31 August 2012 by Becky Reid,

Last week I introduced the idea of measuring marketing through the development of KPIs. Now let’s take it a step further and look at how to actually measure those KPIs or metrics.

Now, I’m still learning (am actually booked on a CIM course in October covering this very subject!) but below are some of the measures I’ve put in place over the past few months at the FIA. These have all helped me at Board level meetings to justify spend and results.

Once you know what you want to measure and why, the ‘how’ is slightly more straightforward. Slightly. With a bit of reading and maybe a training course or two it gets easier.

There are various platforms I’d suggest looking at:

Google Analytics

Google Analytics logo

The most important tool if you have a website. Take time to get to know it; read a ‘For Dummies’ book; go on a Google Analytics training course. GA can give you all the site stats you might be looking for in your KPIs and more. But don’t get distracted by what’s not relevant to you (not everything’s important to everyone).

Using your KPIs set up your dashboard, set up a monthly scheduled email and regularly visit the Analytics site to see how marketing activity you are doing is affecting your site stats.

Back in August I sent a third party e-shot to members of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport and I was able to see that, on the day it was sent, I had 88 people click through from that email to my website. How do I know this? Because I used a tracked link created by Google URL Builder…

Campaign Tracking
Gone are the days of doing a marketing campaign with purely offline media. These days it’s a mix of offline and online, which is good news for measurement freaks like me!

Online advertising is easy to measure, when you send the advert across send a tracked URL with it which will link back to your Google Analytics account. That way you can see how many clicks your advert got. And use a different unique link for each advert location/size as well as for different sites so you can see what creative, what ad position and what hosting website got you the best result.

Use the Google URL builder for single links or if you’ve got lots of adverts use this really cool tool

Google AdWords

Google Adwords logo

I promise this blog isn’t sponsored by Google! But if you use Google AdWords as part of your marketing arsenal you should link it to your Google Analytics account (it’s easy to do). This way you’ll see what campaigns and keywords are best for driving traffic.

As a point of note, always think about your AdWords success in terms of Click Through Rate (CTR) rather than simple clicks. The better the CTR the harder your Adwords is working for you without necessarily spending so much.

PR Tracking
Do you outsource your PR activity or do you do it in-house? Unless you are a very small organisation you should be able to measure how much people are talking about you by tracking your PR coverage – how many clippings, the equivalent advertising value. This is all good for proving to your stakeholders the return on investment.

In 2011 I brought the PR function in-house, letting the PR agency of 15 odd years go. Our PR spend went from £47K pa to £26K pa (including media monitoring, media database, news content provider and all necessary licences) and our equivalent AVE was £207K reaching almost 7 million people (in just the first 9 months). That quietened people down a bit in the Boardroom.

Email Service Provider
My favourite new tool is the reporting function of my email service provider. I’ve just upgraded our poor email comms to dotMailer which comes with great reporting functionality.

Aside from seeing what platform people are using to open emails (#1 Outlook, #2 iPhone with iPad rounding up in 3rd normally) and what click to open rate each email gets, I have linked it to Google Analytics so I can also see what click through rate each email, i.e. how many clicks through to our website.

And why is knowing iPhone/iPad usage interesting? It tells me what platform to focus developing apps for…

Word of Warning!

image of cookie

Using Google Analytics requires the use of cookies. You need to make sure your cookie policy is up to date with the types of cookie you’re using for any new analytics. You also need to check how (if at all) any websites you are advertising on are making their readers aware of cookies on the site. If they don’t you’ll need to somehow.
I’m no analyst but all this joining up of analytics really excites me. Every campaign I run can be tweaked as it goes along according to what the analytics are telling me is working. I can really see where people are coming from; I can see that Twitter has this month been the biggest referrer to my company website. I have a much better understanding of what’s working and why and I can go into the next Board meeting confident of justifying my budget and return.

It just takes time and a bit of hard work.

Let me know how you measure and track!