Measuring what matters

December 16, 2021

Do your metrics match up with your performance results?

You’re getting plenty of likes online, but do people actually like your business? In digital advertising, measuring performance is a given – but not all measurement is created equal. Many marketers make the mistake of setting metrics that look nice but don’t translate to results. When ad budgets are limited and profits are a priority, this equates to a major waste of time and money.

If you want real results – and don’t want to waste those precious ad dollars – allocating your ad budget needs to be thoughtful and precise. That means eliminating the measurement gap and setting metrics that matter.

Insights that lead to action

Vanity metrics are measures that look great on a graph but don’t necessarily lead to new leads or sales. Likes on social media may indicate fleeting interest rather than new customers. A low cost-per-click doesn’t mean much if those clicks don’t end in sales. The campaign might look cost-effective in the big picture, but what did that spending give you?
To offer value, measurement needs to be ongoing, business-driven and actionable.

Here’s what that means:

Ongoing: metrics should be tracked throughout a campaign, not just at the end. If you can get results when your digital advertising is live, you can assess and change as you go. Money spent on ineffective campaign elements can be redirected before it’s wasted, maximising the impact of your budget.

Business-driven: metrics need to be tied to business benefits to be useful. Think the number of new leads, increased sales, sign-ups to your database and enquiries on your website, instead of likes, clicks or reach.

Actionable: measurement has no value if it doesn’t cause change. As we’ve seen, continuous tracking allows you to tweak campaigns and redirect content as you go, rather than simply using your results to inform your next campaign.

Digital journeys and last clicks

The digital journey is the path a person takes to become your customer. From first encountering your brand to seeing ads, signing up to your database, receiving emails, watching videos and finally purchasing your product or service. These journeys can be lengthy and complicated, so it’s important to understand the impact of every step.

Many businesses make the mistake of focusing on the last click, that is, the final step before a browser is converted into a paying customer. But that overly narrow focus risks giving outsize credit to one part of your digital marketing and ignoring other elements. In many cases, the advertising journey that leads to the final click is just as impactful as the click itself.

For example, customers may see a pop-up ad, then click through to your website and check out your products without buying. Later, they could watch a video demo on Instagram, then see a banner ad and click through again. Finally, the customer searches for your brand and clicks on an Adwords ad and then makes a purchase. Although that search ad was the final point of the journey, all the other touchpoints also had an impact.

Asking the tough questions

Limited ad budgets and complex user journeys mean that it’s no longer enough to simply set and forget your digital marketing. Wringing the most value out of your marketing spend involves using a range of channels and strategies, Adtech tracking against business-driven metrics throughout and using those insights to adjust as you go.

If you’re responsible for allocating the ad budget in your business, there’s a lot of pressure on you to get it right. In today’s tough, fragmented digital environment, it’s on you to ask your agency the hard questions around metrics, tracking and digital journeys, to ensure that they’re working to align your digital strategy with your business needs.

Want to know more? Book a chat with the Acquire team to talk about your digital marketing needs.