I can see for miles (part two) : tools for marketing measurement
In part one of our recent blog post on measuring marketing effectiveness, we looked at some useful metrics and how taking a strategic approach to analysis can improve and shape your marketing strategy.
In this second part we look at some of the tools for marketing measurement and how the suite of digital platforms now available supports analysis, helping you make smarter decisions about your marketing.
We strongly believe that ‘digital marketing’ is no different to any other marketing. The distinction between on and offline no longer makes sense in our multi-device, permanently ‘on’ digital world.
However, one area where it does makes perfect sense to focus on the power of digital is in terms of tools – and how these help us monitor and measure the effectiveness of marketing. Digital has permeated every aspect of the marketing mix and provides brilliant tools to help small businesses measure what they’re doing.
Once upon a time if a business placed an advertisement in the local paper there would be no means of tracking the response (bar asking the unscientific question of customers of ‘where did you hear about us?’”).
Today, Google Analytics allows us to set up customised, trackable urls which, together with crafted landing pages, makes it possible to track the response to certain campaigns and activities – whether on or offline. Going a step further, powerful call-tracking software allows us to set up dynamic telephone numbers for placement across different channels, showing exactly what ads or call-to-actions make the phone ring (or not!). Tools such as these make measuring the effectiveness of that all-expensive print advertising campaign entirely possible.
Powerful insight for free
In a previous blog post we looked at social media tools for small businesses and highlighted a range of tools that incorporate powerful analytics. Free tools such at Hootsuite can help you uncover what social media activity is working hardest for you. For example, do you get better results from Twitter than from LinkedIn? Of course all of the individual social media platforms have their own analytics built in too, so there really is no excuse not to keep an eye on even some of the most basic KPIs when it comes to social.
Let data drive improvements
Arguably the single biggest reason that a business should put in place measures of marketing effectiveness is that the insight can be used to continuously improve activity. This puts an end to wasted investment on campaigns or channels that simply don’t work, but it also drives better results from a particular channel as refinements can be made based on real insight. For example, with email marketing even the most basic software packages (including free tools like Mailchimp) include analytics features, allowing businesses to track the performance of data and campaigns at a detailed level and using these lessons to inform future activity.
The key takeaway for any business when it comes to measurement and analysis, is the need to evaluate things regularly. Agreeing what metrics matter most to your business and your chosen marketing strategy is the first step. Agreeing some sensible (and flexible) targets can also be useful. From there, measuring effectiveness at key points throughout the year will help you refine and adjust your marketing activity according to the results you have seen. Once marketing measurement becomes business as usual, your business will enter the planning phase for any new strategy or activity with information that will give you the greatest chance of success.
If you would like to discuss how you can better measure the impact of your current marketing programme, or if you have a sneaking suspicion that your business is wasting marketing resource but don’t know where to start in terms of fixing it, get in touch. We can help!