Marketing Strategy

Where Do I Start to Improve My Marketing Campaign?

by Bree Schmidt . April 02, 2020
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Your company needs to boost sales so you're thinking of another marketing campaign. You know you need to do a marketing campaign to drive traffic to your website, get people through your doors, and make appointments with your salespeople. Where do you begin to improve your marketing campaign to make it effective?

What is a Marketing Campaign?

According to Hubspot, "marketing campaigns are organized, strategized efforts to promote a specific company goal, such as raising awareness of a new product or capturing customer feedback. They typically aim to reach consumers in a variety of ways and involve a combination of media, including but not limited to email, print advertising, television or radio advertising, pay-per-click, and social media."

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The Two Types of Marketing Campaigns

Not all marketing campaigns are the same. While your marketing campaign should be unique according to your goals, objectives, and audiences, all marketing campaigns fall into one of two categories: Inbound and Outbound.

Inbound Marketing

Inbound marketing, more commonly called digital marketing. Inbound marketing produces a continuum of relevant, personalized content that targets leads where they are currently in a company's marketing funnel. The content, the forms of content, and the mediums used to share the content will be different for leads in each stage of the marketing funnel and will have the goal of moving each lead onto the next stage of the marketing funnel.

A marketing funnel is a visual representation of your buyer's journey from the discovery phase at the top of your funnel to the close phase at the bottom of your funnel. The common stages of an inbound marketing funnel are:

  • Attract (at the beginning/top)
  • Convert (in the middle)
  • Close (at the end/bottom)
  • Delight (follow-up after a customer makes a purchase)

At each stage, a lead will need different information and have a varying depth of relationship with a brand. As a lead progresses through the funnel, a deeper relationship and trust between the lead and company will develop thanks to the variety of targeted marketing strategies and content.

Outbound Marketing

Outbound marketing is the more traditional form of marketing that has been popular in the past. Unlike inbound marketing, where leads initiate the interactions with a brand, outbound marketing has the interaction started by the company. Outbound marketing is also called "disrupted marketing" and is the kind of marketing that is disliked by customers. Examples of outbound marketing include:

  • TV commercials
  • Radio ads
  • Newspaper ads
  • Magazine ads
  • Catalogs
  • Tradeshows
  • Cold sales calls
  • Email spam

Why Do You Need to Measure Your Marketing Efforts?

A marketing campaign is useless if it isn't measured. Without measuring the progress and outcome of your marketing campaign, you won't be able to see what parts of the campaign are performing well and trouble areas that need adjustment and improvement. Coming up with SMART goals and objectives are the first things to nail down before planning out your marketing campaign. As you consistently monitor and measure the progress of your marketing campaign, make sure your campaign is in alignment with your marketing and sales goals and objectives.

Some things worth measuring include the number of sales, pre-orders, upsells, social mentions, press mentions, blog shares, email interactions, email opens, entertainment bookings, and ticket sales. Of course, the right elements to measure will depend on one's industry, marketing goals and objectives, and one's business model.

Measuring your marketing campaign will not only guarantee that it stays in alignment with your business goals, objectives and key performance indicators, but it will also better the success of the campaign by making sure it reaches the right audience with the right message.

9 Metrics to Measure the Success of Your Marketing Efforts

Now that you know your marketing goals and objectives, how do you measure how well your marketing campaign will meet or surpass your desired outcomes? Here are nine metrics you should measure that will indicate the success of your marketing campaign efforts:

Metric #1: Conversion Rate

Your marketing collateral should spur people to take the desired action. The conversion rate calculates the percentage of people who went through and completed that desired action. It's important to note that the conversion rate will be different based on channel and the goal of the conversion. Many digital marketing analytics tools can calculate the conversion rate. Google Analytics is a great one for beginners.

Metric #2: Cost Per Lead/ Customer Acquisition Cost

Ideally, your cost per lead and customer acquisition cost will be low. If you're effectively marketing your services and products to the right audiences, the sales revenue from each lead should be more than the costs it took to get the lead to convert and make a purchase. To calculate cost per lead, divide the cost of a marketing campaign by your customer acquisition cost.

Metric #3: Page Views

For these metrics, you'll want to look at the number of unique visitors, new and returning website visitors, the average time on site, the pages viewed, and traffic sources. These metrics will give you an idea of who is going to your website, how they found your website, what pages they went to on your website, and the value of your website content. All these metrics can be measured using Google Analytics.

Metric #4: Bounce Rate

A high bounce rate is indicative of a confusing website and/or poor website content. You want people to go to your website and stay on it. If it is high, look at the website navigation as well as the content. Bounce rates are also important in email marketing so programs such as MailChimp will be able to calculate this metric. Google Analytics can measure the bounce rate for websites.

Metric #5: Call-to-Action Click-Through Rates

Calls-to-action (CTAs) should be sprinkled throughout your marketing content. CTAs should be noticeable buttons with working links that direct people to a contact or landing page. A click-through-rate (CTR) is a common marketing goal that measures the effectiveness of marketing content. CTRs are similar to conversion rates in that they capture the percentage of people who click on the call-to-action link and go to the corresponding contact page. Once again, Google Analytics can measure CTRs.

Social Media Metrics

Your marketing plan should include the use of social media. Many social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram have analytics built-in. Google Analytics can also display basic social media statstics. When it comes to social media metrics, not all are valuable. It can be easy to get excited about the growing number of "likes" for your Facebook business page. This metric, however, doesn't indicate how many of those "likes" will translate into sales.

Here are some social media metrics to measure that will give you a better picture of marketing success:

Metric #6: Audience Growth Rate

Did your social media audience grow over a certain amount of time? If so, by how much? A declining or stable audience growth rate means there is a problem in your social media marketing efforts.

To calculate the audience growth rate, simply divide the number of followers over a certain amount of time (a month, quarter, year, etc.) by the total number of followers of your page. The audience growth rate is a better indicator of whether people value your brand. It also better reveals the number of marketing qualified leads over casual consumers simply "liking" your page.

Metric #7: Post Reach Rate

An objective of social media marketing is to produce content that people share. As more people share your post, the greater the chance someone in the circles of your audience will share it, and so on. This is how posts become viral. Looking at the percentage of people who saw your post out of your total followers can give you an idea of how great the post was. If the percentage is low, improve the post by altering the image or content, changing the audience, and the day, time, and frequency of the post.

You can take it a step further and calculate the virality rate of your post by dividing the number of shares the post received by the number of impressions it earned.

Metric #8: Brand Mentions

Social media is the online equivalent of "word of mouth." If your brand is mentioned by an influencer or by a reputable business on social media, people will notice. To calculate the number of brand mentions, simply gather a list of all your social media handles and do a search on each social media channel. Add up all the instances the handle appeared. Next, do the same calculation for all brands in your industry. Divide the number of your brand's mentions by the total of all brand mentions. Multiply the number by 100.

Metric #9: Applause Rate

The applause rate is the ratio of "likes" to the total number of people in your audience you want to see the post. If this rate is high, it shows that people like the content and that you're targeting the right audience.

How to Measure Marketing Campaign Effectiveness

You have your targeted audience, goals, and objectives, as well as the tools to launch your marketing campaign. How do you systematically go about measuring its effectiveness? Below are steps you can take to see whether your marketing campaign is on the right track:

Step #1: Define Your Audience and Objectives

Look at your content and marketing strategies and deliverables for each of your audiences in every one of your company's marketing funnel. Is it getting the interaction you hope it would? Are they moving leads through the buyer's journey? The overall objective of your marketing campaign is to generate sales and profits. Look at your CTA conversion and CTRs as well as customer lifetime value numbers.

Step #2: Measure Pipeline Momentum and Engagement

Is the marketing campaign building momentum and engagement in the sales pipeline? A successful marketing campaign will bring in more qualified leads who will ultimately convert into paying customers. One telltale sign this is happening is an increase in engagement of leads within the pipeline. Consider whether leads are sharing your content, digesting a lot of your content, and number and type of assets leads are viewing.

Step #3: Measure ROI and Sales Revenue

A solid marketing campaign will have a noticeable, positive impact on ROI and sales revenue. ROI can be calculated by dividing the total amount spent on the campaign by the amount of money generated from the campaign. Other ROI and sales revenue numbers to look at include: customer lifetime value, customer acquisition cost, and the total number of sales qualified lead opportunities. Google Analytics, Google Data Studio, and Salesforce lead tracking are great sources to get these numbers.

Step #4: Conduct a Post-Campaign Analysis

After the conclusion of the marketing campaign, it is beneficial to compile a report on the outcome of the campaign and how it was executed. Sharing it with others in the company will help everyone see what went well and make recommendations and improvements for the next campaign. A post-campaign analysis should include:

  • A brief overview of objectives and strategy that talk about desired outcomes and whether those outcomes were achieved
  • An outline of the marketing campaign's approach, execution, and theme
  • A breakdown of the results by channels used, including a list of channels, channel objectives, and breakdowns of channel KPIs and metrics. The following metrics are commonly used:
    • Cost per valued view
    • Audience reach
    • Frequency
    • Earned media
    • Brand buzz
    • Impressions
    • Quality score
    • Conversion rate
    • Average position
    • Click-through rate
    • Traffic
    • Bounce rate
    • Traffic source

Recommendations for follow-up next steps including results vs. original plan and lessons learned

Start tracking the success of your digital marketing campaigns →

Marketing campaigns are designed to increase sales. Inbound marketing is the more effective type of marketing in that leads initiate contact with the business. There are numerous metrics to use in measuring the effectiveness of your marketing campaign. Your unique business goals, objectives, business model, audience, and industry will help you determine which metrics are best to use in measuring the effectiveness of your marketing campaign.

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