Protecting Your Digital Marketing Investment with Goal Measurement

With the Internet at the epicenter of nearly all business, you’ve likely invested in some digital marketing programs to drive awareness, leads and sales. In fact, you’ve probably invested more time, money and resources in online marketing than you’re even aware of (how much time did you spend on social media today?).
 
So how do you know that your marketing programs are effective? How do you know that you’re getting a solid return on your investment and not wasting valuable resources on efforts that don’t produce results?
 

Setting Marketing Goals

The first step toward measuring your marketing success is setting tangible, measurable goals. These goals should based on metrics that are both important for your company’s long-term goals and help to define short-term success. Goals should be set for every digital marketing platform that you use: email campaigns, social media sites, your website and any others that are important to your strategy. You may decide to track multiple metrics for each of these, such as number of website visitors and how long they are on the site, or the number email opens and the growth of your list. Of course, you’ll also want to correlate these to your sales goals, which is especially important if your company has a long sales cycle or is running marketing campaigns that are brand-focused rather than lead generation in nature. 
 
Once you determine what you want to measure, set a goal and a reasonable timeframe in which to achieve that goal. You don’t want an entire year to go by and then realize that your programs are missing the mark. The same goes for the goal itself. It’s important that the benchmark you set be reasonable. If you happen to have past metrics that you can use, start with those as a base. If not, there may be research available online for your industry. Worst case, this is your opportunity to set your baseline for the future. Everyone has to start somewhere, so don’t let your current lack of data stop you from moving forward. Whatever metrics you decide to measure, remember to keep your goals reasonable and measure them over a shorter time frame (1-3 months) as well as setting longer-term expectations.
 

Measuring Progress

Now that you’ve set your goals, you’ll want to measure your progress. There are numerous tools available to automate this process ranging from free apps and basic spreadsheets to sophisticated Customer Relationship Management (CRM) packages that can provide you with enough complex data reporting to make your head spin. What tool you choose is dependent on your company’s individual needs and budget. You may also find that some of the tools you’re using for your website, social media and email marketing already have some of these metrics dashboards integrated into their services. Chances are, you’ll be able to pull from these various sources to gather the information you need to measure the progress toward your goals.
 
We like to set up custom dashboards for our clients whenever possible. These dashboards help our clients quickly parse the data that is most important to them. For example, one client may be very concerned with their email list growth rate, while another prioritizes the number of campaigns sent with the open and click rates. Be sure that you have a system that allows you to easily measure your progress against your goals. Create reporting that showcases the most meaningful metrics in a clear and distinct method that works for you. 
 

Adjusting Your Course

It always surprises me how many people miss this last, most crucial step of the goal measurement process - adjusting your programs. It’s one of the most important reasons why we measure the performance of our marketing programs. If you’re able to see that a program is underperforming, you have a valuable opportunity to adjust it or even it cancel it completely to try something new. By setting a measurable goal for your program and monitoring it, you are able to save valuable time and money that can be redirected to a more effective program should this one not perform as expected. 
 

Ready to See Results?

If you’re like me, you put a lot of time and effort into building your digital marketing programs. Putting a solid goal measurement program in place to track the performance of those programs will help ensure that your investment performs at an optimal level and that those resources don’t go to waste. Not sure where to start? Drop me a line and I’d be happy to chat with you.