How to Measure Marketing Campaign Success

By Emily Paulsen / July 8, 2020 / Advertising, Digital Marketing Blog Archives

There’s more to the “success” of a marketing campaign than what meets the eye.

But how do you determine if it was successful?  

Tracking, measurement, and analysis are important elements of a successful digital marketing campaign.

Whether you’re running a paid search campaign, creating content for SEO, or managing a full-funnel multi-channel strategy, it’s important to continually assess the campaign’s performance.

This practice will allow changes or pivoting in the campaign when necessary and are crucial to ensure a return on your marketing dollars.

Through research by our team at Elevation Ten Thousand, we found that some businesses focus on metrics that aren’t truly indicative of their success, which is like running toward a finish line for the wrong race.

Below are the digital marketing metrics we recommend focusing on when analyzing the performance of your digital marketing campaigns — ones that can help you move the needle and increase your bottom line.

Of course, these metrics could vary based on the business and its goals, but from a high level, many of these prove to be critical to digital (and, at times, even traditional) marketing success.

Primary Metrics: Measuring ROI

Conversions

Conversions, leads, sales — whatever the final goal you’re working towards with your marketing efforts — should be the most important metric you look at when analyzing your digital marketing campaigns.

At the end of the day, all efforts are aimed at this metric, and therefore it should be the primary one used to measure digital marketing campaign success.

In order to monitor conversions, it’s important to make sure the tracking is configured properly before launching any of your campaigns. This allows brands to accurately tie leads, sales, and more back to their marketing efforts.

If the tracking is set up incorrectly, the data won’t be tracked accurately.

Cost Per Conversion

Cost per conversion is where we can really tie in ROI to our marketing efforts and optimize campaigns to be as efficient as possible.

With ROI in mind, we always recommend monitoring cost per conversion closely.

For example, if you spent $500 on paid media and got 10 sales (conversions) at $50 per conversion, and the average sale generated by your campaigns was $100, then you can report a 100% return on your marketing investment.

On the other hand, if a particular campaign or platform needs to spend more money than a sale will generate in order to make that sale, then that campaign might not be the best investment of your marketing dollars.

Using cost per conversion data, we can funnel more of the budget into high-yield campaigns and pull budget from low-yield campaigns.

This effort ensures we’re making the most of your marketing dollars and generating the highest return for your business.

Secondary Metrics: Analyzing Changes in Performance

As campaigns are optimized for ROI metrics, there are a few other metrics you should look for increases in as well.

Monitoring these metrics will help to identify patterns in the data over time and assess how the optimizations are affecting the campaigns. Additionally, it will show how things like trends, seasons, and more can affect your performance.

Conversion Rate

In addition to tracking overall conversions and cost per conversion, conversion rates can provide insight into possible fluctuations across different time periods.  

For example, you might see extremely high conversion rates and high costs-per-click in one season, but low conversion rates and low costs-per-click in another season.

In this case, cost-per-conversion would remain about the same, while other metrics vary greatly.

Tracking increases and decreases in conversion rates can indicate that the changes made to your campaigns are improving. It could also indicate that a factor like seasonality is making it harder to convert website visitors.

This insight can be used to shift budget in seasons where conversion rates are highest or set better expectations in seasons when customers will be hard to convert.

For example, a ski resort might have a higher conversion rate during the winter months and a lower conversion rate when it’s warm. In situations like this, marketing campaigns will be most effective during seasons with high conversion rates.

Engagement Metrics: Time on Site & Pages Per Session

Tracking engagement metrics allows marketers to assess the quality of the web traffic coming in from our marketing campaigns.

Engaged web traffic — individuals who spend a lot of time on the site or who visit multiple pages — might not mean an immediate conversion, but it does mean that you’re bringing in users who are interested in your site and your content.

This interest is likely to urge the customer to return and convert down the road.

As we optimize our campaigns for conversion, the goal is to also see site engagement increase over time, as we bring in more qualified traffic to the site.

These visitors can also be put into a remarketing audience, prompting them to return to the site and convert when they are ready.

Diagnostic Metrics

If there are changes in overall conversions and cost per conversion, there are a few key metrics that can help you assess the situation and adjust the approach to get things back on track.

Conversion Rate

If the same amount of traffic was driven to the website, but had fewer overall conversions, the conversion rates will have dropped.

This could be due to seasonality, traffic quality, or issues with the website.

Cost-Per-Click (CPC)

Increased competition can often result in an increased cost-per-click. An increased cost-per-click means fewer potential customers can be driven to your website within your marketing budget, decreasing the overall number of sales and leads you are able to capture.

A low cost-per-click is a positive sign because it means your marketing budget is being stretched further.

Search Impression Share

If overall site traffic has decreased but CPC has remained the same, the campaign might have fewer impressions and therefore be open to fewer clicks (not to mention fewer conversions from those clicks).

Search impression share shows the percentage of times the campaign’s ads have shown when they were eligible.

Low search impression share can mean that the bids need to be higher, your ad copy needs improving, or the landing pages could benefit from relevant edits.

Additionally, a sharp decrease in search impression share can often be caused by increased competition (more advertisers bidding on the same ad spots).

So, keeping an eye on this metric will help assess where you stand in the overall advertising landscape.

Measuring Non-Conversion-Oriented Campaign Goals

There are a few scenarios where you might want to measure, report on, or even optimize for metrics that are not directly related to conversions.

In this case, you might want to optimize for:

Impressions/Cost-Per-Thousand Impressions (CPM)

For digital marketing campaigns that are focused on generating brand awareness (like display ads), optimizing for impressions will help get as many eyes on your message as possible.

It’s important to note that these impressions might not lead directly to sales. But for many brands, increasing awareness is a goal that can be achieved through digital marketing by getting your message out to as many people as possible.

Approach Secondary Metrics with Caution

Digital marketing metrics like Cost-Per-Click, Click-Through Rate, Search Impression Share, and more are great for troubleshooting decreases in campaigns.

These metrics can also help find the reasons behind performance shifts (good or bad) and analyzing how you can make your campaigns perform better.

In fact, many of the optimizations our digital team makes wouldn’t be possible without that information.

However, these metrics should never be assessed or prioritized over conversion volume and conversion rate.

At Elevation Ten Thousand, we report on CPC, CTR, and Engagement Metrics to help clients gain a full view of how their campaigns are performing — not because those metrics are ones we necessarily optimize against.

In fact, optimizing for things like high CTR or low CPC could severely limit your campaign’s performance. So, we always tell clients that as long as we’re converting well, something like a high CTR is just an added bonus.

For more ways to build a successful marketing campaign and tailored strategy to suit your business, contact our team today.

Your business deserves a customized plan to put it on the path for success. Let us help accomplish these goals.