A like, a share, a comment, a view – how long did they view it for? Was it more than two seconds? Was it in the tab they were looking at? How long until they clicked Skip? The era of the internet has made marketing metrics infinitely more complex and unreliable. As marketers, we know that metrics are the currency of advertising and are essential to measuring campaign success. So, to keep your head in the game, we’re sharing this marketing metrics guide, including the different types, their history, and how to utilize them for your business.
Like any useful guide, we’ll start out simply with a definition. According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, a metric is a standard of measurement. A marketing metric, then, is a standard of measurement in marketing – that is, the standardized way marketers measure their success.
Types of Marketing Metrics
There are two broad categories of marketing metrics: impression and engagement. Within these categories, the number of possible metrics has exploded depending on the type of content, where it is displayed, and what the goal of the ad is.
With impression metrics, you can see that people have seen your ad, but you aren’t able to gauge their reaction to it—these metrics measure exposure. Impressions measure how many people your ad has been in front of, but not much else. They can be helpful in certain situations, such as for use as a baseline for views. Some examples of impression metrics are cost-per-mille (CPM) and cost-per-view (CPV).
Engagement is the only metric that directly measures the way the user behaves towards the content. Engagement metrics allow you to see audience and consumer behaviour, and help marketers understand what is working and what is not. These metrics also allow you to see consumer journeys, acquisitions, or any number of activities. There are many examples of engagement metrics, but a few common ones are cost-per-action (CPA), click-through-rate (CTR), and cost-per-click (CPC).
The History of Marketing Metrics
When traditional forms of media were the dominant advertising space, impression metrics were the only possibility. Third-party services conducted surveys and audits of listeners, watchers, readers, and subscribers to track what they were viewing and how often. While this was only basic information, it was reliable. This form of measurement was standardized across platforms and companies – the data was unbiased.
With the rise of the digital era, this all changed. Engagement became the dominant measurement in a world oversaturated by advertisements. In addition, the growing concern for privacy has resulted in a movement away from third-party tracking. Companies with first-party data now hold the power. However, they also hold biases. Companies want to make it look like ads have the best results, and thus, they may use a slightly different measurement system than other companies. This has resulted in a confusing, unstandardized world for the average marketer.
How to Utilize Marketing Metrics
So, with an overwhelming number of metrics and a concerning amount of confusion, how can your business utilize marketing metrics? We have two tips to help you navigate these issues. First, track and make use of any first-party data. Any data your business collects itself can be measured and understood without any uncertainty. While companies may have too much data or insufficient bandwidth to do this in every case, use it to your advantage where possible.
Second, focus your metrics on your goals and find the metrics that create conversions. While you may not always know what constitutes a view, you can track whether they increase or decrease. If you figure out which metrics and strategies create the best results and help you reach your company objectives, you don’t need to worry about all the rest.
If metrics are completely out of your wheelhouse, an additional tip, of course, is to contact our unLOCKEd marketing team to help you reach your marketing goals! Our experts are well-versed in the world of marketing metrics and so much more! Let us take care of your marketing so you can focus on running your business.
Author: Sarah Murphy