There is an old saying in business, “Half of my advertising is working. I just don’t know which half.” The big challenge for most organizations is figuring out if and the effectiveness of marketing spend. In 2016, all of the tools needed to properly track and measure marketing initiative are readily available. Better understanding of ad performance will prevent wasted time, effort, and money, and provide insight into how to reach more customers and convert them to your customers.
When to Measure
Any type of digital marketing should be tracked all the way through to conversion. What is a conversion? This varies from business to business, and advertising campaign to advertising campaign. Essentially, a conversion is an action or end goal. Every dollar spent on advertising should be attached to some kind of goal. Figuring out the goal isn’t the hard part, deciding how to measure that goal can be challenging.
How to track
Website analytics, such as Google Analytics, is the best way to track the customer path. Website analytics is essentially a map of how users browse a website. It can provide basic information about site traffic such as, where they are coming from geographically, what browser they use, what device, what time of day they get there, which search engine or website brought them and what they did on the pages of the website, just to name a few.
Google Analytics is the most used tracking platform. Tracking user behavior will provide a deeper understanding of what website conversion success looks like and useful insights into communication touchpoints with customers on and offline.
So, tracking is important. Now what?
Tracking user website activity should not be optional but mandatory. Display ads, pay-per-click ads, organic clicks, social media clicks, are all trackable. There are even ways to track users who come into the store and tie them back to digital advertising efforts. It is impossible to explain all the tools and methods in a single blog post, but knowing it is possible is the first step.
But let’s face it, not everyone has time to truly master this and most business owners don’t. If this is the case, hope is not lost. Consider hiring an internal marketing specialist who understands the necessity of measurement or hire a company who makes smart marketing and accountability a habit and priority. Both of these will cost dollars, but any business that invests in smarter, more efficient marketing will save time and money in the long run. Google hosts helpful video tutorials to help you get started. So, install those pixels and start tracking.