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Causality Marketing

Who’s familiar with causality (cause and effect) ? Everything has a trigger and everything has an outcome. One event leads to another, and so on.

In the world of digital marketing, we have the ability to measure these triggers and events, which pinpoint the cause and effect of any given campaign or project. This we call ‘causality marketing‘.


A trigger can take the form of a campaign, like an email, micro-site, voucher, event, flyer, advert, article, blog post, social media message or offer.

Before we create any of these campaigns, we need to first consider causality and the effect on the audience.

  • What are we hoping to achieve in terms of an action (goal)?
  • Who are we hoping will take this goal?
  • Are there any considerations (sensitive topic, vulnerable audience, competition, ethical consequences, legal consequences)?
  • Who else might see this?
  • Desired actions

Taking into account the questions above, you can now create your campaign with a goal in mind, such as:

  • Booking
  • Enquiry
  • Sign up
  • Read more
  • Comment
  • Increased interaction

And double-check at the end:

  • Is branding clear?
  • Is the message transparent?
  • Are ‘calls to action’ easy to find?
  • Have I included terms?


We hope that the effect will be a desired action (goal), however, we also need to allow for an action that isn’t our desired goal.

  • Taking legal action (no opt out, no policy,incorrect information, misrepresentation, misuse of data, illegal use of photography)
  • Complaints (intrusive emails,prior opt out, spam)
  • Competitive response (counter-attack, negative remarks)
  • Campaign not being seen (Facebook stream, bounced emails, shared in wrong place)
  • Campaign not being recieved (email hard bounce, incorrect email)

Measuring the effects

Web – Micro sites and offers

If you are sending to a selective audience or wish to capture the effects separativily, then use a web

address with limited access – that means only share with your target audience and don’t add it to another page on your website (or your navigation). This way you can track the hits to that particular page. Especially useful for flyers/loyalty/premium offers.

Google analytics

You can measure the visits, source of visits and geographical information in analytics.

If you add an anotation to your graph, then you can note if the campaign had a direct effect.

Either within Adwords or via Google analytics, you can see the response from adwords campaigns.
Advanced reports can slice the data so you can segment this traffic and drill down.

If you track your campaigns with tracking code, you’ll see the specific actions.

Google alerts

These will catch any attention online and mentions of the keyword you are following


Email statistics will show you the hard and soft bounces (failed attempts).
Also the % recieved, opened and clicks.
Note all your unsubscribes and keep a master list to double-check against in future.

Social – Insights
Facebook insights will shed some light on the amount of times an update has been featured in the stream for fans/friends. Plus, show you your interaction level

@ mentions and re-tweets
will indicate the reach of your campaigns and interest level. It will also catch negative mentions.

How do you measure causality in your marketing?

“Image from tanewpix /Shutterstock.”

Christina is a complete geek, hence a perfect web + online marketing consultant. After ten years working with Premier Recruitment Group, LA Fitness, Monarch Airlines, Thomson Travel and a host of other companies, she now owns CG Online Marketing ( in Ireland and is an associate of the Ahain Group. She's qualified in most things online such as web server management, digital design, Google Analytics and SEO. Specialties: Social Media Marketing, SEO / PPC,Google analytics (qualified in GA IQ) Web trends + insights, Data segmentation and targeting, Customer Behavior analysis, Digital design, Writing, Ethical marketing Green marketing / Sustainable tourism and Hotel + travel online marketing

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  • Nice post, Christina. The measuring piece as you point out is key, how else are you going to know if your marketing is being successful?

  • Anonymous

    Great post Christina, I think very often we wait until something goes wrong before we address it. It can be very hard to anticipate what might happen and even harder to formulate a plan, so many of us just wing it!  

  • Nice post that really focuses the mind. Wouldn’t it be great if our marketing campigns experienced the ‘butterfly effect’ and that doing one thing had a far reaching consequence. I was going to invent the term butterfly marketing but I see it already exists and means something else.

  • It would also be useful to have a crystal ball, but alas, we don’t, so we have to plan as much as possible. That’s a pity ‘butterfly marketing’ is taken….such a beatiful phase and perfectly fits.

  • For the most part you can ‘wing it’, although with legalities, I would rather be safe than sorry. I think you have to weight the outcome – whats the worst that can happen? How long will I have to suffer the consequences? and what will it cost me?

    Online rights and ownership is a huge topic at the moment and I have a feeling there will be a good few court cases (maybe Twitter cases) across the globe soon. Watch this space.

  • You’re on the money Niall. It’s monitoring AND assessing at the same time. Covering all your bases.

  • Anonymous

    Niall – excellent comment. Yes, a unique culture is huge value add to every company. When employees feel special they do contribute more.

  • Thanks for the generous comment. This book has so many layers to it too – I would strongly suggest to anyone who has the time to enjoy the original as it is just full of the cleverest observations and most common sense yet devious tips on how to outwit your compettition.

  • ElliStGeorgeGodfrey

    It is extraordinary how this book keeps teaching us! Your insights make it so much more approachable! Thank you

  • Go on so!

  • Cheers for the comment! I kept it basic as parts of it can be quite esoteric but intriguing nevertheless

  • Wow great post Elish! Reading the book has been on my to-do list for a very long time but I haven’t gotten around to it yet. Thanks for the business applied summary 🙂

  • I really did the post for me as much as everyone else for sure. It got me stuck into the basic text at a last and it won’t be my last time. Many super kick ass quotes in there beyond the ones listed

  • Elish Bul

    Thank you for the spotting the Quote- i think you found a line that ,ore or less sums up the book in my view and reflects a belief I susbscribe to on a personal level – the para doxical Taoist principle WuWei – Doing by non doing . Stay tuned for a future Post on Toaism that discusses this strange idea

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