Adams & Knight Marketing Blog
POSTED BY: Tom Morgan

How to play the metrics-matching game


Impressions. Likes. Shares. Fans. Clicks. Conversions. Your boss says she wants to see a boost in these metrics starting with your next marketing campaign.

But depending on the type of campaign you’re running, some of these analytics may not be appropriate or tell you what you really want to find out.

Take “impressions”, for example. Everyone tends to measure them. But  they should not be the success indicator for any and every digital marketing campaign. Sometimes a different metric can reveal something more telling. More useful.

Another analytic people seem to be preoccupied with is the number of “clicks.” I can’t count how many times I’ve been asked: “So, how many ‘clicks’ did we get?” after a campaign where “clicks” simply won’t reveal whether or not the campaign was successful. 

Why so much confusion?

What many held accountable for marketing seem to forget is that not all campaigns are created equal. And, likewise, not all metrics should be used for every campaign.

To help clarify which metrics to use when, I’ve outlined three types of marketing campaigns and the three metrics that can be used to track them and yield the most meaning for making future marketing decisions.

For awareness-building online campaigns:

Use impressions to see how many people you reached and to make sure it reached critical mass. Best to measure awareness before you launch and then measure again post campaign to see if and how much you moved the needle.

For lead-generation campaigns:

Find out your cost per lead (CPL). Let’s say, your campaign includes four different tactics. Divide the cost for each one by the number of qualified leads that result from it. The answer you get will let you know how your campaign performed so you don’t have to guess. Measure over time and for each campaign and you’ll soon learn which marketing channels/tactics and lead sources give you the most bang for your buck.

For engagement campaigns:
Since engagement is quickly becoming the holy grail of advertising, measuring the level of consumer action during and after a campaign is key. Let’s say you want to drive traffic to your website, get your key audiences to download your whitepaper or encourage targets to engage with your brand online in some other way, metrics like “shares”, “fans” and “likes” can prove to be most important. The reason? As the numbers go up or down, you have a better idea as to if/how to continue the conversation with them and explore opportunities to make them more connected to your brand.

Thanks to a wide variety of metrics, we can now measure the effectiveness of our marketing campaigns easier than ever before. The trick is simply knowing which ones to use.


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Tom Morgan
VP Channel Strategy & Marketing Analytics
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