efforts were on point. But if that person unsubscribes from your email list or deactivates their mobile app account, your messages will have the opposite effect. You know that either your strategy or your messages need to be rethought.
Measuring marketing success
Marketing can do more than drive sales, but sales numbers often determine its effectiveness. Linking the right data and results to different campaigns can demonstrate ROI and influence – or the lack thereof. Marketing leaders can do this by looking at historical benchmarks and other metrics. But because campaigns can have both immediate and long-term effects, leaders should also factor customer loyalty and shifts in sentiment into their final analysis.