Understand which marketing channels drive growth

Ensuring you have the right data for your business can mean the difference between success and failure

Kevin Getch

The age of digital media has made it easier to track the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns, but the increased fragmentation and vast number of platforms also make it increasingly difficult to gather and separate meaningful metrics from the noise. However, with a little planning you can ensure you are collecting the right data and measuring meaningful metrics.

Prioritizing goals

First, you want to clearly define and prioritize your goals.

Are you trying to increase unique visitors to a section of your website? Do you want to increase online conversions, top-line revenue or customer lifetime value? Or, do you want to generate more phone call inquiries? Maybe you want to do all of the above. How would you prioritize each goal and the actions you want the potential customer to take?

If a phone call is the most desired action, you need to generate an experience that prompts the user to call. You probably want to utilize click-to-call functionality when people access your website from a mobile device. If you prefer to limit phone calls, but want your customer to make an online purchase, that is a completely different user experience. Once you understand your goals and consider the users’ goals, you can create a balanced experience that addresses both in the best way possible.

Key metrics

Now that you have defined and prioritized your goals and desired user actions, you can determine which key metrics to track.

Businesses often fail to track phone calls in a meaningful way. We identified this as a missing element for many businesses in 2015. We started offering our customers a call-tracking service that can dynamically change the phone number on a website based on the source of the visit. This allows marketers to make educated decisions as opposed to guessing.

If you’re not already using Google Analytics, you should be. It’s free and better than most paid analytics platforms. If you are using Google Analytics, have you set up conversion goals? Goals are the actions you want the user to take on your website. This is where you can set goals to track desired actions.

To measure meaningful metrics you need to have the right tools and analytics software in place.

Are you wanting to get the most out of the traffic you are generating and improve conversions? Consider using a tool such as Optimizely or VWOs to do A/B testing. Want to improve overall user experience and gain insight into how users are interacting with your website? You might consider software such as Crazy Egg or HotJar that have features such as eye tracking and recording video of a user’s session on your website.

Do you want to collect customer demographic and psychographic information beyond what Google Analytics provides? Do you want to do this for free? Here’s how: Install the Facebook tracking pixel on your website and create a custom audience. Even if you’re not running an ad campaign, you will collect valuable information such as age, sex, marital status, occupation, income levels, interests, homeownership, kind of car they drive, pages they like and a whole lot more valuable information. All of this has no cost to you.

Garner meaningful insights

Now that you’re collecting the right data that supports your goals and desired user actions, you can analyze the information to help you make critical decisions and invest in the channels that are producing for you.

You will not only see how many leads and sales are coming through, but which marketing channels they are coming from. You’ll see what other channels are playing a part in the conversion path and how long it takes on average from the initial site visit until the user takes the desired action on your website. You can identify roadblocks and which sources are driving the highest value conversions. You’ll see which sources drive the most phone calls. The list could go on!

If you’re in charge of making critical decisions about your company’s marketing, you already know that having the right data is the difference between success and failure. I hope this information helps you make sense of the many tools available.

Kevin Getch is the founder and director of digital strategy for Webfor.

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