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  • Writer's pictureCarolyn

Designing your first marketing plan: Evaluating your campaign

This is Step 4 in the Designing your first marketing campaign series. Read the previous posts on how to identify your marketing objectives, analysing your audience and campaign planning.

Please, PLEASE, don't just batter out some marketing and judge whether it's working on whether you mum or your mates in the pub comment about it. Know, before you start, what you will measure in terms of effectiveness and what numbers you want to hit.

Good marketing effectiveness metrics

If you're not sure where to start with your measurements, here are some suggestions:

  • Visitors to your website

  • Clicks on your online advert

  • New orders/donations

Your metrics should be aligned with your campaign objectives, and you should also consider how they relate to your customer's journey. For example, if you sell a product on your website, you will want to know:

  • how many people visit your website

  • how long they spend on the different pages

  • how many convert to a sale

  • if you lose anyone along the way (e.g. they click "buy now" but don't give their payment details, known as an "abandoned basket")

This information enables you to make changes to your marketing activity based on data, and helps you to identify problems that your mum or your mates might not tell you.

As you get more advanced with reporting on your campaigns, you can assign a financial value to these metrics. For example, you could identify how much it costs to secure a new order. This is known as "cost per acquisition", because it measures how much it costs you to acquire a new customer. You would then aim to improve over time, in this instance by bringing the cost per acquisition down, i.e. making it cheaper to bring in new customers.

You can also track things like comments on your social media posts, views of your YouTube video or entries to your competition, but remember that these are indicators of engagement, not conversion. These are usually good indicators of how people relate to your brand, whether they feel positive about your product or brand, and whether they might recommend you to a friend. If your goal is finance-orientated, they are not robust indicators of campaign performance.

Poor marketing effectiveness metrics

In general, social media followers isn't a great measurement of campaign success. They make us all feel better, but they don't give you an accurate picture of how successful this particular campaign is.

Keeping an eye on the number of followers you have across your social media accounts is a long-term activity. Aim to end the year with more than you started with. But don't use followers as an accurate measurement of whether your campaign has worked, or to measure return-on-investment.

Marketing measurement tools

Most website providers have built-in measurement tools now. These are relatively basic compared to Google Analytics (GA4) capabilities, but if you have a website that doesn't have too many pages and are selling a small number of products, they will give you enough to get started.

Social media platforms also have built-in reporting tools which can show you how each post is performed. The Help Centres of each platform are helpful if you need help.

GA4 is the gold standard of website reporting however, and you should aim to have GA4 reporting in place if you're running campaigns regularly. You can build reports and dashboards which can be easily shared with other stakeholders in your organisation to report on marketing performance.

In summary...

There's plenty of marketing theory which will help create complex strategies, but if you are starting our for the first time, keep it simple: Know what you're trying to do, and identify measurements which will give you accurate information about how well you are doing.

If you'd benefit from expert support to set up your marketing effectiveness measurements, reports and dashboards, get in touch.

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