How to create a Digital Marketing & Analytics Measurement Model

Data:

Those who work in the marketing world (and probably those who don’t) will contest that this small four letter word that is often preceded by words like ‘big’ or ‘small’ has become so ruthlessly banded about that it is almost a commodity. Within a marketing context this ‘commodity’ can and should be used to continually optimise business success.

But you know the above already, it’s obvious and ‘data’ isn’t a new thing….

‘Data’ is banded about so often that it would seem everyone is an expert in it. Surely all the ‘experts’ out there are maximising data-analytics to drive continued ROI uplift, customer satisfaction, a 360 degree view of their customers, personalised dialogue with the customer to drive engagement and minimise churn; all of which equates to arming their brand with that competitive advantage…..right?!

Wrong.

This post isn’t about what data is and isn’t, there are too many great (and crap) posts on that. Nor am I yet another self confessed data junkie trying to preach that data is the all and everything in digital marketing because all of the other cool kids are saying it; creativity has never been more important and most definitely has its place (Previous blog post Imagination is more important than knowledge). Having a very digital acquisitions focused background where ROI and accountability is everything, this experience has however moulded me to believe that data is the backbone to digital marketing, which should be used to plan, benchmark, measure, understand and optimise our digital marketing initiatives.

The problem in this day and age (as I see it) for many digital marketers isn’t really about the collection of data itself – there are hoards of sufficient analytics tools and tutorials out there with simple implementation processes to collect basic and complex data. The problem is the abundance of data and the ease of turning the tap on to get that data vs (the lack of) a considered data strategy prior to turning that ‘data tap’ on and an on-going measurement plan to benchmark against.

It continually amazes me at how often marketers jump head first into a digital marketing initiative – be that development (e.g – website / app build), optimisation (e.g landing page / sales funnel), campaign (e.g channel performance/attribution and ROI) before having a considered digital measurement strategy that ties back into the fundamental business objectives. And let’s be honest, too often the business objectives are either so generic or just generally unclear.

If every person who works within the digital marketing space – client and agency side – knew, understood, and utilised something as simple and fundamental as the digital marketing and measurement framework explained below at the start of every digital marketing initiative, more brands would be dominating within this space. Dominating defined as real measurable results that meet real business objectives as cost effectively as possible. Despite the pure magnitude of self proclaimed marketing ‘guru’s’, ‘ninja’s’ and general know-it-alls, the sad reality is that something as simple, basic and fundamental as a digital marketing measurement plan is often forgotten, neglected or simply not used. 

What this post is about:

This post discusses what I consider to be the absolute fundamental foundation and starting point of EVERY digital marketing initiative and that is a digital marketing and measurement model. A Digital Marketing and Measurement Model is the data-analytics component which will be used as a map to guide the direction of the digital marketing initiative.

The content within this post is very much inspired by a man who absolutely deserves to be called an analytics / data guru, he is Avinash Kaushik and amongst other things he is the digital marketing evangelist at Google. I encourage you to follow his very in-depth yet digestible, insightful and very readable blog – Occam’s Razor.

Let’s start at the start – Digital Analytics is…


‘Digital analytics’ can be defined as:

“The analysis of qualitative and quantitative data from your business and the competition to drive a continual improvement of the online experience that your customers and potential customers have which translates to your desired outcomes.”

Creating a Digital Marketing & Measurement Plan:

As per the graphic below, there are five key components in the end-to-end creation and implementation of a digital marketing and measurement plan.

  1. Define measurement plan
  2. Document technical infrastructure
  3. Create implementation plan
  4. Implement tracking
  5. Maintain and refine
This post will focus on point 1. Define measurement plan, which is the foundation of everything else. I wanted to show you this first step in context with the other four elements.

Define Measurement Plan

An effective Digital Marketing and Measurement plan will always focus on and answer the important questions within three key areas of marketing, they are; Acquisition, Behaviour & Outcomes. 
 
Throughout this post my examples are based upon a website, however you can obviously create this for any digital initiative. 
 

Acquisition

  • How are you driving traffic to your site?
  • What is the split of earned, owned and paid media?
  • How do you prioritise your efforts / budget of the above to drive traffic to your site?
 

Behaviour

  • What is the behaviour you are expecting for a user on your website, e.g How long will they be there for? What pages should they visit? How many pages should they visit in their session? What actions and interactions should/could they do whilst there? 
  • How can you optimise this to drive results and a positive user experience?

Outcomes – Why are you doing this digital initiative?

  • Isn’t it counter-productive and time-wasting when you have a meeting without an intended outcome. Often there is no focus and so the meeting drags on and nothing really productive and of value happens. Well, a digital marketing initiative is much the same as this. To maximise success you need a defined outcome that adds value to your business, as in actual bottom-line value? I.e a purchase, data capture through newsletter signup, contact form completion etc
Stripping out all complexities, a digital measurement plan consists of the following five elements, which are each discussed below and then shown in the context of a full digital measurement plan for a website.
 

The example website: 
The example website being used below is fabricated ecommerce site that sells gardening products, sells display advertising space on the site to relevant advertisers, and also offers a bespoke landscape gardening consultancy service. The consultancy element requires the customer to fill out a short form detailing their criteria, which the offline consultants will then follow up on. 

#1 – Define Business Objectives – The ‘What’

You and the senior stakeholders in your business need to answer the following question. 
 
Q: Why does your website / digital initiative exist?
 
This question appears deceptively simple. The answer requires multiple conversations/workshops with the senior management and key stakeholders of your business to agree on a clear objective based foundation to your digital measurement plan. 
 
We have all heard of SMART objectives, but I really like Avinash Kaushik recommendation here to make sure your objectives are DUMB.
  • Doable
  • Understandable
  • Manageable
  • Beneficial 
Example: Your business objectives should look something like the example below.

#2 – Identify Website Goals – The ‘How’

Next you need to focus on the website/digital initiatives goals, that means the holistic tactic specific to each objective.
 
Explanation of the four objectives (the what) and the overarching goals / tactics (the how) below.
Create Awareness – The website needs to act as a credible and relevant digital touchpoint that media (paid, earned and owned) can drive traffic to and then funnel people towards specific goals.
 
Advertiser Revenue – Maximise further revenue stream by having relevant 3rd party display adverts on specific sections of the site.  
 
Lead Generation (Data Capture) – Drive completed form enquires for the landscape gardening consultancy service and also capture visitor data to start permission based eCRM relationship (I.E newsletter signup).
 
Sell Products – As it says on the tin really, make it as easy as possible for visitors to view, read up on and feel confident in buying the products online. 
 

#3 – Choose KPI’s 

KPI’s put simply is measurement data that will help you understand how well you are tracking against your original objectives. 
 
Example below.

KPI’s are explained in more detail along with the Targets elements below.

 

#4 – Choose Targets

It’s all well and good to set KPI’s but let’s be honest, KPI’s are pretty meaningless if there aren’t actual targets associated with them. 
 
To quote Avinash Kaushik once again“Targets are numerical values you’ve pre-determined as indicators of success or failure.”
 
To set your targets ideally you should base it upon historical data, however don’t worry if you don’t have this, at this stage you can make an educated guess. The targets are stakes in the ground as to a quantifiable destination you are aiming for. As time goes by and you have better insights, you will be able to set these a lot more accurately.
 
Adding KPI’s and Targets will look something like the example below. They are colour coded to match up together. Obviously you could add more if required.

Objective > KPI’s > Targets

The KPI’s and associated Targets displayed in the example above are explained below.

  • Create Awareness: Branded Traffic > 20,000 total visits per month
  • Advertising Revenue: Revenue > $20,000 per month
  • Lead Generation: Number of Enquires > 50 per month
  • Lead Generation: Number of eCRM Signups > 200 per month
  • Sell Products: Site conversion rate > 1.75% (Up by 0.5% on existing CR)
  • Sell Products: Average order ‘basket’ value > $75 (Up by $10 on the existing value)

 

#5 – Choose Segments

Segments within analytics are a powerful tool to really aid focus on what may at first seem like an overwhelming amount of data. This final step of the digital marketing measurement plan allows the key decision makers in a business to identify the key segments that should be focused on, analysed and used for data comparison to build further insights. 

Segments being things like: types of people (i.e demographically, geographically, new visits, returning visits etc), site behaviour (i.e converted traffic vs non converted), the traffic sources (i.e Organic vs Social), device (i.e Mobile vs Desktop)….the list goes on and on..

Here is the complete example Digital Marketing Measurement Plan including the aforementioned Segments.

Learn more – Google Analytics Academy

I hope you found this useful, as is made obvious throughout this post, much of my inspiration regarding this topic can be attributed to the analytics legend that is Avinash Kaushik, this post is my take on his advice.

The framework can be swopped and changed in terms of layout / design, but it must have all of the five elements within it; Objectives, Goals, KPIs, Targets and Segments

If you want to learn more about Google Analytics or just sharpen your knowledge base I highly recommend Google Analytics Academy. It’s an incredibly useful and comprehensive series of courses with short videos and quizes throughout.

Thanks.

About the author
Si Muddell is a Digital Strategist who has worked extensively both agency and client side. Si is fascinated about marketing, psychology & what motivates people, and loves guitar, surfing and travelling.

Get connected with Si on TwitterLinkedIn &


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