September 14, 2014 by
If you can’t measure it, you can’t mange it. - Peter Drucker
- 78% of CMOs believe marketing will undergo radical change over the next 5 years
- Close to half are preparing for digital to grow to 75% of marketing budgets
- 42% believe analytics will be a core competency of marketing (source: Accenture Interactive CMO Study)
These statistics say there are big changes in marketing coming. But we live in budget cutting times, and marketing budgets are among the first to get cut. Why? When non-marketing executives take a hard look at the numbers, they often can’t see a direct link to revenue.
The secret is having – and correctly using – the right measurements.
Here are 12 data driven measurements every marketer should know.
- KEYWORDS: 90% of consumer buying decisions begin on the internet according to Forrester Research. The journey most often begins with a consumer typing their unmet need into the query box of a search engine. 54% find websites through natural search engines results says Forrester. Do you know keywords you want for your company? If you don’t, how do you expect to attract the people who are looking for what you have to offer?
- LINKS (HYPERLINKS): The best way to establish authority and improve search visibility is to have reciprocal links with other authorities in your area. Do you know how many inbound links there are to your website and who they are? You should. Where once low-quality tactics worked for a long time, link building has undergone significant changes in recent years due largely to recent Google changes that discredit dark hat tactics. Now, blogs, guest blogging and social media represent authentic ways to build links and relationships that are mutually beneficial to businesses.
- SEARCH ENGINE RESULTS PAGE (SERP): 85% of people click on a website listing on the organics side of a search engine page; 53% click on the website that is listed first. Within the top five listing, 88% of the clicks are made according to Search Engine Watch. This means, if you want people to come to your wevsite, it’s important to know your Search Engine Rank Page for your most important keywords.
- COST PER CLICK (CPC): If you can’t get to a top rank with your top keywords, it’s better to pay for a top rank than believe search engines are going to drive visitors to your site anytime soon. Paid Search ads should be considered. They are bought on a cost per click basis. Paid search operates like an auction where the buyer sets the price, budget and time frame. CPC’s also provide a valuable benchmark on the value of keywords. Based on the price, they show what others are willing to pay for them.
- CLICK THROUGH RATE (CTR): Is the percentage of people who viewed a page that contained your ad and also clicked on the ad. This is calculated by dividing the total number of clicks by the total number of ad impressions. CTR is an important metric to measure performance and whether the ad is relevant. Google Adwords says the average CTR is 2% for ad placements on Google.
- UNIQUE VISITORS (USERS): Is the number of distinct individuals visiting a website during a given period, regardless of how often they visits. It is a key metric for measurement if your web business is increasing its visibility and customer base.
- BOUNCE RATE: is the percentage of visits where the visitor view a single page and left. Bounce Rate is considered a key measurement of website relevance. Because, generally speaking, if the site is relevant, the visitor will view more the one page. As Avinash Kaushik, Analytics Evangelist at Google says, a high bounce rate generally reflects visitors who “came, puked, and then left”. To reduce Bounce Rate, here are 20 Things to Consider from Search Engine Watch.
- TRAFFIC SOURCES: Every visit to a web site has an origin, or source. There are three main categories: 1) Search Engine (Google, Yahoo, Bing – either organic or paid, 2) Another Web Page (Facebook, Twitter, another website) or 3) Direct (type a website url in the browser). This show how your audience finds your business and a very valuable measurement for tracking your time and investment into driving website traffic.
- KEY CONTENT (PAGES): Once a visitor gets to your website, what pages are most viewed? Key Content or Top Pages tells what is their hierarchy of needs from your business.
- CONVERSION RATE: What is the action(s) you want visitors to take when they get to your website? Conversion Rate is the percent of visitors that take the action you want. If you sell products or service from your site, it means the percent who buy. But, if you don’t (and most websites don’t), it means the percent who may subscribe to an email, register for a trial offer or download information. Any action or event that indicates they are a step closer to being a customer. In fact, a business may have multiple conversion rates. Macro Conversions are primary conversions like completing an order for an e-commerce site or filling out a contact form for a lead generation site. Micro Conversions are the usual actions that are precursors. They may include signing up for an email newsletter or downloading a PDF.
- AVERAGE ORDER VALUE: If you sell a product or service on your website, a key means for maximizing revenue is to know your Average Shopper Value. The calculation is: Revenue/Number of Transactions = Average Order Value. If you know this measurements, you can determine what you need to do to get customers to buy more (Free shipping on orders over $75; Buy 2, get 1 Free, Deal of the Day).
- WORD OF MOUTH: The number of positive Reviews, Rating, Facebook Likes, Tweeter Follower, Shares, Comments and YouTube Views can have a relationship to website traffic which has a relationship to revenue. People like to do business with people they know. If your business is generating word of mouth, potential customers are going to want to get to know you through your website.
Do you think these are data driven measurements every marketer should know? Any there others that you recommend?
September 07, 2014 by
New media channels have more to prove.
Many companies believe there still isn’t enough data to prove return on investment (ROI) in digital marketing.
However, according to Nielsen Ad Dynamics, companies in FMCG (Fast Moving Consumer Goods) allocate 60% of media to television even though only 18% of tradition TV campaigns generate a positive ROI (source: Socialnomics).
What does this tell you about how companies make decisions? By habit? Or by effectiveness?
Here are 11 studies that prove the ROI of digital marketing (with the links, brief summary and key findings of what each study proves).
- CADBURY: Cadbury’s “Chocolate Charmer” online advertising campaign provided ROI almost 4X higher than their TV campaign. The chocolate brand ran a cross-media campaign for its Dairy Milk brand, covering TV, online ads and YouTube promoted videos. Despite only investing 7% of its budget in online, the brand saw the sector generate 20% of the sales.
- COMSCORE (KELLOGG): Kellogg uses marketing mix models to assess the effectiveness of the various elements of its marketing mix. Results from two Brand Market Mix Models show an increase in ROI of 5x and 6x for digital advertising since Kellogg began using comScore advertising effectiveness services to improve the delivery of its media plans. As Kellogg adds viewability measurement* to its optimization processes, it is expected that these ROI numbers will increase further.
- DIGITAL CONSORTIUM STUDY: Consortium members who include Procter & Gamble, Unilever, Nestlé, Kraft Foods, Mondelez, Kimberly-Clark Corp. and Kellogg Co. found marketing-mix models undervalued digital ads, Overall, the best models underestimated the ROI of Facebook and Google ads by only 4% and 11%, respectively. The study found ROI from Facebook ads is underestimated by as much as 48% and from Google search ads by as much as 39%.
- DIGITAL DISTRESS (ADOBE): In a survey of 1,000 US marketers, it was found that only 44% of marketing departments say they have a great deal of influence over their organization’s overall business strategy; 40% think their company’s marketing is ineffective; only 34% feel highly proficient in digital marketing but 83% say it is important for marketing to prove the business impact of ROI and 79% say it will be even more important next year.
- ECOMOMETRICS: Microsoft did an Econometrics study of the effectiveness of digital advertising. Econometrics is looking at vast amounts of good quality data, collected over long periods of time to identify and quantify different brand drivers. As for ROI, they found digital outperforms TV, Print, Radio and Outdoor. They also found that, if digital is added to these media channels, it enhances their effectiveness.
- ECONSULTANCY: comScore and Econsultancy show that more than half of digital ads (54%) are never seen by consumers. It’s a colossal waste, and demonstrates the need for brands and marketers to make sure for ROI that ads are viewable. They recommend: 1) Make viewability a top priority, 2) Select ‘on-demand’ ad formats, 3) Native ad formats will be more viewable, 4) Make the creative compelling and 5) Be relevant to the content and the consumer.
- FOURNAISE: In interviews with 1,200 CEO’s, management and marketing decision makers, 90% global marketers are not trained to calculate return on investment (ROI), and 80% struggle with being able to properly demonstrate to their management the business effectiveness of their spending, campaigns and activities.
- GOOGLE AND DOVE: Google and Dove worked together to explore the impact of online advertising on in-store sales. The study found that the inclusion of online advertising resulted in a 6% overall sales uplift. Online advertising was most effective when used in synergy with national TV, a combination that led to a 11% sales uplift. Most interestingly, it was found that although the campaign advertised a single product, it was effective in generating sales over the whole range.
- KANTAR WORDPANEL: Coke’s return on investment from Facebook advertising in France beat its ROI from TV. Every euro spent on Facebook returned 2.74 euros in additional Coke sales. That was 3.6 times better than the ROI attributed to TV ads. In all, 27% of incremental sales Kantar attributed to the campaign came from Facebook, but only 2% of the cost.
- NIELSEN: Consumer packaged goods (CPG) brands can experience a return of almost three dollars in incremental sales for every dollar spent in online advertising that has been precisely delivered using purchase-based information. Nielsen completed more than 800 studies over the past seven years, collaborating with more than 300 CPG brands and 80 companies to measure the correlation between online advertising and offline consumer purchases.
- 166 CASE STUDIES PROVE SOCIAL MEDIA ROI: BarnRaisers has published case studies that prove the ROI of social meidia for B2C and B2B comapnies (large and small) across a broad range of digital marketing channels – Social Media, Social CRM, SEO, Customer Service and Social Promotion. You can download the eBook for free on the sidebar of this website
Do these studies prove the ROI of digital marketing to you? Do they help your company to make decision based on effectiveness, not by habit?
August 31, 2014 by
The ALS Association (ALSA) — which fights Lou Gehrig’s disease by funding research, supporting people with the condition and fostering government partnerships — this weekend has now collected over $100 million dollars from a viral social media campaign. Over the same period last year, they collected $2.6 million.
A viral social media campaign is a buzzword that refers to a tremendous increase in brand awareness from word of mouth enabled by social networks and the internet.
The Ice Bucket Challenge has its fans and critics. But there’s no denying, for a very worthwhile organization, the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has generated tremendous awareness and financial success. It is likely to go down in history as one of the most successful viral social media campaigns, ever; and to serve as a model for other non-profits and profit organizations who will attempt to duplicate this level of success for their causes.
Without question, donations and time to results are key metrics to be included as Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). But social media has played a key role. What metrics do we use to make the connection How do we create an actionable scorecard?
Here are 16 social media metrics for the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge to watch.
- KEYWORD TRENDS: The chart at the top is from Google Trends. It is an index that measures increases and decreases in keyword search volumes. In this case, “ALS” and the “Ice Bucket Challenge” were plotted. As you can see, increases in “Ice Bucket Challenge” have had a direct affect on interest in the “ALS.”
- KEYWORD SEARCH VOLUME: The average monthly keyword search volume for ALS is now 550,000 according the Google Adwords Keyword Planner. Ice Bucket Challenge is 2900 showing how awareness has been transferred..
- WEBSITE RANK: The organization’s website, alsa.org, is now ranked as the 648 most viewed website in the US and 4.192 in the world (an improvement in rank of 168,792 within 3 months) according to Alexa. For perspective, the #1 website is Google; #2 is Facebook and #3 is YouTube. This is quite an accomplishment proving the campaign has driven people from social media to the website where they can donate.
- WEBSITE LINKS: There are now 3,248 other sites linking and driving web traffic to alsa.org. Among the biggest are YouTube, Yahoo, Wikipedia and Reddit.
- WEBSITE ANALYTICS: Although only the ALSA has access to the Google Analytics of their website, Unitque Visitors, Traffics Sources. particularly the social networks, and Key Content (Web Pages) would be primary measurements. Website Analytics are often overlooked as social media metrics when they are often the most valuable.
- CONVERSION RATE: Of course, the Donate page would be a key web page from which to track the Conversion Rate about visitors and people who donated. The Conversion Rate should be monitored weekly and measured against the Conversion Rate a year ago.
- VIDEOS: Since videos are central to this campaign, YouTube is the first social network to examine. There are 6,000,000 videos of the ALS Ice Bucket Challengea now posted on YouTube.
- MOST VIEWED VIDEOS: Among some of the most viewed videos and their numbers are Bill Gates (18,465,237), Simpsons (11,567,782) and a compilation of the Failed Attempts (17,903,561).
- VIDEO SUBSCRIBERS: On YouTube, there are two channels dedicated to the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge; one was created by Zoomin and has 34,832 subscribers; the official ALSA channel has only 1,962 subscribers.
- YOUTUBE ANALYTICS: ALSA could know from looking at their YouTube Analytics where geographically viewers came from, how long they watched and what type of device (desktop or mobile) they viewed the video.
- SENTIMENT ANALYSIS: Since there are fans and critics of the effort, sentiment analysis plays a key role in the evaluation of any viral marketing campaign. According to Social Searcher, the ratio of positive to negative comments has been 3:1 overall. But it differs widely by social network. Facebook is 7:3; Twitter is 2:3 (more negative than positive) and Google+ is 9:1. Another social search engine, Topsy, which is predominantly influenced by Twitter reports a positive to negative ratio of 27% to 73%. This indicated targeted resources are required to manage conversations from a viral social media campaign.
- LIKES: The ALS Association Facebook page has 319,000 Likes. It was growing at a triple digit weekly rate. However, after just a few weeks, the rate has slowed and is now beginning to decline. This provides learning on what should be expected as the life cycle of viral social media campaigns.
- PEOPLE TALKING ABOUT THIS: Facebook also has a measure called “People Talking About This.” It is an algorithm of people who Like, Comment or Share conversations that are occurring on a particular Facebook page. For the ALS Association, there are over 470,000 People Talking About This for the ALS Association – more than Like the organization. This is rare. According to WOMMA, a normative rate rate of People Talking About This to Likes is 1%. This shows the virility of the campaign.
- HASHTAGS: There are numerous hashtags on the Ice Bucket Challenge – such as #ALSIceBucketChallenge, #IceBucketChallenge and #StrikeOutALS. All of which can be measured for Likes, Shares and Comments to show the level of sentiment and engagement for this event.
- TWEET VOLUME: Within the past 30 days, according to Topsy, there have been 8.7 million Tweets for the Ice Bucket Challenge. In the past 7 days, the number is 2.4 million Tweets. But, it looks like it’starting to fall. It’s now 160,,000 per day (1.2 million weekly rate) to 6,000 in the last hour (1.0 million weekly rate).
- KEY INFLUENCERS: Participants been a key to the success of this campaign. From politicians (George Bush, Barak Obama), business leaders (Mark Zuckerberg) to celebrities (Matt Damon, Charlie Sheen), many people of influence have given their implied endorsement by taking the Ice Bucket challenge. The quantity and quality of these participants are a key metric.
Rutgers Business School Executive Educative, where I teach, has a Social Media Marketing Mini-MBA for Non-Profits. Donna Dourney York, was a participant in the program. Donna has made amazing progress changing the way people perceive ALS.
Do you think these are social media metrics the ALS Association should watch? Did this help you understand how to use metrics to guide success for viral social media campaigns?
August 24, 2014 by
Web analytics is not just a tool for measuring web traffic.
Off-site web analytics refers to the measurement of a website’s potential audience (opportunity), share of voice (visibility), and buzz (comments) that is happening on the internet as a whole. On-site web analytics measures a visitor’s behavior once on your website. This includes its drivers and conversions.
Taken together, web anlaytics provides a complete picture of your audience and their attitudes and behaviors toward your brand. Web analytics is the most valuable, useful, cost-effective and timely resource a business has to answers key strategy questions.
Google Analytics is the most widely used web analytics software. Google Webmaster Tools shows traffic for each keyword separately; it gives more information about website performance. There is even a Google Analytics Academy to learn all about how to use web analytics done online on the participant’s schedule. They’re all free to use so there’s no reason a company shouldn’t dedicate some time and attention to examining web analytics.
If you need more convincing, here are 37 key strategy questions web analytics answers.
WHO ARE OUR CUSTOMERS?
- Who do we attract?
- Who do we want to attract?
- Who is visiting for the first time?
- Who is returning for more visits?
- What cities or countries are most people visiting from?
- What search keywords are sending us traffic?
- What percent of traffic comes from mobile devices?
- Who are our most valuable segments?
- Who is worth doing marketing efforts to based on their business potential?
- Are we doing better or worse?
WHAT ARE THEIR BEHAVIORS TOWARD OUR BRAND?
- What actions do people take?
- Are they taking the actions we want?
- How do people find us?
- How do people travel through the site?
- What sort of experience do we create for our users?
- What percent of users view at least 3 pages per visit?
- What percent of users remain on site for at least 3 minutes?
- Where do our most active visitors come from?
- Where do visitors click?
- Where are our most valuable users coming from?
- Who shares our content?
- What content works best?
- What percent of users comment on content?
- Who recommends us to a friend?
- What social networks and social media metrics are worth tracking?
- What do they buy from us?
HOW DO FIND MORE PEOPLE LIKE THEM?
- How do we find more people like the ones who are most valuable customers?
- How long does it take for someone to decide to do business with us?
- How do we know if our site is doing well relative to competitors?
- How do we know if our marketing efforts are working?
- How has advertising worked?
- Was advertising worth it?
- How can we identify the ideal marketing mix?
- How do analytics help us understand how the business can make the most revenue and profits?
- What key metrics should be used for Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
- What is the best way to measure ROI?
Do the answers to these questions matter to your business? Do they convince you to dedicate time and attention to web analytics? Does your company need to learn how to use web analytics better?
August 17, 2014 by
- 91% of marketing leaders believe successful brands use customer data to drive business decisions (source: BRITE/NYAMA)
- 87% agree capturing and sharing the right data is important to effectively measuring ROI in their own company (BRITE/NYAMA)
- 40%-60% annual growth increase is occurring in the volume of data available every year; in media intensive sectors and financial services, the increase is 120% (source: Fathom)
The facts indicate company leaders believe understanding data is a critical component to business growth. And more of it is coming at us in ever increasing rates.
Data visualization is the art and practice of gathering, analyzing, and graphically representing empirical information. More and better data visualization tools have come to market from software services like Tableau, Fusion Charts, Google Charts and Visual.ly to help better display data. So, there is no reason business leaders shouldn’t be able to fulfill their data dreams.
But it’s not the data. It’s what you do with it.
Software doesn’t find the insights in the data, people do. Before companies jump into Big Data, they should be asking: Have we mastered the principles of little data?
To help, here are 8 guidelines for great data visualization.
- BEGIN WITH BASIC DATA PRESENTED AS SIMPLY AS POSSIBLE: Great data visualization begins with measurements that are readily available, come from a reliable source and are easy to understand. For example, the line chart below for a coffee shop chain uses just profits by key beverage and time. But it shows very clearly what types of drinks are going to be the most profitable and when. It gives all the information the owner requires to order, promote and maximize revenue and profits.
- CHOOSE AXISES THAT ADDRESS KEY STRATEGIC ISSUES: If you want data to provide answers, you have to set it up by addressing the right questions. How you choose and define your axises serves as a primary guide. The chart below plots software companies based on based on their “vision” and “ability to execute.” The axises address a key strategic issue that can provide answers like likely winner and losers based on positioning and competitive advantage. The company data is telling because the criteria is clear.
- PROVIDE A USABLE LEGEND: The definition of the legend plays an important role in motivating action. The data visualization below of expenditures per student for New York state schools offers a telling picture of where education monies are going, what are areas of greatest need and how they might be redistributed.
- ESTABLISH SEGMENTATION: If you want actionable insights from data, it helps to establish segments or groupings that create differentiation. The chart below shows the Top 100 Entrepreneurs, divided into three segments. From this chart, it’s clear that not all entrepreneurs are created equal. If you want to understand what makes great entrepreneurs, the data tells you to focus on the “Rocket Ship” segment and probe into what makes them tick.
- FACILITATE DISCERNMENT WHEN SHOWING A TIME SERIES OR GEOGRAPHY: When showing time or geography, incorporate colors, coding, history or forecasting to provide perspective or context that shows where things are headed. The “stacked graph” below on unemployment in the US by industry (time series) and the cost of chronic disease care (geography) show how how to display time series and geographic data, effectively.
- IDENTIFY CLUSTERS: When looking at many variables, use clusters to show the data in ways that creates groupings that lead to conclusions. The Cluster Analysis below was created to identify the college basketball teams that were most likely to win the NCAA’s based on defense. As you can see, clustering the many variables that were examined helps to clearly show the teams that have the most potential.
- TELL A STORY WITH THE DATA: Good data analysts are storytellers. Effective data visualization is often helped with text. Simple headlines or text boxes help explain what the data is saying and the actions that should be taken. This example below from Avinash Kaushik, Digital Marketing Evangelist at Google, shows how data visualization might be presented to the C-Suite.
- CREATE AN ACTIONABLE SCORECARD: The data dashboard your company creates should be based on Key Performance Indicators. KPIs are one of the most over-used and little understood terms in business development and management. They are too often taken to mean any metric or data used to measure business performance.The role KPI’s play is much bigger and more important. In fact, KPI’s are one of the most important guideposts for any business. Every business should have them. Here’s one of the best definitions I’ve heard: KPI’s are an actionable scorecard that keeps your strategy on track. They enable you to manage, control and achieve desired business results. The KPI dashboard below for a call center is simply laid out, easy to understand for decision making and incorporate a little from each of the previous critical components.
If your business needs help using data to make better decisions and ROI, consider BarnRaisers, because that’s what we do. Or, considering taking a Mini-MBA from the Rutgers Business School Executive Education where I teach Measurement and ROI.
Do these key components help you see how data visualization can help your business?