For all of the effort and work businesses put into developing marketing campaigns, it’s amazing how few brands actually take the time to evaluate and measure results during and after the marketing campaign. In order to increase your chances of success, you have to dive deep. The Role of Measuring and Evaluating Marketing Performance The primary reason so many businesses don’t measure the effectiveness of their marketing campaigns isn’t that they don’t care – it’s often that they’re intimidated and confused. After all, where do you even start? Marketing is closely Ultimately, the purpose of measuring and evaluating marketing performance is to help you understand what sort of return on investment you’re getting. If your ROI is low, then this is a sign that something needs to shift. If your ROI is healthy, then you need to zero in on what you’re doing right and learn how to apply these same principles in other areas. 5 Tips for Measuring Success Clearly, you need to be measuring the results of your marketing campaigns – but how? Because marketing is tied to intangible benefits like brand awareness, you must get creative and connect the dots between various measurable outcomes. Here are some tips to guide you along: #1. Set Specific Goals In order to measure your marketing campaign results, you have to start planning well before you even execute. At the very beginning of a campaign, goals and objectives must be set. These goals will give you something to evaluate as you move forward. Goals are like a pair of prescription reading glasses for someone with poor eyesight. While that person can see the page in front of them – and perhaps pick out a few words or sentences here and there – most of what they see is blurry. Put on the right pair of reading glasses, however, and suddenly everything makes sense. The words were there all along, but they couldn’t be deciphered without the appropriate lenses. Goals don’t necessarily change the outcome of your campaign (though they do focus your efforts). What they do is allow you to measure results from the right vantage point. Set your goals accordingly and you’ll have a much better chance of understanding what’s happening. #2. Utilize the Rate Metrics Once you have the right goals set up, you should begin to identify various metrics that will allow you to measure campaign success. According to Linkflow Capital, the best way to evaluate a direct marketing campaign is to study four different ratios at different stages: coverage rate, conversion rate, purchase rate, and penetration rate. Cost per acquisition is another important measurement. This can be calculated by taking the total cost of the campaign and dividing it by the number of customers who satisfied your conversion goal (email addresses collected, ebooks downloaded, purchases, etc.) So, if you spent $5,000 on a campaign directed at getting customers to download an ebook on your site and you got 425 downloads, the cost per acquisition would be $11.76. While you can learn a lot by studying these ratios and measurements, you have to take every insight with a grain of salt. “Metrics are rarely perfect,” marketing expert David Court admits. “Yet the volume of data available today should make it possible to find metrics and analytic opportunities that take advantage of your unique insights, are understood and trusted by your top team, provide proof of progress, and lay a foundation for more sophisticated approaches to tracking marketing ROI in the future.” #3. Look at Engagement “When it comes to measuring the effectiveness of our marketing campaigns (for clients and ourselves) I pay heavy attention to engagement,” says Mike Shaw, SEO specialist for Tower, a search engine marketing agency. “Engagement is a significant indicator of how effective your marketing campaign is because it takes into account how your content has been perceived and used by users; it is also trackable.” Some of the top engagement metrics Shaw recommends are brand awareness, social shares, commenting, and inbound inks. #4. Use the Right Tools What tools are you using to measure results? It’s a good idea to use a couple different resources, that way you reduce the risk of skewing your data as a result of some error or oversight. If you’re unsure of where to start, here’s a good list of some of the top tools for measuring your marketing investment ROI. #5. Rely On Your Intuition At the end of the day, you have to realize that there’s limited value to crunching numbers and studying trends. You have to rely on your intuition to a degree and use your senses. On the ground level, what do you see happening? Are customers responding, or is there very little positive feedback? Sometimes it’s the least measurable takeaways that are most valuable. Never Stop Evaluating As a marketer, you have three major responsibilities: plan, implement, and measure. Most marketers are good at the first two. They know how to come up with ideas and turn those ideas into results through implementation. But what separates the highly successful from the average is how they measure results. As you seek to improve your marketing efforts this year, make sure you’re not overlooking the importance of measuring marketing campaign results. It’s not the easiest thing you’ll do, but it’s arguably one of the most significant.