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How to Measure Digital Marketing Campaigns

When striving to measure campaigns across multiple channels and touch points, take a customer viewpoint focusing on action, engagement and perception.


Marketers have a data problem: Too many channels. Too many devices. Too many tools. The list of excess goes on and on with little relief on the horizon. Awash in clickstream data, marketers struggle to measure digital marketing campaigns which can become unwieldy due to ambiguous goals, channel overload and vendor hype.

The key to a successful plan, noted Martin Kihn, research director for Gartner for Marketing Leaders, is to shift your focus to the consumer’s point of view and see marketing and advertising as a series of opportunities that may (or may not) elicit a response. Choose the right metrics to quantify, report and improve that response. Deriving metrics around user perception, engagement and action can clarify a campaign’s impact on the business. To understand the power of this lens, it helps to first see the big picture of measuring campaigns.

A Holistic Campaign Measurement Plan

1. Map your marketing plan

Map the ways the campaign intends to find the target customer. It’s important to be able to quantify the number of opportunities, defined as any time a marketing message is exposed to a consumer, such as display advertising impressions.

 2. Add metrics to the map

For each channel, outline the metrics that track the consumer from opportunity to business outcome.

3. Create composite metrics

To determine the effectiveness of a channel or tactic, develop ratio metrics using the basic structure of “Success Signals / Opportunities = Success Ratio” (e.g. Email opens / Email sends = Email open rate).

4. Determine business impact

Calculate business impact by layering cost and benefit into your composite success metrics where costs typically come from media spend.

5. Review and repeat

Evaluate the campaign to answer your basic questions on effectiveness but also run a post mortem on the measurement plan.

While this holistic structure helps marketers gain control over the complex channels and data sources that threaten to confuse them, it needs to layer in the different ways consumers respond to the various marketing opportunities presented to them in a marketing campaign.  The secret is to focus on three different categories of user response: action, engagement and perception.

Focus on the Big Three

Action, Engagement, Perception

To find out more about these metrics visit Smarter with Gartner website.

Gartner for Marketing Leaders clients can read more in How to Measure a Digital Marketing Campaign.

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