What should you look for in digital marketing metrics? – Nashville Business Journal – The Business Journals

Lead Marketing & Automation Services > Blog > Uncategorized > What should you look for in digital marketing metrics? – Nashville Business Journal – The Business Journals

With the advent of social media marketing, especially, when we discuss millennials and Gen Z, measurement of digital and social media marketing becomes critical. A quick Google search will indicate that you have dime-a-dozen metrics and analytics that you can use for effectively measuring social media marketing. It can quickly become overwhelming and confusing.
Companies often get hung up on vanity metrics – metrics that may look good at the current situation but hold limited utility for future development (for example, number of followers, page views, etc.). Indeed, almost 73% of the data collected is unused for analytics – this is a major cause of concern. To effectively figure out what is actionable for your business and will improve your digital and social media marketing, the identification and measurement of the right metrics become important.
How to differentiate vanity metrics from relevant actionable metrics
Companies should focus on analytics that can yield actionable behavior from a marketing standpoint. That is, companies can actually use such metrics to make a marketing decision. It is important to keep in mind that there are metrics that can be actionable based on the context. Ask yourself, can you use a click-through-rate metric to take action? Can you merely use number of followers to act? A possible perhaps for the second question if you are an influencer, but the metric by itself is not sufficient.
Rather, a relevant metric would be engagement rate (e.g., comments and shares) can be an actionable metric for a brand’s social media page or for an influencer. Similarly, the shopping abandonment cart rate can be an actionable metric for an ecommerce website.
For a company wanting to look at increasing traffic, “pageviews” will be an incomplete measure. Here, companies could focus the time spent on the website, a number of pages per session, or bounce rate to get a more complete picture. There are several engagement tools, such as Adobe Activity Map, that marketers can make use of. One metric that is always useful is to measure repeat customers and retention.
To identify actionable metrics, a business needs to focus on the primary marketing objectives –revenue and customer acquisition or retention. Some common metrics for revenue can be customer lifetime value, order value, number of transactions, etc. Actionable metrics for customer acquisition and retention can include conversion rates either through cart abandonment rates or entire funnels – right from visiting the page to placing the order.
Indeed, for ecommerce, cart abandonment remains a major issue – according to Shopify, almost 70% of shopping carts are left in limbo – indicating that e-commerce sites are not able to close the deal. Focusing on the number of visitors or click-through rate will not provide information on the problem of cart abandonment. Therefore, it is important for marketers to center on the problem areas and the relevant metrics associated with those areas.
How to use the right metrics for my business
A look-up on vanity metrics and actionable metrics online will yield different results, with each source claiming some metric as actionable while others as vanity. Different CRM providers, such as Hubspot, will publish a useful list of metrics that you can use for your business. However, most of these viewpoints tend to be generic and have limited utility. Vanity metrics can be actionable based on the context.
For example, a company redesigning its website can do A/B testing and look at pageviews, a so-called vanity metric, as a relevant metric. Pageviews become an actionable metric in this case. Similarly, during the initial phases, businesses can look towards the number of visitors on their website – another vanity metric – as an actionable metric as the key objective is to gain awareness and growth. The vanity metrics can be quite useful depending on the situation. It is important to note that as businesses evolve actionable metrics may become vanity and need to be frequently revisited.
To choose the right metric, first, consider your marketing goals and the key marketing problems. Follow this up by identifying the right data source, for example, SEO. The accuracy of the metric depends on the data source – spend time in identifying the right data sources for measuring the metric/s.
Read “Targeting Gen Z: How to influence?” by Raj Srivastava and Pramod Iyer to learn more about marketing to Gen Z and millennials.
Jennings A. Jones College of Business at Middle Tennessee State University enrolls over 3,400 students and maintains a full range of degree, professional development and continuing education programs in business. The college is in the top 1.5% of business schools worldwide, holding AACSB International accreditation for both the entire business program and the accounting program.
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