Making Marketing Metrics Matter

business charts

Analytics has gone in and out of fashion focus over the past two decades. There is a point in time that it takes all the oxygen out of any other marketing conversation, and then months that it isn’t even discussed. Sure, there are only so many things that marketers can turn attention to all at once. When I hear a vague reference to doing something with NFTs, I know that a gentle reminder of how we should be using certain marketing metrics in order to measure our success is in order. Pro tip: you won’t be punished for googling what each acronym really means.

The real question: which metrics are the most important?

The answer is not always very clear, especially when so many companies are using “conversions” to mean vastly different things. What constitutes a conversion? The last click before the sale, or the first click before the sales meeting? Is it an email sign up? For some companies, it’s even more vague than this. And don’t get me started on how the facebook/instagram sh*tverse has been working over brand marketers with word salad and fuzzy math to define and measure engagement, reach and ROI for years.

As marketers and advertisers, there are several important metrics that we should be tracking. But, even with all the data we can collect and use, sometimes it’s hard to interpret what’s actually happening in our market and why. Enter the era of truly “big” data, where sheer size of the measurement dump cloaks the valuable insights. So let’s start with the basics–which is what and why?

To determine which marketing metrics are important to your company, you will need to first consider what your company’s goals are. What are you trying to achieve with your marketing campaigns? Once you know this, you can begin to look at which metrics will help you measure success. Bonus tip: You would be surprised at how hard it is to actually write those goals down sometimes. But do it.

Some common metrics that companies track include website traffic, conversion rates, email signups, and social media engagement. However, it’s important to remember that not all of these metrics will be equally important for every company. For example, a company that is trying to increase brand awareness may place more importance on metrics like website traffic and social media engagement than on conversion rates.

It’s also important to keep in mind that different industries will have different standards for what constitutes a “good” metric. For example, in some industries a high conversion rate may be considered good while in others a low conversion rate may be the norm. The most important thing is to make sure you are comparing apples to apples when looking at your marketing data.

Website traffic is one of the most commonly tracked marketing metrics, and for good reason. It can give you a good idea of how many people are seeing your website and interacting with your brand. However, it’s important to remember that not all website traffic is created equal. You should also look at things like conversion rates and time on site to get a better idea of how engaged your visitors are.

Looking at conversion rates can tell you how effective your marketing campaigns are at driving sales or leads. Keep in mind that conversion rates can vary depending on the industry you’re in and the type of product or service you’re selling. For example, in some cases a low conversion rate may be considered normal while in others a high conversion rate may be expected. One of the more frustrating things that happens is when a comparative metric from a direct-to-consumer, Instagram-ready audience is used to measure for an enterprise solution.

And I could write another 100,000 words on everything that can be measured and why. But I want to leave you with the exercise of stating your goals, and how you define your current metrics. Take notes on things you might have heard to measure but weren’t sure how you could use it. Look them up. Ask to decode the acronym. And then make sure it really matters to the goals you are chasing. Do this enough and consistently, and you will be on your way to improved performance.

-James Rice, Digital Experience