Measuring Marketing Performance: 4 Steps to Success

Kevin Randolph is a Google Analytics-certified digital marketing specialist at WebFX. He has a B.A. in Mass Communications and Languages & Cultures. In his free time, Kevin enjoys hiking, road trips, and playing the bass guitar.

Marketing campaigns take a lot of work. You have to plan your strategy, find the right tools, and implement your plan. It’s an ongoing process that requires creating numerous campaigns over time. Your team dedicates their time and resources to trying to drive success with your campaigns.

Now, imagine doing all that work and finding out at the end of your months-long campaign that it failed to get you any closer to your goal — or even that it was counterproductive!

That’s the risk companies run when they skip measuring marketing performance. Without objective measurements, you won’t know what’s working and what’s not. So, you could end up wasting time and resources on an ineffective campaign.

When you measure marketing performance, on the other hand, you’ll get a warning if you need to change course. If everything’s going well, you’ll have confidence that you’re on the right track.

But how do you measure the success of your marketing? In this post, we’ll discuss the most important metrics for measuring marketing performance and how to measure marketing objectives.

At WebFX, we focus on getting results for our clients and back up our strategies with data. If you want help measuring your marketing performance, check out our free tools or contact us today.


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1. Set goals for your marketing campaigns

Before you can measure your marketing performance, you need to set goals so you can properly measure your progress.

Your goals should be SMART goals. SMART stands for:

  • Specific: Make your goals sufficiently detailed.
  • Measurable: Include specific numbers that you can measure.
  • Attainable: Set goals that you can reasonably achieve.
  • Relevant: Ensure your goals support your overall business objectives.
  • Timely: Set a deadline for completing your goals.

For example, “gain new leads” is not a SMART goal. A SMART version of that goal would be something like “increase the number of leads gained per month to 100 by the end of the quarter.”

You might want to achieve different goals depending on the nature of your business and your broader business objectives.

Some goals you might want to set include increasing:

  • Brand awareness: How familiar consumers are with your brand and its characteristics.
  • Number of leads: The number of potential customers who have expressed interest in your products, services, or company.
  • Sales: The number of sales you close or the gross revenue from those sales.
  • Net revenue: The amount of revenue your company received minus expenditures.
  • Customer acquisition: The number of new customers you gained.
  • Engagement: The degree to which customers interact with your brand and the quality of those interactions.
  • Customer loyalty: How willing customers are to repeatedly do business with your company.

Our digital marketing campaigns impact the metrics that matter most!

Over the past 5 years, we’ve generated:

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2. Choose your marketing performance metrics

There are many different metrics you can use for marketing performance measurement. These metrics, or key performance indicators (KPIs), help you quantify your progress toward your goals.

The right metrics to track depend on your goals and the tools you have available. Some of the most useful marketing performance metrics include:

  • Conversion rate: The conversion rate is the proportion of customers that take a specific desired action, such as making a purchase or signing up for an email list — whatever it is you want users to do.
  • Cost per lead: This metric measures how much it costs to gain a new lead. To calculate this metrics, you must factor in the cost of advertising, software, and any other elements that contributed to gaining the lead.
  • Customer lifetime value: This metric tells you how much a customer is worth to your company. First, multiply the average purchase value by average purchase frequency to get customer value. Then, multiply customer value by the average amount of time a customer stays with your company to get customer lifetime value.
  • Return on investment (ROI): Your ROI is how much you earn compared to the amount you invest. It tells you if your investments were profitable and by how much. You can calculate ROI by dividing your net profit by your total investment and then multiplying by 100.

3. Set up marketing performance measurement tools

One of the benefits of digital marketing is that measuring marketing performance is much easier than with traditional marketing.

With traditional marketing mediums, such as billboards or magazine ads, you can’t easily track who saw your ad and whether your ad contributed to your goals. Unless you ask customers who come into your store, you’ll never know if your traditional marketing methods worked.

Digital marketing efforts are Internet-based, however, so you have access to accurate, detailed information about how your campaigns perform. Here are a few of the tools you can use to measure your marketing campaign’s performance.

Google Analytics

Google Analytics (GA) is one of the most powerful marketing performance measurement tools, and signing up is free. Your company should sign up for GA even if you’re also using other tools.

Once you add the necessary JavaScript tracking code to your site, GA will track how users interact with your site and ads. The main types of interactions GA tracks are:

  • Page hits: Every time a given page loads.
  • Event hits: Every time users perform a specific action on a page, such as clicking a button.
  • Ecommerce hits: Every time a visitor purchases a product.
  • Social interaction hits: Every time a user clicks a social media widget on your site.

GA lets you set marketing goals related to how many users visit a specific page, how many visitors take a particular action, and other factors. Using GA, you can access reports about your site’s performance and your goals.

Here’s what the goals overview report looks like in GA. The graph shows the number of goals completed each day. Below the graph, you’ll find more details about the goals, including the total number of completions, the number of completions for each of the four goals individually, and the goal conversion rate.

Google Analytics Goals Report

Google Search Console

Another valuable tool from Google is Google Search Console (GSC). This free tool is useful for tracking your site’s SEO performance.

In GSC, you can check to make sure Google has crawled and indexed your sites, which is necessary for showing up in search results.

You can also see data about your site’s performance in search, such as:

  • Your site’s total numbers of impressions and clicks
  • Your site’s average click-through rate
  • Your site’s average position in search results
  • Which search results include your site

GSC also provides information about other elements that influence your search rankings such as your site’s mobile friendliness, security issues, and which other sites link to yours.

Other marketing analytics tools

There’s a huge range of other marketing analytics tools available for you to try out. Some focus on a certain marketing channel, like social media or email, and others offer more varied functionality.

Here are a few of your options:

  • Ahrefs offers valuable insights related to SEO, including information on the backlink profiles and search rankings of your site and those of your competitors.
  • SEMrush is useful for a variety of tasks, from monitoring website traffic to tracking social media performance.
  • Crazy Egg gives you data about how users interact with your site, which you can use for conversion rate optimization (CRO).
  • Adobe Analytics allows you to track your website metrics and data from across channels such as search engines and social media.
  • MarketingCloudFX is a digital marketing platform that enables you to manage your marketing campaigns. It offers numerous functions, including tracking how leads arrive on your site, measuring the results of email campaigns, and monitoring search engine performance.

4. Measure your marketing performance

Once you have your goals, metrics, and tools ready to go, start tracking your metrics. Evaluate your progress regularly and make adjustments to your strategies as needed.

For some projects, such as pay-per-click ad campaigns, you’ll only track performance for the duration of your campaign. Other efforts, such as SEO, will require ongoing tracking.

Track the metrics that are relevant to your campaign and keep records of your progress so that you can make continual improvements to your strategies. Over time, this process will help you grow your company and meet your overall business objectives.

Measuring and improving digital marketing performance with WebFX

To determine whether your marketing efforts are helping you reach your goals, you need to know how to measure marketing performance. Tracking important marketing performance metrics will tell you what’s working and what you need to change. Ultimately, it will help you accomplish your business objectives.

At WebFX, monitoring our campaigns and using data to improve our results is a big part of what we do. With MarketingCloudFX, our team, as well as our clients, can easily track campaigns and access transparent ROI reporting.

To talk to a digital marketing expert about improving your marketing performance, contact us online or at 888-601-5359.