It’s easy for a business to become overwhelmed with the sheer amount of marketing data that it has collected. But marketing data isn’t just “data”, it is critical to improving and directing a marketing strategy. Just as logistics and shipping analysis is necessary for fine-tuning business operations, marketing data is necessary for identifying potential opportunities and points of failure. But because every business is different, the metrics that are important to a particular strategy may also differ. Companies need to be knowledgeable about different types of metric if they are to isolate the ones that are relevant to them.
- Total visits to the website
In terms of audience metrics, there are two important ways to count visits — total traffic and per user. Total traffic encompasses the number of individuals visiting your website. Services such as Google Analytics can even show you real-time dashboard results regarding how many users are active right now. Total traffic should always be trending upwards, but it isn’t necessarily the most important metric. Often, the per user visits may be more important. Analytics services can also track how many times an individually recognised user has visited your site. This shows how much of your audience you are retaining. Customers average six to eight connections with a brand before conversion.
- New sessions
When a user visits a website, all of their activity is considered to be a “session.” If a user logs off for thirty minutes or more, they are likely to start another session. Sessions are a reliable way to track active user activity, but they need to be combined with other metrics — such as how long the user stays on the site, how many pages they visit, and whether they come back. For growth campaigns, new sessions can be used to track the performance of outreach initiatives. More new sessions mean an expanding audience, while a decrease can indicate a plateau in market saturation or a loss of interest.
- Sources of traffic
Where is your audience coming from? Search engines, advertising campaigns, and direct links will all be recorded under sources of traffic. If your website is being primarily accessed through search engines, then your SEO campaign is healthy and working. If your website is being primarily accessed through social media accounts, then your social media campaigns are working. Your “sources of traffic” analysis tells you which components of your marketing strategy are most effective — and which components need more work.
- Bounce rate
Sometimes users may reach a website and then immediately leave it. This can happen for a variety of reasons — the page was slow to load, the content was something they did not expect, or they simply became distracted. Regardless, a high bounce rate generally indicates that something has gone wrong.
Campaign performance metrics
- Conversion rate
Conversion is commonly used to refer to a user making a purchase; converting from a user to a customer. But that isn’t the only type of conversion. Conversion rates can also be used to track newsletter sign ups, brochure downloads, or free trials — it all depends on the strategy. Many campaigns focus primarily on increasing the conversion rate, which means paring down to users that are most likely to convert, and attempting to secure more of these users.
Click through ratings are used to track when customers interact with links, whether through blog links, email marketing, or paid ads. If customers aren’t clicking through, they aren’t converting. A low CTR generally indicates the need for a clearer or more compelling call to action.
- Customer acquisition cost
Customer acquisition cost, in its simplest form, is the amount that you spend on marketing divided by the number of customers gained. By tracking customer acquisition costs, you can optimise your strategies to make the most out of your advertising dollar. If you have multiple campaigns working at once, it may be difficult to isolate the cost of each individual strategy. In these situations, split-testing and granular tracking of each separate campaign may be necessary.
- Social media and content engagement
Likes, shares, follows, and comments all show positive levels of engagement. As with high levels of traffic and recurring sessions, social media engagement improved the odds that users will convert, in addition to extending brand identity and general brand awareness.
Long-term marketing metrics
- Customer lifetime value
Customer lifetime value is calculated by averaging the amount that a customer will spend with a business throughout their entire relationship. For each customer, there is both the cost of acquisition and the cost of retention. Lowering these costs and increasing customer spending will increase revenue. Low customer lifetime value may indicate that a company is not effectively retaining customers.
- Net Promoter Score
Net promoter scores, measured on a scale from -100 to 100, indicate the willingness of current customers to refer others to a business. Essentially, it is a metric that reflects word-of-mouth reputation. Net promoter scores are solid indicators of customer loyalty. Low net promoter scores may indicate that a business needs to improve its products or its customer service.
Depending on your individual marketing strategy, you may use only a few of these metrics — or you may use nearly all of them. Your campaign may be focused on building awareness, improving revenue, or both. Regardless, a solid understanding of the metrics available is the first step towards creating a well-rounded and well-optimised strategy. By consistently tracking the right metrics, your organisation will be able to compare different initiatives and improve upon them. But that also requires experience and knowledge. At TEC, individuals are able to reach out to peers who are exploring and discovering the same marketing strategies and advancements. Contact TEC today to learn more about the benefits of an on-demand and exclusive peer-to-peer executive network.