There really is no better way to improve the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns than to evaluate the campaigns during the duration. Are you looking for better evaluation methods? Looking to hone your marketing strategies until they're nearly perfect? Here are five great ways to do just that.
1. Automate Data Collection as Much as Possible
There are some great data collection automation tools available, and these make short work of conducting analysis and generating useful reports. Find a tool that works well and make sure your marketing staff is well trained on how to use it. With all the big data marketing tools available there's really no need to deal with spreadsheets and other such manual, cumbersome, outdated tools anymore.
2. Determine What Metrics are Most Important to Track
Are you focusing on the metrics that really matter? Some metrics are more useful than others when it comes time to analyze how effective your marketing strategies are. Though as a rule of thumb, you can run metrics once per month, when tweaking you might want to check the most valuable metrics weekly to evaluate how changes are affecting your outcomes. Be sure you are collecting and analyzing the metrics for:
- Unique visitors to the site - If you are only looking at total visitors, you are not getting nearly enough accuracy in your analysis and reporting.
- Page views - How many pages are your visitors looking at during a visit? Which pages are getting lots of attention, and which aren't holding viewers' attention?
- Search engine traffic - How many of your visitors come in from search engines like Google, Yahoo!, and Bing versus your social media pages or online ads?
- The bounce rate - How many users are clicking right through, not spending any time on your site?
- Conversion rate - How many visitors respond to your call-to-action by leaving their contact information, requesting additional information, signing up for sweepstakes or giveaways, or actually making a purchase?
- Inbound links - How many other websites have determined your content to be useful and reliable enough to link to it from their websites?
3. Consider Closed-Loop Marketing
Many marketers focus on metrics like how many emails were opened, how many of your online forms were filled out, etc., but closed-loop marketing involves tracking the progress of your contacts from the point at which they become leads through the final sale. This gives you a much more accurate picture of how the campaign is progressing, who your target audience really is, and which audiences you're better off avoiding in the future.
4. Eliminate Double-Counting Customers
It's really easy to double-count customers, especially when you have campaigns running consecutively, back-to-back. For example, say you ran a campaign last month in which you offered redeemable coupons. This month, you're running a sale for Mother's or Father's Day. How can you prevent counting the user who responds to last month's coupon offer on this month's holiday discount promotion? An effective way to prevent these miscounts from skewing your metrics is to engage in data cleansing and scrubbing to remove inaccurate, incomplete, incorrect, and duplicate marketing data.
5. Drill Deeper Into Your Data
In many cases, marketers already have enough data (perhaps even too much), but haven't found useful ways to make it productive for improving the effectiveness of marketing strategies. Have a heart-to-heart chat with your database administrator to see what new analysis and reporting can be done using existing marketing data.