Marketing Metrics in the Long-Term: Purpose & Role

Instructor: Kyle Aken

Kyle is a journalist and marketer that has taught writing to a number of different children and adults after graduating from college with a degree in Journalism. He has a passion for not just the written word, but for finding the universal truths of the world.

Marketing metrics are very important to the success of a business. The purposes and goals of marketing metrics are to determine what methods will increase profitability for a company both in the short-term as well as in the long-term.

Marketing metrics are one type of business metric. Business Metrics are defined as quantifiable measures that are utilized to follow and evaluate any given process within an organization. Various business metrics can be employed depending on the target audience. These include customers, investors, and even employees. Business metrics should be related to an organization's (or specific department's) goals and/or benchmarks.

Performance metrics measure how effective various areas of a business are at executing their specific mission and purpose. Marketing metrics obviously track marketing efficiency, but in today's modern society social media metrics have been added to the mix. Social media marketing has become a very important, if not necessary, marketing tool for today's businesses. However, there are other important metrics involved with the marketing department of most successful businesses.

Business metrics are sometimes referred to as key performance indicators. The major difference is that Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) focus on specific areas of performance. For example, ''a metric may monitor website traffic compared to a goal, whereas a KPI would monitor how website traffic contributed to incremental sales.'' ('What are…,' n.d.) Metrics and KPIs are best utilized when they are easy to comprehend, effortlessly replicated, and provide impactful information.

Marketing Metrics

Marketing Metrics are quantifiable measures that are utilized by marketing departments to determine the overall performance and efficiency of an organization's marketing plan. Digital marketing KPIs are an effective way to analyze the values associated with marketing metrics. Selecting the most effective metrics and KPIs is critical for long-term success. Some key marketing metrics for today's thriving business are ''web traffic sources, incremental sales, social sentiment, end action rate, SEO keyword ranking, and SEO traffic.'' ('What are…,' n.d.)

Web Traffic Sources - These metrics determine what sources are leading visitors to an organization's website and the number of visitors that are coming from each source. The three most common forms of web traffic sources are search, direct, and referral. Search traffic is brought in through the use of a search engine like Google or Bing. Direct traffic is brought in by typing the specific web page's URL. Referral traffic is brought in when a visitor finds your page from a URL on another website. A digital marketing dashboard is the most effective way to measure web traffic metrics and KPIs.

Incremental Sales - This metric actually examines how effective an organization's marketing campaigns are in regards to generating and increasing revenue. Incremental sales is one metric that is utilized across departments within an organization. Both marketing and sales departments will utilize this metric. This is particularly important for the long-term success of any organization. These metrics should be compared to the overall business goals to determine how effectively a marketing department is generating quality leads. This is another metric that is ideal for use with a digital marketing dashboard.

Social Sentiment - This metric measures the perception and equity of a brand. Social sentiment can be set forth through online campaigns with blogs and forums or even other types of press releases. Just as with the metrics listed above, social sentiment can be tracked using a digital marketing dashboard.

End Action Rate - This metric measures the efficacy of marketing strategies by observing the last actions taken by visitors to your website. This last action is referred to as an 'end action.' Other actions that are important to this metric are leads (prospective customers) and wins (actual new customers). Any marketing campaign that brings about a significant number of leads and wins is a major indicator of success and this campaign should be considered for long-term profitability. A reduction in bounce rates (those who leave your site quickly after only viewing one page) is another indicator of marketing success. Once again, this metric is best analyzed through a digital marketing dashboard.

SEO Keyword Ranking - This KPI measures specific rankings for keywords that drive traffic to a website. It will also analyze any variations in these rankings over time. This enables organizations to adjust and change keywords to better suit the climate of their target market. Monitoring this metric is critical to the long-term success of today's organization. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is quickly becoming a benchmark in modern marketing. If a company is not able to compete online with the use of efficient SEO strategies, they very well may suffer and end up lost amongst the competition. This metric is best measured using a SEO dashboard, which can be through a digital marketing dashboard.

SEO Traffic - This KPI measures the number of site visitors a company gains through both organic and paid search traffic. Organic search traffic is measured by visits that are the result of a search engine query. Great SEO will rank your website high on the list of search results that are most relevant to a particular query. Paid search traffic is measured by visits that are the result of paid advertisements. Proper metrics in SEO traffic will also examine the website's traffic rankings compared to other websites. As with keyword ranking, SEO traffic will be an ever-changing KPI that will need to be closely monitored and analyzed by a company's SEO/marketing team. This metric is best tracked using a web analytics dashboard.

Digital Marketing Dashboards

A Digital Marketing Dashboard or SEO dashboard tracks various metrics for marketing departments. This dashboard can go beyond the SEO and other online metrics mentioned above. It can track various marketing metrics from lead generation to advertising. These dashboards most often focus on statistics regarding the generation of new leads as compared to the goals of the organization. This is often measured in short-term goals, but this information can be analyzed to prepare for long-term business strategies.

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