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Measure your impact

Marketing is a crucial aspect of any business, but executing marketing campaigns isn’t enough. You need to measure their impact to understand what’s working and what’s not. Measuring the impact of your marketing activities allows you to make informed decisions, allocate resources effectively, and optimise your strategies for better results. On this page, we will guide you through the process of getting started with measuring the impact of your marketing efforts.

Define your objectives

Before you can measure the impact of your marketing activities, you need to establish clear objectives – what do you want to achieve with your marketing campaigns? Common objectives include increasing brand awareness, driving website traffic, generating leads, boosting sales, or improving customer retention. Ensure that your objectives are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) to facilitate easier measurement.

Set Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

Once you have defined your objectives, identify the KPIs that will help you track progress and success against those. KPIs are specific metrics that align with your objectives. For example, if your goal is to increase website traffic, your KPIs might include website visits, page views, and bounce rate. If you’re aiming to boost sales, KPIs could include conversion rate, average order value, and revenue generated.

Implement tracking tools

To measure the impact of your marketing activities accurately, you’ll need the right tools in place. Some essential tracking tools include:

  • Google Analytics: For monitoring website traffic and user behavior.
  • Email marketing analytics: For tracking email open rates, click-through rates, and conversion rates. These will usually be included within your email marketing software.
  • Social media analytics: Each platform provides insights into engagement, reach, and audience demographics.
  • Customer relationship management (CRM) software: To track leads, conversions, and customer interactions (we have more guidance on using CRM software).

Remember, these tools aren’t used in isolation. For example, understanding customer behaviour on Facebook links directly to those customers when they then visit your website. And a strong email campaign which generates lots of website visits will not be truly successful if the page you’re directing them to isn’t performing strongly.

Create UTM parameters

UTM parameters are tags that you can add to your URLs to track the source and medium of traffic. These tags enable you to determine which marketing channels are driving visitors to your website. Google’s URL Builder tool is a handy resource for creating UTM parameters for your campaigns.

Regularly monitor and analyse your data

Once you’ve launched your marketing campaigns and set up tracking mechanisms, regularly monitor and analyse the data. Look for trends, patterns, and areas where you’re meeting or falling short of your KPIs. Don’t forget to consider the timeframe you established for your objectives. Some metrics may require longer periods to show meaningful results.

Conduct A/B testing

A/B testing involves creating two or more variations of a marketing asset (for example, an email, website landing page, or social media ad copy or image) and comparing their performance. By running A/B tests, you can identify which elements of your marketing activities are most effective. This can help you refine your strategies and optimise for better results.

Calculate Return on Investment (ROI)

ROI is a critical metric for measuring the impact of your marketing activities. It allows you to assess the profitability of your campaigns by comparing the revenue generated against the costs incurred. To calculate ROI, use the following formula:

ROI (%) = [(Revenue – Marketing Cost) / Marketing Cost] x 100

A positive ROI indicates that your marketing efforts are generating more revenue than they cost.

Gather feedback

Don’t overlook the importance of gathering feedback from both customers and your marketing team. Customer surveys, focus groups, and team meetings can provide valuable insights into the effectiveness of your marketing activities. Feedback can help you make necessary adjustments and improvements.

Use what you’ve learned!

Finally, use the insights and data you’ve gathered to make informed decisions about your marketing activities. Adjust your strategies based on what’s working and what’s not. Experiment with new approaches and continuously refine your campaigns to maximise their impact.

What about print?

Measuring the impact of print advertising can be more challenging than measuring digital marketing efforts as you don’t have access to the depth of data about user behaviour on each platform, but it’s still essential to evaluate the effectiveness of your print campaigns. Here are some methods and strategies to help:

  • Unique promo codes or coupons: Include unique promo codes or coupons in your print ads. By tracking how many customers redeem these codes or coupons, you can directly attribute sales or conversions to your print advertising efforts.
  • Custom landing pages or URLs: Create dedicated landing pages or website URLs specifically for your print ads. Use different URLs or variations for different print publications or campaigns. You can track website visits and conversions originating from these unique URLs using web analytics tools like Google Analytics.
  • Call tracking: Use call tracking software to monitor the number of phone calls generated by your print ads. Assign different phone numbers to different print campaigns or publications to determine which one is driving the most calls.
  • Surveys and feedback: Conduct customer surveys or gather feedback from customers to understand how they discovered your business or product. Include a question about whether they saw your print ad. This qualitative data can provide insights into the impact of your print advertising on brand awareness, and what demographic was seeing it.
  • Sales analysis: Analyse your sales data during and after a print ad campaign. Look for any spikes or changes in sales that coincide with the timing of your print ads. Keep in mind that other factors, such as seasonality or concurrent marketing efforts, may also influence sales.
  • Long-term tracking: Don’t just assess the immediate impact of your print advertising, as it can have a longer lifespan than digital – with adverts being seen for long after the initial run. As with sales analysis, look at your business performance over time to see if there are any lasting effects from your print campaigns.
  • Cost per Acquisition (CPA): Calculate the cost per acquisition for leads or customers generated through print advertising. Divide the total cost of the print campaign by the number of acquisitions to determine how cost-effective your print ads are at acquiring new customers compared to online activity.

Remember that measuring the impact of print advertising may not always provide as granular or real-time data as digital advertising, but a combination of these methods can give you a more comprehensive picture of how your print ads are performing and whether they are delivering a positive return on investment (ROI).

By defining objectives, setting KPIs, implementing tracking tools, and analysing data, you can gain valuable insights into the effectiveness of your campaigns. Remember that measuring the impact of marketing is an ongoing process, and small, continuous improvements are key to long-term success.

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