8 Steps for Measurement and Analytics Success
By: Gordon Plutsky | 03/10/2016
Measurement is a hot topic with marketers who are focused on technology buyers and business decision-makers. The buying process for IT products and related services is complex, long and involves many players. Clients often ask what should be the most important metric for success; or what are best practices for measuring their campaigns. There is no one-size-fits-all or simple answer because of the complexity of the purchase. However, there are some logical steps you can take to accurately gauge your digital marketing efforts to this lucrative audience.
- Align Your Objectives
The most important first step is to make sure you have alignment between your business objectives and marketing campaign tactics and metrics. To get the desired outcome, you need to make sure you have the right message going to the right audience on the proper platform. And, the timing of the messages should correspond to where the prospect is in the buying process. Your campaign key performance indicators (KPIs) should spring from that concept.
- Create Buyer Personas
A smart technique is to map your digital marketing metrics to the sales funnel or buying process. Before tackling the buying process, it is a good idea to create buying personas for the target audience which should include all members of the decision-making committee. These personas should include media and content format preferences.
- Map the Buyers Journey
The next step is mapping the buyer’s journey for each of the key personas that constitute the buying committee. Ideally, your marketing campaign and tactics would be focused on the information needs of each persona along the buying process.
- Review KPIs
As you move your prospects along the journey from awareness to consideration to purchase (and repurchase/retention), your marketing tactics, messaging, and content will deepen the relationship. At each phase you should be looking at different KPIs that will signal success or a need to optimize and improve performance.
- Measurements for Top of Funnel
If you are doing a top of the funnel ad campaign to build awareness, brand equity, and knowledge of your product, you should measure items such as reach and frequency, web site traffic, and impressions. Also, you could measure a lift in brand perception by a quantitative study.
- Measuring throughout the Buyer’s Journey.
As you move your prospects down the journey to “building preference and consideration,” your marketing goals are to inspire and inform and then persuade. This is where content engagement becomes critical as buyers do their active evaluation and build short lists. Here you want to look at content consumption and engagement metrics such as downloads, time spent, search performance and how many content touches prospects have on your web site.
- Metrics for Bottom of the Funnel
When it comes time for purchase, the key metrics can be things such as: conversion to sales from a lead, average order size, repurchase rate, and conversion rate per marketing channel/tactic.
- Calculate Lifetime Value
A sometimes overlooked key step is calculating the lifetime value of a new customer by marketing channel (e.g. display, search, lead gen, content download etc.). This will give you great intelligence from your marketing campaign. For example, a certain search term could be very expensive, but if it yields a customer who spends a lot over a long period of time, then it can be return on investment (ROI) positive. Conversely, a customer who comes in through a discount promotion who only buys that one time and never again could be a money losing proposition. One caveat with this approach, it often depends on “last click attribution” (read more about this here) – giving credit to the channel from where the prospect directly comes from in the mix. In reality, channels are additive and build synergy with each other.
In summary, the best course of action to maximize your marketing ROI is to take a holistic look at the buying process and the lifetime value of customers generated by your campaigns to accurately evaluate your success.
For more information on the tech buyer’s journey, view IDG Enterprise’s 2015 Role & Influence of the Technology Decision-Maker study.