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Have we got digital measurement all wrong?

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Hubspot’s 2017 State of Inbound Report revealed that 40% of marketers see providing the ROI of their marketing activities as one of today’s top challenges. For a number of years, measuring the effectiveness of digital campaigns has remained one of the biggest challenges facing marketers.

Social, mobile and native platforms, brought to us on a plethora of connected smart devices, means the scope for measuring campaign success is vast. Speaking with ExchangeWire, Tim Geenen, director of strategy and innovation at programmatic marketing agency Bannerconnect, said: “It makes intelligent, data-driven attribution almost impossible for digital marketing and advertising professionals, who end up with a tonne of data points that don’t connect, and give no indication of the overall effectiveness of online efforts.”

So, with so many numbers out there to crunch, how do marketers know which ones to focus on? We round up tips from key industry players on things to consider when it comes to establishing true ROI.

Unique website visitors

Although it sounds obvious, senior vice president of Zog Digital, Thomas Stern reinforced to that analysing web traffic is still one of the most valuable measurement methods. He stated: “Swings in visitors can uncover issues with SEO, campaign targeting, content reach and social engagement. Analyse this data early and often within your analytics platform to avoid missing issues that can grow into big problems if left unattended.”

Digital marketing analytics

For more far-reaching, multi-platform campaigns, it pays to look beyond website analytics. HubSpot's Senior Marketing Manager for Australia and New Zealand, Elissa Hudson discusses the value of digital marketing analytics on the Hubspot blog: “Web analytics measure things a webmaster or technical SEO specialist cares about, like page load speed, page views per visit, and time on site. Digital marketing analytics, on the other hand, measure business metrics like traffic, leads, and sales, and which online events influence whether leads become customers.”

Mid-funnel engagement

Brett Jameson from Bear Fox Marketing insists that marketers focus their attention on measuring mid-funnel activities, such as asset downloads, visits to sales landing pages, and email open rates. He said: “Measuring increases in this type of engagement can help you understand where sales are coming from. When you can connect this activity to growth and revenue, you have a great way to measure digital marketing ROI.”

Report, report, report

It’s no good setting goals or running a digital campaign without producing ongoing progress reports. Owner of Retriever Digital Stuart Marler commented in an article for Digital Donut: “Reporting on targets and goals, KPIs and information should be as often as possible, monthly is ideal, to track an ongoing campaign, to make changes each month increase in targeting goals that are working and manipulate those that are achieving less.”

What metrics do you have in place for your digital marketing campaigns? We’d love to hear more tips and best practices that have proved effective in your business.