The worst thing you can do is not measure your marketing tactics.
The second worst thing is to measure the wrong elements.
After all the results will form part of your business and marketing decisions.
What to measure
If you sell a product or service, all roads lead to sales.
- New customers – initial purchase
- Current customers – repeat purchase
- Business growth – more or additional purchases
Your marketing tactics need to be aligned to those factors and so does the measurement of these tactics.
There can be other measurements along the path such as leads, conversions, referrals etc. Ultimately, what you can bank are sales.
The exception to this is if you website sells space for advertising or sponsorship and then measuring your traffic is important because that is a factor advertisers and sponsors look at.
What not to measure
This is not a complete list but it gives you the idea
Followers and fans – if you only measure the number without seeing if there is a link to sales is a waste of time especially if you sell products or services. The more interesting measurement is to see how many potential or current customers are the followers or fans and buy.
Social shares – it may feel good if you have a high likes or tweets but last time I looked, you can’t take them to the bank and pay yourself and your staff a salary.
Even though it is said, Google looks at these and you see articles saying they are important I disagree.
The reason why, is social shares can be gamed. You can belong to groups like Triberr and share without reading the articles increasing your retweets. Your friends or family can like or retweet to lift your count.
Google would know these can be gamed.
Awareness – while is an important measure, unless you can get a large enough sample size and survey it correctly it is difficult to measure.
Also, you can have high awareness and yet sales go down. I marketed a brand once that had total awareness of 95% yet sales were decreasing each year. Awareness is only part of the equation and for most small businesses, you can’t objectively measure it.
Comments – they are nice to have and you can learn a lot from those who comment. However, it is unwise to make business decisions depending on the number of comments your blog gets.
Especially if your potential or current customers are too busy to leave a comment or not inclined to.
The number of comments may count if you are selling space because people stay longer if they comment. Yet I have not seen any research that it is part of the decision making process for advertisers or sponsors.
Measuring your results is important and measuring what matters to your business is key.