How do you keep score of your marketing activities?
I thought I’d share some of the strategic framework and questions I ask and to suggest an approach that might be helpful to others. The questions below are specifically focused on global website, social media and outbound marketing campaigns through email marketing.
What is your overarching objective?
This question is about the big frame of reference that shapes why you are doing this type of work. If you can pick only one thing, are you looking to educate an audience, raise awareness of your offering, generate leads, convert visitors, etc. What is your big picture goal that you can filter all of your work through? This is a great place to start and make sure everyone is aligned.
How will you measure growth and engagement?
Key performance Indicators (KPI’s) help guide that you are achieving the results you set out to gain. They are simple numerical expressions of a critical indicator. Our traffic is up 7%, our visitors are staying 22% longer or we have doubled new visitors to the site.
If you want to expand your influence by reaching more people in your target audience, you’ll want to measure the number of visitors who might come to learn more about who you are and what you do. I like to track growth rate of visitors X the amount of time spent on our site. It’s an approximation of their engagement with us and the opportunity for us to educate the visitor. This can be tracked through Google Analytics and is a nice clean statistic we can view monthly.
Are we reaching new visitors?
I also want to see if we are growing by reaching new visitors too since our goal is to expand our reach deeper and more broadly into our market. Can we track first time visitors and see how that is trending? And, are these new visitors staying on the site and going to important educational places we have designed? So we need a clear way to track this trend which might be rate of growth of new visitors and we can compare the time on site versus returning visitors.
What are visitors interested in and what isn’t working?
We spend a lot of time developing content and want to make sure we are providing content that is useful and seen by most visitors. If we have pages without traffic, maybe they aren’t well designed, the content isn’t interesting or perhaps we have a navigation issue.
Sign Up Means Deeper Engagement
Visitors who come to our site and sign up to receive our blog or some of our newsletters are raising their hands saying they are very interested in what we have to share. Number of sign ups is a key metric but needs to be carefully considered because you may have many readers who just don’t want to sign up for blogs through email distribution. I see that on my personal blog (that you are reading right now) and I recognize that many people read my posts elsewhere – and that’s okay. Still, you do want to see some sign of growth or trend that shows you are providing content of value.
Where are the visitors coming from?
Both social media and outbound email marketing campaigns will drive traffic to your site as you promote blog posts, video, whiteboard animation and other interesting content. You can add to these metrics a ‘source of traffic’. If most of your blog subscribers are coming from reading posts on your Facebook page and end up on your site, then perhaps more energy and effort is needed to take advantage of this approach. If certain email campaigns are driving new users to the site, this too can help shed a light on how you might consider growing this communications mindful that you don’t want to wear out your permission to communicate.
Turning the activity into a simple scorecard is the best way to monitor and share with your team and interested colleagues who want to understand why you are doing. When your CFO asks, how you know this social media stuff is worth the time, you’ll have some data to support your actions. Of course the data is never perfect and marketing tends to get measured in ways that other teams get a pass. (When was the last time you had a CFO ask to see an ROI on sales calls?)
The scorecard should be for the marketing team to keep adjusting the site, fine tuning your message and help determine where to invest in content creation for your site. Digital is dynamic and you need to keep improving and evolving too. And if you are achieving your goals, there is nothing wrong with a little celebration.
You wouldn’t play a game like baseball or tennis without keeping score. Marketing demands that same level of rigor so you know if you are making progress. But keep it simple and essential.
Don’t hide behind data, let it shine a light on trends and don’t be afraid to share the score.
Cartoon courtesy of Tom Fishburne
Need help figuring out how to keep score. Connect with me on Clarity and I’ll be happy to work with you. It is easy to schedule a brief call at your convenience.