The fact of the matter is, metrics are a must-have in marketing.
Not only do they increase your competitive intelligence and make the unpredictable world of marketing, predictable, but they also inform and drive your campaign decisions and help to track your success. What more could you ask for?
Well, actually, that’s a good question! Just like how there’s no rose without a thorn, metrics can sometimes leave a little to be desired. That’s why we’ve decided to share some of the key issues that we’ve experienced with measurement metrics.
Ever heard of vanity metrics? Although thoughts of excessive pride and admiration spring to mind, they have a pretty similar meaning in the context of marketing.
Despite making great headlines, they’re effectively ‘feel-good’ measures that explain the surface level state-of-play. Think Facebook likes, Twitter followers and page views.
Although they’re incredibly easy to understand, it’s all too easy to be blindsided by vanity metrics. As well as being easily manipulated, they don’t correlate with your bottom-line goals, and they don’t really tell us about what is actually going on in the business. For instance, a billion Twitter followers if fab, but so what?
With this in mind, it’s important to focus on the correct metrics, in order to identify real success.
If metrics are not interpreted correctly, they can certainly pull the wool over your eyes. For instance, if you’re examining your web traffic using Google Analytics, and you notice that your overall traffic has decreased, you might automatically jump to the conclusion that something on the site isn’t working effectively.
However, if you’re experiencing a lower bounce rate, as well as higher average session durations and a higher number of pages viewed per session, it indicates that the quality of each visitor has improved – the people who are visiting the page are genuinely interested in the content.
Spend time interpreting your data – the correct data!
If you’re using different platforms as part of your marketing strategy, you may find that their metrics don’t exactly match. For example, follower growth throughout a month might show differently on a platform such as Sendible than it does on Hootsuite, which again might be different from Twitter’s own analytics.
As you can imagine, it’s easy to lose yourself in a maze of metrics. This issue stems from the fact that each platform will measure metrics in different ways – some will automatically remove spam accounts, some count unfollowers, some don’t. This makes reporting a bit of a nightmare from time to time and requires a little bit of diligence to sift through to get the most accurate, representative data.
Take the time to develop a strong understanding of the different platforms you use. Make sure you’re aware of how they measure metrics, and take this into account when considering your data.
You’re probably sick to death of hearing initialisms and acronyms, but this one’s important when it comes to measuring metrics.
Different platforms allow different levels of data access to third party services. A good example of this is Instagram, which until very recently, had it’s API locked down so securely that we could barely report on any analytical data that was deeper than followers or posts. This is particularly frustrating when it comes to reporting on social media metrics across different networks, as we can’t always report on the same features, or to the same level.
Twitter is also another culprit. This popular social media platform has been known to implement API changes that have rendered both services and companies alike, obsolete in one fell swoop. This means that sometimes, we don’t have access to the suite of information that might have otherwise been critical to our measurement.
Check to see if there’s a developer’s roadmap for each of your chosen platforms (i.e. what’s in store for future development). We’d also suggest that your objective doesn’t solely rely on this type of data alone; in essence, make sure you have a back-up plan!
When faced with a pick-and-mix selection of metrics, it can be hard to know which ones to choose. From delivery rates to demographics, conversions to click-throughs, and traffic to search trends, being inundated with figures can be quite overwhelming.
But don’t panic! Simply take the time to learn what each metric means, then you should be able to work out which ones are going to effectively measure the success of your campaign.
At the end of the day, metrics are just numbers that tell you about a current situation. If you have no idea what they mean or what to do with them, they’re not useful. In essence, metrics are like a kettle that clicks or whistles to let you know when the water is boiled. It’s helpful, but it’s doesn’t tell you how to make the perfect cuppa! (I think we all know a few people who could benefit from this!).
Learning what each metric means is half the battle – then all that’s left to do is learn how to interpret them effectively!
As you can see, metrics can be a minefield. So, if you need advice on how to make the most of marketing metrics, get in touch today; we’d be happy to help!
With metrics in mind, we also recommend taking a look at the AMEC website. As the world’s largest media intelligence and insights professional organisation, they campaign to highlight the importance of efficient measurement in communication!