Judge and maximize marketing campaign effectiveness

We often have questions about our marketing campaign effectiveness. This article helps you internalize a mindset to help you judge the effectiveness of your data-driven marketing and advertising campaigns based on the principles of funnel activities.

Key assumptions

  1. Your marketing campaigns target well-defined customer audiences.
  2. We are using all possible tools to collect data:
    • You are using Google Analytics, if your conversions happen on a website. Ecommerce websites typically track all the way to purchase, and you do not need anything more.
    • Wherever salespeople are involved with follow-ups and conversions, we assume usage of CRM or a simple excel sheet.
    • If transactions happen on an app, we assume that events tracking on the backend to measure install, registration and so on are setup.

We start with an audit to find out if our funnel is working. AIDA funnel was conceptualized by St Elmo Lewis in 1898 and helps evaluate our marketing campaign effectiveness. The thought process is that a stimulus progressively brings a prospect into taking action that bring him close to making a transaction with the brand. The concept is that in order for marketing to bring in revenue, all activities leading to it must be done.

A simple marketing funnel to analyze the effectiveness of marketing campaigns
A simple marketing funnel to analyze the effectiveness of marketing campaigns

1. Measure and maximize effectiveness of ad impressions, ad clicks, and website visits

The top three metrics on advertising for you to check are:

  • Reach or the number of unique users who have seen your ads
  • Impressions or the number of times that these ads have shown
  • Clicks or the number of times somebody clicked on your ads

Reach metrics are relevant to display advertising like those running on Google display network, Facebook and Instagram, and on LinkedIn. WordStream regularly comes out with CTR statistics for several industries which can serve as an indicative performance.

For sake of simplicity, if you are in the renovation business, you may use 0.46% as your CTR and 0.70% conversion rate (leads divided by clicks). An audit starts by looking at the sufficiency of budget i.e. am I spending enough to get at least 1 lead? Using benchmarks from WordSteam, I am will aim to generate about 142 clicks per day or about 31,000 impressions.

To maximize the effectiveness of your campaigns, allocate sufficient budget. It should be sufficient to generate enough ad impressions and data. Sufficient data facilitates measurement and judgement. It helps train machine learning algorithms on advertising platforms and I will write on it in a different post.

You can use these three steps to judge the quality of traffic:

  1. Judge your placements using placement reports on the Google display network. Avoid free apps, game sites, and all sites that force users to click on ads. Judge the audience network report on Facebook in a similar manner.
  2. Review search keyword reports to judge your search engine marketing impressions and ask yourself if a customer interested in your business will use them. Put them under negative, without hesitation.
  3. LinkedIn has a brilliant report that shows the demographics of people exposed to your ads. Review them to judge LinkedIn ad impressions.

We have moved on to reviewing ad clicks. Ad clicks translate to site visits making Google Analytics is your go-to platform to judge bounce rate and time on site. Advertising bounce rates can be as high as 90% and 80% or below are considered good. Time on site is a good metric indicating the time users spend on your website and 20 secs on a page that are two scrolls deep. Mobile app owners should look for store traffic metrics. Google play store does that for you and provides a nice comparative view of performance in your category. Apple store contain similar metrics for IOS apps but they do not have a category-level comparison.

Maximize the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns by optimizing your advertising copies and assets. Test out different audiences and craft messaging that resonate.

2. Judge on-site behavior to measure effectiveness of page visits

Customers usually don’t buy high-value items right away and you want to look for symptoms that they are considering your solutions. I recommended that advertisers include testimonials, case studies, FAQs on their site on a visible location of the page. These pieces of content help users to self educate themselves.

You can observe the consideration intent from the number of pages per session and the page insights reports on Google Analytics. Two pages per session is a healthy indicator of consideration. For products with long purchase cycles, I want to see at least two pages per session. Downloads of product brochures, whitepapers are strong indicators of consideration.

To maximize marketing campaign effectiveness, invest in content marketing, and test out variations of your landing pages. These practices are often referred to as conversion rate optimization and lead page tactics. Google optimize is a free tool that can be used to move around interactive elements and change colors.

3. Judging conversions to measure effectiveness of leads conversion, orders and similar.

Ecommerce campaigns can be judged by observing the store reports. Resources on the internet claim that 2% conversion ratios for eCommerce are a must required for growth. In my experience, 2% is rare and achievable for low-value items. A $1,000 product might see conversion rates of 1% while a $10 product may see ratios as high as 5%. These ratios can be as low as 0.5% for B2B brands. If you do not have enough conversions, you may want to check your cost of marketing against the total revenue. Product requiring long purchase cycles can look at value of pipeline created. Use remarketing and re-messaging strategies, and email or app notification-based automation to improve conversion.

Going back to my renovation category example, I have seen cost per leads of about $30 with leads defined as a WhatsApp, a form or a call at a site conversion ratio of 1.7%. For personal grooming sectors, this can be as high as 5% at a cost of $10 per lead. A niche fintech may get leads at a cost of about $300 per lead with a site conversion ratio of 0.5%. I have worked with several ecommerce vendors and found marketing to cost about 10% to 20% of total value of sales. For mobile apps, I have seen site traffic to install ratios range from 10% to 30%, depending on the category. Ultimately the value of goods and services sold, and, length of buying cycle affect these numbers.

There are a ton of free resources available to give you assess of your marketing effectiveness.  I personally love referring to these three below.

  1. Google ads benchmarks from WordStream
  2. Email marketing benchmarks from Mailchimp
  3. HubSpot provides free demand generation benchmarks based off polling actual advertisers.

I hope you have managed to learn the key techniques to judge marketing campaign effectiveness. Feel free to comment and ask me more.