This is the last segment of a five-part series that will take you through a detailed look into how our process works.
Despite being the last step in our process, Measurement is something we keep in mind every step of the way. You don't start a website or marketing project without thinking about what you want to get out of it, and determining whether or not you have reached your goals is what Measurement is all about. We spend time at the beginning, during our Research & Strategy phase, to think about what kinds of things we will need to measure and how we can best address those needs.
Very often a client will come to us with a previously established website and marketing plan but without any insight as to whether or not their tactics are worth the money they are spending. This sort of measurement as an afterthought is how so many businesses waste so much budget for so long. When we have our fingers in the pot a bit earlier in the process it makes it easier for us to establish working methods to track marketing efforts before they are printed, painted, distributed or consumed.
Its important to note that all marketing methods, with the exception of that ever-elusive word-of-mouth, are measurable to some degree. Magazine ads, billboards, direct mail, phone calls, trailers, customized pens, the list goes on and on. With some of the methods described below, and a good bit of forethought, we provide transparency to an otherwise murky industry.
Here are some (though definitely not all) of the ways we could provide measurement to your marketing.
This is sort of a no-brainer in the digital marketing sphere. Who doesn't use Google Analytics? Actually, the amount of clients I have worked with who didn't use GA before we began working together is rather embarrassingly long.
If you aren't super familiar with Google Analytics, it provides the most insight into your website's traffic and visitor behavior of any site online. It tells who where your visitors came from, where they went on your site, and how they behaved. It can give you all sorts of tidbits about your customers that you didn't even think to ask. Best of all, most other digital marketing tools quickly and easily integrate with Analytics to provide further intel in relation to your website and social media efforts.
There are a number of third party systems available to track phone calls to your business. These can be as general or minute as you need them, depending on the business. If you only need one 1-800 number, those exist. If you need dozens of hyper-local numbers and insights into the keywords being used to search your business, those services exist as well. Keep in mind that while a customer might be calling a different number, those calls get routed to your normal lines and the information is tracked in a dashboard online.
Every marketing method you use should have its own custom URL. This can be a fully unique root domain, or your normal root domain with a unique sub-domain or sub-folder. Customizing those URLs will create a clean way for Google Analytics to keep track of traffic from those sources.
For example, if you are a luxury shoe store functioning at BossShoes.com and you are running a print ad in GQ for 10% off, creating a URL at BossShoes.com/GQ-10-Off would provide a singular place for all that traffic to go that is quick and easy to find in your reporting dashboard.
The shorter the URL, the better. People’s memories aren't great, and creating an entirely new root domain is the most effective way to get them to visit a specific page, though, understandably, you probably don't want ten URLs floating around. Unique sub-folder URLs containing an offer that can only be found from that specific advertising source provides more accurate traffic than simply sending to your website and perusing your referral traffic data.
Retargeting is a service provided by Google and other third party platforms that uses your ads to follow visitors around the web based on their behavior. This is less about measurement and more about using what you have already measured to make your own marketing more effective.
If someone visits your shoe website and browses through the wingtips but leaves without making a purchase (conversion), then for the next 30 days (or whatever time period you choose) your ads will entice them to come back and make a purchase.
Retargeting plays hand in hand with all of your other marketing methods, such as paid search, print advertising, billboards, etc. Depending on where they came from, you can customize their ads to coincide with the offer they have already seen (like that 10% off).
Measuring direct response marketing is pretty easy, but when it comes to determining lift after a branding campaign, we highly recommend running surveys. Many tools allow you to hone in on the specific who/what/where of your campaign to give you a more accurate idea of how well your brand is recognized.
For example, if you were to run that 10% print ad in only the Pacific Northwest distribution of GQ Magazine, running a survey in Washington, Oregon and Montana with the demographics specific to that audience (men between the ages of 30-55 with income over $100K) both before and after your branding campaign will give you an idea on its effectiveness. The more specific you can get with the geography and demographics, the more accurate your survey results will be.
Tying it all together.
These are just a few of the tools that live in our Measurement tackle box and getting the bigger picture can often be an overwhelming task for those that don't work within digital measurement on a daily basis. For this reason, we provide comprehensive monthly reporting to our clients to keep them abreast of the situation. This gives them the information they need to make agile decisions about their marketing methods, budget and business goals.
We provide transparency in your quest for the best ROI. Getting you the very most out of your marketing is what we strive for.
Want to read more about our process?
- Read about how we manage our projects
- See why research & strategy is so important
- Learn how we will be creative together
- Read about our approach to development
- See how we measure everything