The answers to all of marketing’s biggest mysteries are in the numbers.
Being able to learn and grow from past successes and failures all stems from consistently analyzing and interpreting your data. Understanding your data is so much more than just looking at how much you spent and how much you made.
Looking at your data can feel entirely unemotional and separate from the creative side of marketing. But it’s important to remember that those numbers aren’t just numbers – they are people. That link click is someone interested in or inspired by your message. That form submission is someone who actively wants to learn more.
You can create all the reports and spreadsheets you like, but if you don’t interpret the data and find the person behind the numbers, it will be a lot more difficult to understand your successes.
First things first: Set up tracking
To see the data, you have to track the data. That means taking the time upfront to set up tracking points that complement your business objectives. You can tailor your tracking so you can keep tabs on the specific actions you like to see your website, app, or social platform. You can make this happen through setting goals in Google Analytics, adding a Facebook pixel, and adding Google Ads tags so you can track individual potential customers from initial engagement to the purchase.
Questions you should ask when you look at campaign results
What did we hope to achieve with this effort? Did we do it?
Whenever you put time, effort, and money into a marketing effort, you have some goals you want to achieve from the campaign. Whether it’s raising awareness in your company, gaining new customers, or getting more social engagement, there are ways to track success.
To measure the success of marketing efforts, set some SMART Goals before planning the strategy. SMART Goals stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. Setting SMART goals minimizes room for interpretation and reduces the grey area when looking at success.
Measure the ROI off of the campaign. ROI stands for Return on Investment and establishes how much you made compared to how much you spent. Some campaign tracking ROI can be straight-forward, for example looking at the price of a social ad and compared to the purchases off of an ad. Other marketing campaigns may take a little more time to investigate or estimate, for example when you run a print ad campaign.
Who converted off of this effort?
You know your audience persona, but you can confirm the audience that engages and converts off of your campaigns. By specifically looking at who is engaging most with your previous marketing efforts, you will be able to improve your targeting for future strategies.
Even if you aren’t tracking online purchases as your conversions, many actions can define marketing success. You can choose to track customers who downloaded gated content, filled out a submission form, or called your company. Looking at each type of conversion can help you identify if there are trends within your audience of what persona typically achieves specific goals.
For example: Maybe your audience has a wide relevant age range, but it’s only your younger audiences engage with and convert off of your story ads. that information can help you tailor your message, content, and CTA to that specific demographic.
Where and when did the conversions happen?
Many marketing campaigns span across multiple marketing efforts (think FB ads, website popups, Google ads, print, commercials, organic content, etc). Understanding where your conversions are coming from will help you cut efforts that don’t convert and invest in channels that do.
You can investigate the devices people are most likely to convert off of, to confirm that campaigns are optimally-sized. It’s crucial to identify when people convert to help you schedule your paid strategies for when your audience is most likely to engage.
For example, many B2B companies’ audiences only engage with content during the workweek. If you confirm this engagement trend in your audience, you may decide to turn off social campaigns during the weekend to stretch your budget.
What improvements do we want to see going into our next marketing effort?
So you’ve spent time analyzing and interpreting the data. Now, it’s time to build off of it. Look back at your SMART goals, whether you achieved them or not. Can you establish where and why you excelled or fell short? Answering that question is the best way to continuously improve your marketing strategy.
- If you didn’t get the number of impressions you were shooting for, you could expand your targeting to reach more people.
- You may feel like your budget wasn’t spent productively, so you kick out certain ad locations and focus on others that had high conversions.
- Do you feel like one audience persona engaged with your organic content more than others? Tweak the message to build a message and tone that resonates better with the audience that engaged with the last effort.
- Not happy with the number of abandoned submission forms? Take out non-essential questions to make the signup process shorter and simpler.
These are just a few examples of how you can learn from your data to improve your strategy going forward. The most important step now is testing the potential improvement and continuously watching the data. Some changes may be a quick and easy win, while others may be a failed experiment. But every variable you test will ultimately help optimize your overall strategy.
Going through this list is a great habit to get into to improve your strategy by analyzing your campaign data. Feeling lost in the numbers? Reach out to our team!