As marketers, you’ve likely examined many different ways to measure campaign success, depending on the technology you’re using, the quantitative data you have access to, and the channel involved. For example, mobile app performance is often measured by downloads, frequency of use and app store reviews. Conversely, SMS performance is frequently measured by opt-out rate. As long as people don’t frantically reply “STOP” to a text campaign, everything is great!
For email, many marketers also measure opt-out rate, as well as open rate, click-through rate, and conversions (if able). Social marketers look at brand and product exposure through social shares and mentions. With “Buy Now” buttons, social marketers can measure conversions as well.
The confusing part is trying to understand the correlation between business health/growth metrics and campaign performance. Unfortunately for marketers, you often have to rely on inferred correlation and treat it as causation. So, what’s the best way to select your KPIs (key performance indicators)? Below, we detail three tips to help you find the right metrics to drive your business.
1) Get above 30,000 feet.
How do you know if your product or service is delivering on promised value? How do you know that your customers are satisfied with the way you’re supporting, engaging and communicating with them? For a B2B software company, you might look at product adoption, usage and advocacy. For a B2C retailer, you might monitor undiscounted, first-inventory turns and social promotion.
If you’re a service provider, your business probably looks at renewals and contract increases. These are the fundamental goals of a business, and whether it’s direct or indirect, all customer marketing efforts should focus on improving these values. Make sure you’re seeing the full picture of how the metrics you’re examining relate to your company’s overall goals.
2) Determine the intended business outcome.
Based on your business’s core value proposition, how does the desired outcome of your campaign or message add to that value? For example, let’s take a company that’s mission is to provide high-quality, affordable mountain bikes with unmatched customer service. A key indicator of whether you’re achieving this objective would be the number of repairs performed by authorized service centers and the amount of replacement parts sold to customers off warranty. If these figures are too high, then the company isn’t delivering on its promise of building the highest-quality bikes, and it will likely lose customers.
To help ensure that the brand performs as expected and that customers acknowledge its quality, the bikes needs to be maintained and used in a way that’s conducive to their longevity. Therefore, one key customer marketing goal should be to teach customers about how to use and maintain their bikes and troubleshoot problems early and often. For this client, we’d recommend looking at upcoming welcome and onboarding campaigns and asking the question, “Do these campaigns deliver on the expected outcome?” In other words, does the messaging lead customers to use their equipment correctly, maintain it regularly, and reach out to the proper support channels? If so, how is the company connecting the dots and measuring the effectiveness of these campaigns by channel?
3) Double your testing efforts.
Back to our mountain bike example. By sending a welcome email that has a link to the bike’s owner’s manual, we can’t necessarily assume that sending that email is what caused the customer to read the manual and properly use and maintain their bike. But we can test several things to see if sending the email has a positive correlation to reduced warrantee claims. For example, with random segmentation, the company can send two versions of the welcome email to new customers:
- Version A: Central call to action directs customers to review the owner’s manual
- Version B: Central call to action directs customers to purchase accessories for their bike
Customer support can then call the test customers before their warranty period ends and ask them to answer a few questions related to bike performance, maintenance and perceived quality. Based on the results of the test, marketers should iterate the testing by incrementally changing the calls to action, message cadence, channel, etc. until they are running campaigns that drive the best possible outcome and subsequently reinforce the company’s core value proposition.
So, what tactics have you used to focus and refine your measurements? Share your experiences @Pyrzenski.
1) Ebook: “2015 Email Marketing Metrics Benchmark Study”
2) Blog: “5 Ecommerce Metrics Every Data-Driven Marketer Should Know”
3) Tip Sheet: “10 Tips for Driving Engagement Using Email + Social”