Why You Need To Track Your Marketing Campaigns

2 weeks ago my dad told me that he was diagnosed with diabetes. He had to undergo strict diet for a healthier body. I had dinner with him last week and I was checking on his diet progress, here is what he told me:

“My friend shared with me a few folk prescription which will reduce my sugar level by the next 2 months.”  

“What about your diet then?”

“Just try first and see how, later go measure sugar level loh.”

You see, my dad used to drink 5 nescafes per day. That’s a huge amount of sugar intake. While I doubt the effectiveness of folk prescription, my dad raised a pretty good point. Just try and see how it works.

And I think it applies the same to marketing. Someone once said that marketing is all about finding out what works and what not. It’s true.

If it’s worth doing, it’s worth measuring.

All I ever wanted to know is which campaign is the most effective, and as a one-man marketing team – I have extremely limited time. Tracking marketing performance allow me to optimize my time for the biggest ROI. In this post, I’ll be sharing my takeaways on:

  • Why tracking marketing campaign performance is important
  • What marketing metric to track / focus on

Why Tracking Performance is Important

I have a habit of tracking and analyzing my campaign performance, here is what I find:

  • Big conference don’t convert well (0 – 1% conversion based on ~100pax events).
  • Small events with high engagement (10 – 15pax) typically converts best.
  • Depending on the lead funnel / stage, running DRIP or nurturing event reduce the required touch base by 10-20%.
  • Creating a dedicated landing page can easily boost your leads by 60-80%.
  • and many more…

Tracking performance allows you to pinpoint which media is the most effective at running certain campaigns. Take email as an example, you’ll be able to find out how many people are interested in your product by going through click-through rates to landing page downloads. Most importantly, these metrics help you to identify customer behavior VS your written value proposition a.k.a marketing copy.

A snapshot of email marketing benchmark from MailChimp
A snapshot of email marketing benchmark from MailChimp. You can view it here.

The biggest fallacy of metric is these figures are only showing symptoms. If you follow blindly on metrics alone, you’ll only know you have “100 unique page views on X” but it doesn’t tell you why it has low page views. You don’t know what went wrong and contributes to lower click-throughs or event sign-ups. This is why people do testing, measuring & optimization.

To have an effective analysis, I always cross reference back to my objective when I first drafted the campaign. I practice a lead funnel / stage emphasis given that I’m in a B2B space, say for example, I’m running a DRIP campaign to nurture leads via email. My focus is on getting qualified leads, I don’t have a big database to begin with given that it’s a niche B2B market.

The problem with this is, most people would say you need to have an extremely big database (min 10K) to make email marketing effective as it goes by 10% down the road (10% open rate, 10% click-throughs, 10% conversion). To certain extent, I would agree that cost-wise, email marketing scales easier than other medium, but that is not the sole metric to make it effective. Here are some of the metrics people would focus on:

  • What is the open rate?
  • Click-throughs?
  • Conversion on Landing Page?
An email campaign that was sent out last week. A standard 10% progression at each stage.
An email campaign that was sent out last week. A standard 10% progression at each stage.

I’ve seen cases of people telling me that bad click-throughs = bad campaign. That may not be necessary true. I have decent “industry” standard click-throughs, but what I find out was once they get to landing page, they are 50% more likely to download.

A whopping 50% conversion from 10% clickthroughs. The additional 6 clicks are from me while doing design.
A whopping 50% conversion from 10% clickthroughs. The additional 6 clicks are from me while doing design. This was created using Unbounce.

What does this mean?

  • They are interested to know more (hence taking action.)
  • I did well in landing page (tailored content to their needs), but not so well in email (standard open rates & click-throughs).
  • Most importantly, 55 sales ready leads to be follow-up by sales person next month.

My take on this is to focus on engagement. And I mean engagement on every touch point – from email header, email content to landing page. Higher engagement leads to higher conversions (and that is the ultimate goal).

Track your campaign performance, focus on the right metric and refer back to the initial purpose of the campaign.

What Metrics To Track  / Focus On

Regardless of what brand awareness campaign that you do, at the end of the day, businesses look at sales. No sales = no revenue = cut cost = no campaign. The problem with this is most corporation view [link] marketing spending [link] as something extra, and this is especially true in Malaysia.

Does that mean the metric should be quarterly sales revenue?

Yes and no. You see, the typical structure of a B2B segment is marketing supply leads and sales focuses on closing. In most cases, you’ll find both marketers and salespersons often argue on lead issues (marketers would complain the lack of follow-up, the latter would say sucky quality leads and expect to close in 1 call.)

How continuous engagement can accelerate sales process.
How continuous engagement can accelerate sales process.

So in order to hold both parties accountable, it might be a better choice to focus on % of marketing converted Opportunities to sales. This means marketing need to get qualified leads to sales team to close sales, and the best metric to focus on is conversion.

Instead of saying that I supplied a huge amount of leads to sales, I would prefer to focus on the potential sales that I’m driving to sales team. I often view marketing as a different way of selling, in fact, it is a stage-by-stage process to nurture leads / opportunities to close sales. Let’s view the overall marketing process to find out what metric to focus on:

  • How many suspects converted to lead on monthly basis.
  • How many leads converted to Opp on monthly basis.
  • How many Opps are converted into sales.

Conversion is about moving people onto the next stage. Given that it’s a B2B market, we can’t be expecting to close sales within a day, all we need to do is to accelerate the sales process by pushing them to the next stage. The faster you can get people to the next stage, the more qualified they are.

I’ll also be debunking a few things here:

  • High click-throughs doesn’t necessarily mean high conversion.
  • High event sign-ups doesn’t necessarily mean high event turn outs.

Are open rates and click-throughs useless? Not really, they are a good indication on how well you are utilizing a medium. Take email as an example:

  • Good header / subject line (what people read before opening that email) leads to good open rates.
  • Good email content, nicely written to prompt people with CTA leads to good click-through rates.
  • Good landing page experience leads to 50% increase in conversion.

It’s a progressive process. You need someone to open that email before they sign up for something. You need them to click onto a link before the sign-up. Some marketers call this as experience marketing and the aim is to make the process as seamless as possible (reducing friction in each process).

Treat the marketing process as a progressive effort. Conversions at every stage will eventually lead to sales. Metrics such as open rates & click-throughs are a good indication on how well are you using the medium.

Conclusion

Tracking marketing performance tells me how effective a campaign is, and helps me to identify or at least validating my assumptions to the market.

I find these to be extremely valuable and helpful especially during testing landing pages, email headers or even Adwords copy. At the end of the day, when you add up these contributing factors, you’ll realize that optimizing every small stage will lead to a bump in conversion.

Share with me your thoughts on marketing performance metrics, what metric do you focus on?

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